Spinal Care Following a Microscopic Discectomy

Immediately following a microscopic discectomy surgery, your spinal surgeon will check to ensure the patient is stabilized and able to go home. These types of spinal procedures are typically done in an outpatient setting, so the patient will not be in a hospital. Patients will be observed for a bit of time and then discharged from the surgery suites with postoperative instructions about how to care for themselves. Usually, they have a short period of time before they have to return for a postoperative appointment to check on their status. Spinal care following a microscopic discectomy is primarily focused on healing of the incision site and ensuring the individual does not re-herniate the disc that was just fixed.

Follow the Doctor’s Orders

First and foremost, take it easy following the procedure. In order to ensure the best recovery, the patient needs to accept 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 almost immediately upon waking up, 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 in order 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 very careful postoperatively, because they do not want to have to go through the surgery again. so it is important to follow the doctor’s recommendations and 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 of work.

Post-Operative Pain

When you return for postoperative care, the doctor will most importantly look at the incision site. There is a very low chance of infection rate, but they need to follow a certain process to make sure that they keep the wound clean. There are restrictions to grooming until a certain point.

The operation site usually heals within a few weeks. The patient may feel some localized pain and tenderness, but it will not be the same type of pain they had and it is generally very easy to differentiate between localized pains as it relates to the surgery. Pain that you may experience 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 ailments that they are dealing with at the same time, such as chronic ailments, could complicate their recovery. 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.