If you have advanced-stage or severe spinal stenosis and contemplating surgery, you will want to know how to prepare for not only the procedure but also for what comes after it. After all, what you do during your recovery can greatly affect the overall outcome of your treatment.
The information provided below is aimed at giving you a basic idea of what to expect after spinal stenosis surgery.
Following your surgery, your care team will provide you with detailed instructions, which will likely include avoiding certain activities that can put stress on your spine. These activity restrictions may include the following:
- Bending or twisting
- Drinking alcohol, especially while taking your medications
- Driving until cleared by your doctor
- Lifting anything that weighs more than five pounds
- Sexual activity
- Physically demanding activities and chores
How quickly you can return to work will depend on your specific procedure. For instance, you’re generally able to report back within a few weeks if you’ve had a discectomy, laminectomy, or foraminotomy, while it may take you longer than that if you’ve had a spinal fusion.
Regardless of which procedure you’ve had, it’s important to give your body time to heal, so don’t rush and make sure to adhere to your care team’s postoperative instructions to a tee.
Keep the incision area clean and dry. Wash it daily with warm, soapy water, and then gently pat it dry. Watch out for the signs of infection, such as:
- High fever
- Redness or swelling
- Drainage at the incision site
Additionally, avoid soaking in bathtubs and swimming until the incision has completely healed. Do not apply lotions, creams, or ointments to the area. If stitches or staples are left in place, do not attempt to remove them yourself. Your doctor will remove them during your follow-up appointment once they’ve made sure that your incision has healed.
Your orthopedic surgeon will likely prescribe physical therapy, which is an integral part of your recovery from spinal stenosis surgery.
Your doctor and physical therapist will work together to create a program tailored to your needs. Your PT will incorporate exercises and therapeutic modalities, all aimed at help you safely and quickly return to your normal activities.
Spinal Stenosis Surgery in Central Maryland
If you live anywhere in Central Maryland and in search of a reliable orthopedic surgeon, look no further than ours here at Orthopedic Associates of Central Maryland.
Our board-certified orthopedic surgeons are renowned for the unrivaled patient outcomes they provide. They work closely with our physical therapists to bring one goal to fruition: to help people living with spinal stenosis and many other musculoskeletal problems break free from pain and movement limitations.
Book a consultation with one of our orthopedic surgeons today. Call us at (410) 644-1880 or (855) 4MD-BONE. You may also fill out our online appointment request form.