Back Surgery Recovery

A Helpful Guide To Your Back Surgery Recovery

Back surgery recovery time will vary from patient to patient.  After the procedure, your body needs an adequate amount of time to restore the tissues that have been damaged so that you can return to your everyday activity.  The hospital and home recovery periods are both vital to you rebuilding your strength.  The most important thing to remember is to approach your recovery time with realistic goals and a positive attitude.

Mentally Prepare

Prior to the procedure, your surgeon will provide you with back surgery recovery information.  It is always extremely important to follow any advice that your doctor gives you.  Discomfort will typically decrease everyday but you should be prepared to spend a significant amount of time resting.  You will know that your recovery is on track when you begin to see an increase in energy and you are able to move around a bit easier.

Patients that are in good physical shape tend to have a shorter back surgery recovery time but it is important to know that every patient heals at their own pace.  Eating a nutritional diet, getting plenty of rest and maintaining a healthy attitude will all help the recovery process move along at a faster pace.

It is not uncommon for some people to feel very moody after surgery.  This is completely normal due to your body working extra hard to heal itself.  Emotional feelings are also sometimes caused by failing at unrealistic goals.  You need to only focus on very small improvements every time so that you do not get discouraged.

Hospital Recovery

You can anticipate having at least some level of discomfort after your surgery.  As your body heals through the back surgery recovery process, this pain will lessen everyday.  Your doctor will probably prescribe you pain medicine to reduce pain and inflammation.

Most patients are up out of bed and able to go for a short walk a few hours after surgery.  The easiest way to help yourself out of the hospital bed is to raise the bed up to its maximum elevation, swing your legs gently over onto the floor and then very slowly stand up, using the bed for support.  If you feel like you are going to fall or get really faint, lay back down and then you can try it again in a couple of hours.

When it is safe for you to shower, the nursing staff will show you the best way to protect the incision so that it doesn't get wet and then they will redress the incision when you are done.

Traditionally, back surgery recovery in the hospital will be a couple of days before you are released to leave.  You will need to have normal vital signs, proper bladder functions, no sign of infection and you will need to be eating without feeling nauseous at all.


Home Recovery

When you are ready to move your back surgery recovery to the comfort of your own home, you will receive a list from your doctor of things that you can do as well as activities that you should avoid.

Once you are home, you will be advised to avoid standing or sitting in one spot for any length of time.  You need to change your positions often to reduce the risk for leg cramps and muscle spasms.

While it is important to rest, you do not want to spend the day in bed.  A couple of brief naps are all the rest that you really need.  You should sleep on one side with a pillow between your knees to keep your spine properly aligned and be prepared to feel achy when you first wake up.  Taking a warm shower or going for a brief walk will help alleviate the discomfort.

Always be sure to keep your incision very clean and pat dry.  If you still have stitches, you will need to keep the incision covered, otherwise, there is no need unless your surgeon recommends it.  Always inspect your incision for redness, swelling or drainage and if you come down with a fever at any point, you need to seek medical attention immediately.