Bruising around Incision after Spine Surgery

Category: Surgery Recovery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: June 29, 2015

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Recovering from minimally invasive spine surgery should be relatively quick (especially compared to open spine surgery). But there are various potential complications that can elongate the process. One thing that many patients are concerned about after surgery is bruising around the area of incision. In this article, we are going to discuss the causes of bruising near the incision area following a spine surgery and when such bruising is cause for concern.

What Causes Bruising after Spine Surgery?

Bruising around the incision area after a minimally invasive spine surgery can be the result of several factors. Bruises are caused by tiny tears in the blood vessels under a patient’s skin. Most people develop bruises after falling, bumping into things, or otherwise injuring themselves. But bumping into things is not the only way to develop a bruise.

Many patients will develop bruising after their surgical procedure. Even minimally invasive spinal surgeries, which require only minor incisions, still require the surgeon to cut through skin and muscle to get to the operational areas of the spine. This cutting can lead to light to moderate bruising around the incision and the operational area of the spine.

When to Be Concerned about Post-op Bruises

Typically a moderate amount of bruising near the incision area is to be expected after a spinal procedure. However, in some instances bruising can indicate a serious issue. Here are a few warning signs that may accompany bruising that can be cause for concern:

  • A bruise that gets gradually larger, darker, or more painful over time.
  • Loss of sensation or feeling near the bruised area.
  • Bruising that appears suddenly near the incision area.

If you recognize any of these warning signs, or are worried about your bruise in any other way, contact your surgeon to address the bruising and to determine the underlying cause.

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