Balance Problems After Spine Surgery

Category: Spine Surgery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: February 15, 2016

balance issues after spine surgery

Surgery takes a toll on your body, and everyone responds a little different to an operation. When the surgery occurs in an intricate location like your spine or spinal canal, sometimes signals in your body can get crisscrossed during the recovery process. In rare instances, some people report having minor to mild balance issues in the days and weeks after a spinal operation. This may not sound like a huge deal, but your back is in a very vulnerable state after surgery, and a fall could cause a whole host of problems. Here are some steps to consider if you are having balance issues after back surgery.

Coping with Post-Surgery Balance Issues

If you are dealing with balance problems after spine surgery, the first thing you should do is consult with a doctor. The issue could be caused by an issue with the operation, your reaction to medications, or because of another issue, like circulation problems, but you won’t know for certain until you speak with your surgeon. Once the doctor pinpoints the cause, treatment can begin.

Some common treatment methods and intervention strategies for balance issues after spine surgery include:

  • Physical Therapy – Physical therapy is the best way to combat balance and coordination issues, but there’s a possibility that it’s too early in your recovery to begin therapy. Ask your doctor about what activities you can do while your spine heals to help improve your balance.
  • Walking Assistance – If you have balance issues, consider investing in a cane or a walker for a few days while you work to regain your balance. This will ensure you won’t fall and re-injure your spine.
  • Modify Activities – When you go through your daily routine, make a mental note of what activities cause you to suffer some imbalance. If possible, avoid those activities or modify the activities to prepare for a potential moment of imbalance. This may include installing a grab bar in the shower or bathroom, taking your time when going from a seated to standing position or asking for assistance when reaching in high or low cupboards.
  • Medication Management – As we alluded to earlier, there’s a possibility that your imbalance is caused by a reaction to your post-surgery prescription. Talk to your doctor to see if there are other options available that may not have such an effect on your central nervous system.

In the end, it’s important to remember that balance issues after back surgery are rare occurrences, but they shouldn’t be overlooked if they arise. Consult with your doctor to determine the root cause, and odds are you’ll be able to find a solution that will have you increasing your balance in no time. For more information about balance issues after surgery, contact a spine specialist today.

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