Category: Surgery Recovery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: September 28, 2017
One of the most common questions we receive during a surgical consultation is “How long will it take for me to recover after surgery?” This is a good question to ask, and while we may not be able to give you a specific date, we can share some tips for how you can help speed up your recovery after surgery. Today, we share five tips for how you can help decrease your recovery timeline after spine surgery.
Listen To Your Surgeon’s Instructions
Every spine surgery is different, so we can’t give you an exact roadmap for how to best recover after spine surgery, but your spine surgeon can. Listen to their instructions and follow them closely. Don’t try new activities without first running it by your doctor, as one of the quickest ways to lengthen your recovery time is by trying to do too much, too soon. Heed your surgeon’s instructions, and if rehab seems too hard or too simple, bring it up to your doctor so they can make adjustments.
Surgical Site Care
Postoperative infections aren’t all that common, but your likelihood of developing one increases if you don’t practice proper wound care guidelines. Keep the surgical site clean, change your dressing every 24 hours or as needed, and follow your instructions for washing it. If you notice any discharge or if the area is hot, it’s a sign of an infection and you’ll want to contact your doctor’s office.
You might think that the best thing you can do for your spine after surgery is to rest and let it recover on its own, but that’s only true in the short term. Exercise and physical therapy helps to strengthen the area, which helps to expedite the recovery process. Be careful not to overdo it, but once your doctor clears you for certain activities, be sure to participate and actively work to help your spine recover.
Plenty Of Fluids
Staying hydrated is important after spine surgery because it helps oxygenated blood reach structures that are in the process of recovering. This healthy blood brings vitamins, minerals and other agents that help speed up your recovery timetable. Try to drink a minimum of 64 ounces of water while you’re recovering after spine surgery. Patients say they have found it helpful to buy a water bottle with fluid markings on the side so you know exactly how much water you’re taking in each day.
Your diet also plays an important role in how quickly you recover after spine surgery. A diet full of vegetables, fruits and healthy proteins will provide your body with essential vitamins and nutrients, while a diet stocked with junk foods can contribute to the development of inflammation in your spinal column. Inflammation not only slows the recovery process, but it can contribute to the onset of pain if certain structures are compressed. Ask your doctor about healthy food options in the days and weeks after surgery.