Spinal Care Following a Microscopic Discectomy

Immediately following a microscopic discectomy surgery, your spinal surgeon will check to ensure the you are stabilized and able to go home. After a short observation period, you will be discharged from the surgery suites with postoperative instructions about how to care for yourself.

You will have a postoperative appointment to check on the healing of the incision site and to make sure you have not re-herniated the disc that was just fixed.

Follow the Doctor’s Orders

To ensure the best recovery, follow the doctor’s recommendations. Sometimes people will wake up and feel better initially. The nerve pain they had been experiencing prior to surgery will be gone, so they may be tempted to push the envelope and return to normal activity before the doctor recommends it. There will likely be some localized pain, such as postoperative incision pain.

The most important thing is to follow the physician’s post-op instructions to avoid re-herniating the disc. The chances of somebody re-herniating the disc are greatest in the eight to 10 weeks following surgery. So, people doing minor duties around the house or things they thought would be fine, such as picking up kids or a basket of laundry, can lead to a re-herniated disc. The patient must be careful postoperatively because they do not want to have to go through the surgery again. You should have a plan in place about how you are going to handle current daily activities, such as household chores, taking care of children, and time off work.

Post-Operative Pain

When you return for postoperative care, the doctor will most importantly look at the incision site to check for infection. You should follow all personal hygiene recommendations to avoid infection.

The operation site usually heals within a few weeks. You may feel some localized pain and tenderness, but it will not be the same type of pain you had before the surgery. Pain will generally be around the muscles, tissues, ligaments, tendons that were moved during the procedure, but the site should be healed within a few weeks.

Typically, younger people will have the ability to heal faster. Those with other may take longer to heal. Weight, in general, does not affect the actual healing of the site; however, the heavier a person is, the more of stress it places on the body, particularly in the lower back.