Category: Spine Surgery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: July 27, 2022
Recovering after a surgical procedure is always easier if you have family or friends that can lend a hand, but if your family doesn’t live nearby or your friends are bogged down by their work schedule, you may not always have someone to help while you’re recovering following a spinal operation. If you’re going to be partially or fully recovering without outside assistance, there are some steps you’ll want to take before surgery to make life a little easier during your recovery. Below, we share some tips for recovering on your own following a spinal procedure.
Recovering Without Assistance After Back Surgery
You’re going to be in some discomfort and less mobile than normal following spine surgery, so it’s always easier to have help by your side if possible. Never feel like you’re a burden to others, because you’d do the same for friends or family if the roles were reversed. But if having help simply isn’t an option, here are some things you’ll want to do before your operation to make your solo recovery a little easier after back surgery.
- Prep Your Home For Your Return – You may not be the most mobile prior to your operation, but odds are your mobility will be even more limited during your first few days back home, so prepare for your return before your operation. Get the laundry done, pick up tripping hazards, prep some easy-to-reheat meals and set up your primary recovery station with books, phone chargers and a water bottle so that everything is ready for your return.
- Follow Your Doctor’s Instructions – You may not have anyone in your home to help with your recovery, but you’ll still have an important asset on your side to help with your rehab – your spine surgeon. Follow their recovery recommendations as given, and if you have questions or concerns, reach out before you try to do something like drive or return to work before you’ve been given clearance. Your spine surgeon knows how to help you make the fullest recovery, so listen to their instructions and follow them closely throughout your rehab.
- Keep Phone Numbers Handy – Nobody expects to need emergency medical help while they are recovering at home, but if you fall in the bathroom or are dealing with possible signs of a surgical site infection, have helpful contact information nearby. Smartphones may make this process easier, but it still pays to write down phone numbers for your doctor’s office or your neighbor in the event that you need to get ahold of someone in a hurry.
- Do Your PT Exercises – You won’t have anyone nearby to hold you accountable for performing your physical therapy exercises, so you need to hold yourself accountable. Physical therapy and your rehab exercises will be the biggest factors in helping you make a strong recovery following spine surgery, so don’t slack on your exercises because nobody is around to make sure you do them each day. You’re only cheating yourself out of a better recovery by skipping out on your exercises, so know that you need to be a self-motivator if you’re recovering on your own.
- Don’t Shut Yourself Out From The World – Finally, just because you’re going to do some recovering on your own, it doesn’t mean you need to shut yourself out from the world completely. Call a friend to talk, invite someone over for lunch or get outside and go for a short walk around the block. Your mental health is also an important part of your physical recovery, so don’t shut yourself completely off from the world even if you’ll be recovering on your own. Find ways to engage with others or get some fresh air for a bit during your rehab.
As always, if you have questions about back pain or treatment for a spinal issue, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi and the team at The Midwest Spine & Brain Institute today at (651) 430-3800.