Recovery after minimally invasive spine surgery
If you are undergoing surgery for chronic pain, you may wish that you could predict exactly what your surgery will be like, and how your recovery will feel. These factors can be hard to predict. Every patient who undergoes surgery at Laser Spine Institute will have a different recovery experience, since no two patients’ conditions are exactly alike. Your recovery and rehabilitation will vary depending on your age, your overall level of health, the severity of your degenerative spine condition and the specific type of procedure you undergo.
What to expect following surgery
We can share some general information regarding what to expect during your recovery following minimally invasive surgery. The first few weeks after surgery will be extremely important. Your body will be starting to heal as you gradually increase your mobility level.
Below are the general priorities and goals for the first weeks following a minimally invasive surgery at Laser Spine Institute:
- Weeks one and two — Keep your dressing clean and dry. Schedule an appointment with your primary care physician during this time so that he or she can monitor the incision site and change the dressing if necessary. If you are given a brace, be sure to wear this during periods of activity. Try to take short walks (five to 15 minutes) in the first days after surgery, but avoid sexual activity and other strenuous activities like lifting, bending and twisting. Don’t drive until you are off pain medication and muscle relaxants.
- Weeks two through six — After you hit the two-week mark, start taking short walks several times each day. Try not to sit or stand for more than four hours at a time. You may perform the Level 1 or Level 2 exercises designed by Laser Spine Institute’s Physical Therapy Consultants, but you must continue to avoid strenuous activities that apply weight to the spine.
- After six weeks — By the sixth week after a minimally invasive spine surgery, you should be able to walk for about two miles without pain. If at any point you do experience severe pain, contact your primary care physician immediately. Weight-lifting restrictions vary based on your procedure, but you may be able to begin to lift small loads weighing no more than 10 or 15 pounds.
88 percent of our patients return to daily activities within three months of having surgery and 81 percent of our patients return to work within three months after surgery. Each patient’s surgery, job and routine habits are different, however, so the time in which you return to normal daily activities depends on your individual work environment and the type of surgery performed.
Learn more at Laser Spine Institute
Rest assured that your surgeon will provide you with complete, detailed post-surgery instructions. We are here for you. Please know that you can always call your Care Team here at Laser Spine Institute if you have any questions about what to expect during your recovery.