27 Jan WHAT DOES NEUROSURGEON RECOMMENDS AFTER A SPINE SURGERY?
For a patient to recover as quickly as possible and to return to a normal life without pain after spinal surgery, one must follow certain recommendations. Neurosurgeon Ph. D. Bronius Špakauskas gives some examples of how a patient can take better care of oneself and explains what the healing process is like.
WHAT ARE THE MOST POPULAR RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PATIENTS AFTER A SPINAL SURGERY?
One of the most common spinal surgeries in the world is microdiscectomy. The surgery is usually done with spinal anesthesia. After the operation, a patient has to stay in a lying regimen. After the surgery, on the same day a patient can turn over actively in bed, but sitting and getting up is not recommended. The next day he or she has to do some exercises recommended by a physical therapist. Movement is essential for a patient not to lose muscle tone.
Neurosurgeon does not recommend sitting for long periods during the first week after surgery. It is really important not to sit in a soft armchair as then a person bows down. The patient should not do many flexible movements for 2-3 weeks as well. What is more, depending on the particular surgery and the patient’s physical condition, it is recommended to limit traveling in a sedentary position. For example in a car or plane. Furthermore, the patient should not lift heavy objects in a bent position. It is better to keep the back straight and tense back muscles to avoid damaging and deforming the spine.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR A PATIENT TO RECOVER AFTER A SPINAL SURGERY? IS IT A LONG AND COMPLICATED PROCESS?
The surgical wound heals within 7-8 days, the spine heals within a month and a half. If the movement is correct and active, more than 90% of patients fully return to their job, even if they are highly skilled athletes or manual workers. After surgical results depend on several factors. One of them, the patient’s motivation and desire to recover, as it is the key to success. It is also essential to follow the directions given by the doctor and physical therapist.
To be clear, while talking about relapses, it is rear that intervertebral disc herniation occurs on the same site, on the same side, and at the same height. During the first five years after the surgery, it only happens to 1-2% of the patients. Of course, there are solitary cases when the surgery must be repeated within the first week or after 10 days. These are the situations when a person starts to move, especially during rehabilitation. When a patient makes a certain movement, the fragment of the intervertebral disc breaks and jumps back into the surgical site and causes repeated compression. Luckily, these are rare cases.
WHAT QUESTIONS ARE THE MOST COMMON DURING A CONSULTATION WITH A NEUROSURGEON?
A lot of patients ask whether they will not stay in a wheelchair for a lifetime. The answer is no because even if the patient has a major lesion, especially in the waist site, one can still walk after the surgery. Sometimes the foot or one muscle group may become weak, but for a person to become disabled, a complication that has a little to do with this type of surgery must occur. Also, following antiseptic requirements, with an experienced, skilled team, using disposable tools, the probability of suppuration is less than 1 in 2000. That means, that out of a couple of thousands of operations, there may be one suppuration. These are the main questions and concerns that patients who are preparing for the surgery or patients who have had surgery have.