According to research from Georgetown University, nearly 65 million Americans have reported a recent episode of back pain. In fact, they also indicate that approximately 8% of Americans have chronic back pain problems. This causes…
Facing the potential of a microdiscectomy surgery, some patients may feel a bit of anxiety, even with a minor, minimally-invasive procedure. Not only is it important to know what to expect from a microdiscectomy surgery, but it is also important to know the recovery process and how long it may take.
Surgical procedures can disrupt the daily routines you’ve grown accustomed to, like missing work or other obligations. A reliable recovery process can help you move on faster and jump back into where you left off. If you have a microdiscectomy surgery scheduled at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery (OLSS), rest assured that your spine specialists will guide you through the recovery process and ensure you are experiencing pain relief after your procedure.
How Long Does It Take To Fully Recover from Microdiscectomy Surgery?
A microdiscectomy is a minimally-invasive surgical procedure done to remove any spinal disc material that is pressing on surrounding nerves or the spinal cord. A microdiscectomy can be performed as an outpatient procedure, with most patients being discharged the same day.
The recovery rate is dependent on the patient; most signs of healing are apparent within two to four weeks. After 12 weeks, the patient should be fully healed and return to everyday activities. This is what you can expect through your healing journey:
What to Expect on Day Two through Day Fourteen
When you are discharged home, you can expect many of the common side effects from surgery. You may experience fatigue, pain, and sleepiness. You may start to feel more discomfort as the initial post-surgical analgesics wear off.
You will be sent home with specific instructions for your spine surgeon regarding your activity level and how you can manage your discomfort and pain. Following these instructions are important for your overall recovery process. You may have to avoid any of the following activities:
- Lifting anything that ways over a certain amount
- Bending at the waist
- Twisting your torso or trunk
- Driving a motor vehicle
Although it is important to avoid certain movements, it is essential that you still move your body daily to avoid any stiffness that may develop. Your OLSS spine surgeon may suggest that you walk daily to avoid any stiffness that could make your recovery more uncomfortable. For specific directions regarding your initial recovery, speak with a spine specialist at OLSS for instructions unique to your condition.
What to Expect from Week Two through Week Six
When you have recovered for two weeks, you may experience a significant lessening of discomfort. It may mean that you are ready to begin introducing your regular activities into your routine, especially if you’re able to stop using painkillers.
You may experience greater flexibility in your lower back after your procedure, and you need to move your body daily in order to avoid any stiffness.
What to Expect from Week Seven through Week Twelve
The bulk of patients are able to resume daily activities at this point in their recovery, including beginning physical therapy if it is necessary. This is essential for long-term stabilization. Physical therapy can have many benefits post-surgery, including increasing your flexibility and strength. This may even help your posture long-term and aid in the healing of your spine.
Some patients may still experience twinges of discomfort after two months, but most do not experience any pain. Patients may also begin more challenging physical activity or sports after this time, provided that they don’t experience any pain or discomfort when engaging in the activity. Consult your spinal surgeon at OLSS for guidance surrounding what activities may still be off-limits during your recovery.
How to Optimize Your Recovery from a Microdiscectomy Surgery
There is the potential to sabotage recovery if you are not careful in your activities or initiate movements that may be too much for your back. These tips may help you keep your recovery on track so you can get back to the activities you enjoy:
- Reduce movement in the first two weeks post-surgery
- Sleep and rest as much as your body needs in the first two weeks post-surgery
- Follow all of the surgeon’s instructions post-surgery, including taking medication and going to physical therapy when allowed
- Don’t stop moving your body in order to avoid muscle stiffness, weakness, and pain
Self-care and diligently following the doctor’s instructions are your best bet to a quick recovery post-surgery. For specific advice regarding your recovery, speak with an expert spine specialist at OLSS for unique directions for your condition.
Speak to a Spine Specialist at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery
With some of the most skilled and highly qualified spine surgeons in the medical field, Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery has the highest success rates, quicker recovery times, and innovative, state-of-the-art technology for microdiscectomy surgery patients.
The expert medical staff at OLSS build a customized treatment plan for you and utilize the most conservative options first so that you have the proper treatment for your condition. The highly skilled surgeons at OLSS are comprehensive in diagnosing the condition that is causing your back pain and provide you with the answers you need to get on the right path to living a pain-free life. Speak with an experienced spine surgeon at (855) 853-6542, or fill out our contact form.