Category: Neck Surgery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi
Every surgery takes a significant toll on your body, and that is especially true for neck surgery because of the nature of your cervical spine. Your neck is tasked with supporting your head and facilitating movement, so unlike a fractured leg, you can’t just put your head up on the couch and take weight off the area. Although you can’t completely alleviate pressure on your neck after surgery, there are some things you can do to speed up your recovery and facilitate healthy tissue and bone growth in the area. We share some tips for expediting your neck surgery recovery below.
Decreasing Neck Surgery Recovery Time
These tips should be used as a potential guide for decreasing recovery time after cervical spine surgery, but for best results, follow the protocols recommended by your surgeon, because they can tailor a recovery program to your specific surgery and situation.
- Rest – Rest is the most obvious way to protect the surgical site and allow it heal after spine surgery. Many people want to get back to work or jump back into exercise or physical activity, but overdoing it too soon after surgery can cause hardware to shift or the surgery to fail. When it comes to resting after surgery, it’s better to return to activity one day too late than one day too early. Even better, ask your surgeon to re-examine the site and clear you for certain activities.
- Follow Through With Physical Therapy – Now, this tip may sound obvious, but you’d be amazed at the amount of people who don’t completely commit to a rehab program. When it comes to recovering after spine surgery, you get out what you put in. If you fully commit to your rehab program and participate in every session, you will be in a great position to make a speedy and full recovery.
- Diet and Hydration – The best healing occurs when essential vitamins and oxygenated blood can flow freely to and from the surgical site. It may be tempting to lounge on the couch and order a pizza while you’re recovering from surgery, but that’s not the best option for your neck. Eat a range of fruits and veggies, and be sure to keep a bottle of water near you throughout the day so that it’s easy to stay hydrated, because this will help fight off inflammation that can hinder the recovery process.
- Keep The Surgical Site Clean – This tip is a little easier to follow if you underwent an anterior-style neck procedure (front of your neck) instead of a posterior procedure (back of your neck), but whatever operation you had, it’s important to keep the surgical site clean. Listen to your doctor’s instructions for changing your dressing and getting the surgical site wet, and you should be able to avoid complications like an infection.
- Exercise – Finally, it may seem odd that we’re suggesting exercise considering the first recommendation is rest, but certain exercises can be great for helping maintain range of motion and mobility in your neck. Even if it’s just 30-45 minutes of walking around the neighborhood, it will help spur recovery at the surgical site.
For more ways to speed up your recovery after neck surgery, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi today.