DISC Spine Institute & DISC Clinic, PLLC have 6 Locations in the DFW area - Plano, Dallas, North Ft. Worth, Arlington, Decatur and Southlake.

Back Stories

6 Quick Recovery Tips After Surgery

Surgery Recovery

For many people who have decided to have surgery to address a chronic back injury, the actual operation is the easy part; it’s the recovery that can be a challenge. Having to take it easy, adjust your diet and exercise routine, take time away from work and other responsibilities, and being patient as your body gets stronger is not easy. Neither is the unknown of how long your recovery may take.

“If you’re scheduled for surgery, one of your main questions is likely to be “How long before I can get back to my regular life?” As you might expect, the answer depends in part on what type of operation you’re having and how healthy you are going in,” said the Washington Post. “But much of it also depends on you.”

Recovering from back surgery requires a commitment, but following a few tips can make that recovery faster and easier.

1. Listen To Your Doctor

This seems like a no-brainer, but behavioral studies have shown that patients don’t always heed doctors’ advice when it comes to following all of the recommended recovery tips after back surgery. Even if you’re feeling great, it’s important to do as your doctor advises. Being too active, too soon, lifting too much, or driving before you are cleared can slow your recovery, or cause a re-injury or dangerous complication.

2. Check Incisions

Self-inspection is important to make sure everything is healing correctly. While you can’t be expected to look at your body the same way your doctor does, you should have been given some idea of warning signs, like these from WebMD:

  • “Fever, especially if it lasts for more than a day or is higher than 101.2 F
  • Pain that gets worse over time
  • Pain when you pee
  • Nausea and vomiting that don’t go away
  • Racing heartbeat”

Taking precautions like washing hands carefully and not touching your incision, applying any prescribed topical medications on schedule, and bathing (or not) as advised are keys to a successful recovery after back surgery.

3. Watch Your Diet

Your post-surgery body is not going to be the same as your pre-surgery body. That’s probably a great thing as it relates to getting rid of your back pain. But your stomach might not be so happy for a period of time. Your bowels may be impacted by the surgery and/or the medications you are taking post-op. Eating and drinking right can help you to move things along and recover faster.

“Some foods have been found to help our bodies to recuperate after daily functions and give our bodies the right nutrients to help us heal and get back to our fully functional selves,” said The Daily Meal.

Your doctor should advise you of food and beverages of any dietary restrictions, but, in general, it’s recommended to stay away from sports drinks that can contain a lot of sodium and high-sugar foods that can be hard on the body and affect blood sugar levels.

WebMD also recommends these tips to make sure you’re well-prepared at home before surgery: “Make sure you’re well supplied with the right food before you get back home. Since you may feel tired during your recovery, prepare some meals before your operation and put them in the freezer.”

4. Watch For Signs Of Throat Irritation

Paying attention to your throat might not be the first thing that comes to mind if you’ve had minimally invasive surgery, but difficulty swallowing, or dysphagia, can be a complication of anterior neck surgery. If dysphagia occurs, making further dietary changes can help. Eating soft and pureed foods makes it easier to swallow post operatively. Consuming more solid foods, as well as swallowing liquids, can be more difficult initially.

This condition typically resolves itself in a few days up to a week; if you’re still experiencing pain during swallowing and cannot advance your diet during that time, it’s important to call your doctor.

5. Take Your Meds

Whether your doctor prescribes a prescription pain killer or over-the-counter meds, it’s important to follow the protocol. Letting pain get the best of you can hinder your recovery and may also become mentally debilitating.

“Don’t tough out pain,” said the Washington Post. “Doing so may set back your recovery,” making rehabilitation take longer and limiting range of motion.

6. Don’t Do Too Much, Too Soon

While you may be sore after surgery, you may also feel hopeful for a pain-free life—more hopeful than you’ve been for some time. That may lead you to overdo it, which can cause you to reinjure yourself or stall your recovery. It’s important to stick to the rehab schedule your doctor gives you so you don’t end up doing more damage to your back.

Go The Minimally Invasive Route

Advancements in minimally invasive surgical procedures have changed the game for those who suffer from chronic back pain. Long surgeries and recoveries associated with traditional procedures can now be a thing of the past. Minimally invasive back surgery cuts back on the length of the operation, the size of the incision, the time spent in the hospital, and the time spent recovering. Many minimally invasive surgical procedures can also be done on an outpatient basis with complete recovery in a few weeks.

For more information, contact DISC Spine Institute, experts in minimally invasive treatments, the most effective medical procedures to treat and eliminate chronic back pain.

5
Leave a Reply

avatar
5 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
5 Comment authors
Joy ButlerOscar O'MalleyMarcuslnweaverBen Allen Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Ben Allen
Guest

I appreciate the information on how to have a quick recovery after surgery. I agree that one of the best things that you can do for yourself and for your body after surgery is to watch your diet and ensure you are getting what you need. I would imagine that whatever you put into your body is either going to help you or hurt you on your road to recovery.

lnweaver
Guest

That’s a good point to be wary of fever if it’s over 102.5. That might mean something got infected. This is why it’s valuable to have good and open communication with your doctor.

Marcus
Guest

It really helped when you mentioned how you should be careful of what you eat when trying to recover from back surgery. I understand that taking the time to know how your body reacts to different types of food can help you consume things that can help you heal faster. My mom is having back surgery in a few days and we want to make sure she can recover as fast as possible, so I’m glad I found your post.

Oscar O\'Malley
Guest

I really like that you mentioned refraining from having sports drinks or other sugary foods after surgery. My son is going to get surgery this weekend after suffering a foot injury in a basketball game a few days ago. I want to make sure he’s completely taken care of and that I do everything I can to make the recovery process as smooth as possible.

Joy Butler
Guest

I think that is important to watch your diet when recovering from surgery. I have had surgery, and your body is never the same after a surgery. I didn’t know that drinking lots of water can help you heal faster. I will have to keep this in mind.

  • Living Best Of
  • Dallas Modern Luxury
  • D Magazine
  • Good Morning Texas
  • Focus On Health
  • Best Docs Network
  • MD News