Category: Spine | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: August 17, 2017
If you’ve been told that you need to undergo an operation to remove a tumor in your spine, odds are you have plenty of questions about what the future holds. Your doctor will walk you through the specifics of your operation based on your exact situation, but most patients who undergo a tumor removal have a similar rehabilitation path. So today, we’re going to explain what happens from the moment you leave the operating room so you can get a better understanding of what to expect after spine tumor surgery.
Spine Tumor Surgery – What’s Next?
Below is a common recovery path for someone after they’ve undergone spinal tumor surgery. Your exact recovery will likely differ slightly.
After the surgeon has removed the tumor, you will be taken to a recovery ward where medical staff will monitor your vital signs as the anesthesia slowly starts to wear off. Once you’re awake, you’ll likely be given some form of pain reliever. This is typically administered through an IV but other forms may also be available.
Once your doctor feels that it is safe, they will give you the green light to get up and move around. This could be a couple hours or a couple of days after surgery, but it’s very important to wait to move until instructed by a doctor as it could jeopardize the integrity of your recent surgery. You will likely be discharged from the surgical center within a couple of days unless the surgeon wants you to be discharged to an in-patient rehab facility.
Between 3-7 days after surgery, your spine will likely have recovered enough for you to begin some sort of rehabilitation program. This will be coupled with pain management treatments to ensure your pain levels don’t spike while you’re strengthening your spine. This process will continue for a few weeks, and if all goes as planned, you’ll begin to take on more demanding physical therapy as your spine responds to treatment. Not only will physical therapy help you increase your recovery speed, but it will also help you make a more complete recovery as it will help maintain more strength, stability and flexibility.
Returning To Work And Follow Up Care
Your lifestyle and work demands will dictate how quickly you can return to certain lifestyle activities, like full exercise and your job. Tell your doctor about your hobbies as well as the physical demands of your job. Do not return to those activities until you receive full medical clearance. This can take anywhere from 3-6 months depending on your specific surgery and the demands of your job.
Eventually, you’ll receive full clearance from your doctor, but that’s probably not the end of the line when it comes to your tumor. To ensure the tumor doesn’t return, you will need to have regular checkups and imaging tests. Should the tumor return, or if the full tumor could not be removed for safety reasons, you may undergo radiation therapy to resolve any lingering issues.
If you’ve been told you have a spinal growth or tumor, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi. He’s performed thousands of spinal operations, and he can help treat any issue you may have. Contact his office today.