What to Expect After Back Surgery

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There are many different kinds of diseases and conditions that neurosurgery practices treat. Neurosurgery focuses on the brain, the spine and spinal cord as well as the peripheral nerves. Spinal conditions are the main portion of the body that neurosurgeons tend to deal with. This is more common than brain disorders but can result in changes, trauma, tumor, infections and congenital defects. Neck and back care need to be taken care of because they are directly connected to the nerves that travel into the brain.

Most neurosurgery practices focus on herniated disc, spinal stenosis and other routine spinal conditions, but some do specialize in further problems by going through further training in a spinal fellowship. The added training gives neurosurgeons the ability to take care of more complicated spinal disorders like deformities and tumors. These kinds of conditions usually are referred to them from the person’s primary care physician or an emergency room doctor.

If you are concerned about your spinal health and you feel the need to see a spine specialist, you may find that you have a herniated disc. These are more common than you might think. If you need surgery, the spine specialist will likely refer you on to a neurosurgery practice to discuss further action that may be necessary.

The goal of treatment for a patient is to help reduce the pain and any symptoms that are coming from the herniated disc. Any treatment plan given will be based on the individual needs of the patient and where the pain is coming from.

Conservative care will usually be introduced first. This consists of non surgical treatment such as physical therapy and other methods before surgery is talked about. Conservative care can last anywhere from four to six weeks in order to see if the pain is reduced. It really is a trial and error process trying to figure out how to get rid of the pain for good. Sometimes it’s just the one treatment that works and at times, there need to be several treatments combined. If medication or manipulation and physical therapy succeed in reducing discomfort then the patient can continue with this course of treatment. However, if the patient is still experiencing severe pain and even loss of function, surgery will need to be considered. Even in the very beginning, if the problem has progressed past the point of conservative care, surgery may be the only option.

If surgery is being considered by the neurosurgery practice then there are probably a couple of courses of action that are being thought about. They are:

  1. Lumbar discectomy outpatient spine surgery – this surgery has a very high success rate. It works to remove the herniated part of the disc and relieves any leg pain that has been caused by the disc pressing on a nerve.

  2. Microdiscectomy spin surgery – this surgery is done by making a small incision and dissecting the tissue in order to spread the muscles and tissues in place of actually cutting them.

If you have to undergo a surgery for your herniated disc you should know that the recovery time varies for each patient from days to months. However, you can expect to be out of work for several weeks. However, you may recover quicker and feel up to being back to work in as little as a week later. Don’t be discouraged if your healing process takes long, though, this is very normal. You will probably have to stay overnight in the hospital and then spend about a week laying down but after that it is entirely up to you how you feel. Only you can judge your pain levels.

However, you should always consult with your doctor during your post operation appointments and make sure he or she gives you the go ahead to go back to work. Some people have a very high pain tolerance and are not able to properly assess whether they are ready to get back into the swing of things effectively or not. You don’t want to stress your back out again so soon after surgery. Your doctor can perform tests and x-rays to see if you are ready to go back to work and resume daily activities.

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