Do's and Don'ts after a Spinal Surgery
If you've had surgery for spinal stenosis in Atlanta or any other type of spinal surgery, the best spine surgeons in Atlanta have certain do's and don'ts after surgery that will help you recover more quickly and fully. Following the advice of orthopedic specialists will also help decrease the pain you experience after a spinal surgery. Here's some basic information to help you know what you should and shouldn't do to maximize your recovery.
Do Watch for Infection
Many people become so focused on their recovery that they forget that with any surgery infection is possible. Watch for signs of infection like redness, fever, swelling, or drainage at the incision site. You can reduce the likelihood of infection by keeping the incision clean and dry and taking prescribed medications.
Do Physical Therapy
Physical therapy is often recommended after spine surgery. Follow the physical therapist's directions carefully so that you learn to do activities properly without pain and without putting your spine in dangerous positions.
Wear a Brace
In addition to physical therapy, your doctor may recommend a brace. This helps stabilize the back, especially when sitting or walking. Keep the brace on as often as your doctor recommends to ensure stabilization.
Do Move Regularly
After surgery, it can be tempting to take it easy, and you should, to some extent. However, movement after any surgery is beneficial and the same is true with spine surgery. Moving regularly keeps the blood circulating which helps the body heal more quickly. It's important to remember, however, that along with regular movement you should be getting a good amount of sleep as well to help the body heal more quickly.
Many patients are impatient to return to their regular activities after surgery. However, it's important to remember that full recovery can take up to a few months. Being in a hurry to return to activities too quickly can not only prolong the recovery process, it can cause damage as well.
Don't Overdo It
Along with being patient, you should be careful to not overdo it. While it may seem easy to climb stairs a few days after surgery, this motion can put undue stress on your spine and slow down your recovery. You can go upstairs in the couple weeks following surgery, but it's best to limit stairs to once or twice a day in the first few weeks.
Don't Lift or Bend
It's best to avoid lifting anything over ten pounds following surgery. In addition, avoid bending over at the waist and instead bend at the knees or squat when picking up light objects.
Don't Ignore Doctor's Advice
Finally, don't ignore your doctor's advice, even if some things may seem unnecessary. Your doctor may recommend avoiding driving for a couple weeks or simply walking for exercise and nothing else. Be sure to follow his or her advice for quickened healing.