What You Need to Know Before Your Discectomy
- Posted on: Dec 15 2018
A herniated disc may eventually require surgery. At Innovative Spine Care in Tampa, this is one of our primary specialties. Discectomy surgery is a minimally-invasive procedure through which comfort and improve range of motion can be restored. The process includes removing a portion of one or more spinal discs to relieve compression on nerve roots.
Spinal surgery, even procedures that have been refined, is a major event that includes risks. Here, we offer a few suggestions on how to minimize risk and improve recovery after cervical, thoracic, or lumbar discectomy.
#1 – Manage Your Medications.
The primary objective of spinal surgery for a herniated disc is to minimize pain by improving anatomical structure. However, it is only natural that pain will result from the very procedure intended to reduce it. Therefore, pain medication may be prescribed to manage comfort during the initial days after surgery. One of the most beneficial things a patient can do after discectomy, like any surgery, is take prescribed medications as directed. Waiting until pain becomes intolerable means waiting too long. Once pain is significant, it takes more medication to decrease it, which can lead to unwanted side effects like grogginess or possibly nausea. If you are prescribed medication for your initial recovery after discectomy, take it.
#2 – Adhere to Limitations on Physical Activity.
The recovery from discectomy is generally short-lived and comfortable. However, there are physical limitations that are in place to ensure an optimal outcome. These need to be strictly followed to avoid any complications. After discectomy, your doctor may instruct you to avoid:
- Heavy lifting
- Twisting the trunk
- Bending from the waist
#3 – Keep an Eye on Incisions.
A dressing may be applied to the incision site after surgery. Patients receive instructions on how long the dressing needs to stay in place. After the dressing is removed, the incision should be observed daily for indications of infection or poor healing. This will require a partner or a mirror to look for swelling or redness at the incision site. Additionally, patients should report swelling, pain, or signs of a fever to their doctor.
Dr. Watson has over 30 years of experience in interventional pain management and has performed thulium laser surgery for over a decade. See what discectomy has to offer by contacting our Tampa, FL office at (813) 920-3022.