How Long Does it Take to see Results after a Spinal Decompression?

Category: Minimally Invasive Surgery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: October 9, 2014

spinal decompressionOne of the most common questions I get from patient’s who are considering spinal decompression surgery is:

How long does it take to see the results?

Results are at the front of every surgeon’s mind. Every decision made is done so in with the goal of getting the best possible results for the patient. For many patients “results” means pain relief, increased mobility, and the chance to return to a normal life. Here I’ll talk a little bit about spinal decompression surgery and how quickly patients can expect to see the results.

Decompression Surgery

The first thing we need to discuss is why patients decide to undergo spinal decompression surgery in the first place. Decompression surgery is generally done to free up a pinched or compressed nerve in the spinal column. When nerves get pinched they can cause incredible amounts of pain, as well as numbness in the arms and legs. Patients usually begin trying to treat these pinched nerves with non-surgical methods like visiting a chiropractor, taking pain medications, or getting injections to dull the pain. Sometimes these methods work and the patient is able to continue with a good quality of life. Other patients are not so lucky and go through months or years of struggling through the pain. This is when it’s a good idea to investigate a spinal decompression surgery as an option.

Immediate Results

Most of my patients report immediate pain relief when they wake up after decompression surgery. There is still pain from the surgery itself (which is unavoidable in every surgery), but generally the nerve pain they were experiencing is gone immediately upon waking. After that it’s just a matter of the surgical wound healing and managing any pain from that.

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