How to Recover at Home After Outpatient Spine Surgery
If conservative measures deem to be ineffective, outpatient spine surgery may be an option. In the event you do undergo this procedure, it's important to understand what's involved in the recovery process. The better you're prepared for it, the sooner you'll heal and be able to move forward with your life. Here are some tips for a successful recovery after outpatient spine surgery.
Be Mindful of Your Physical Activity
While you should refrain from lifting, bending, and twisting, it's a good idea to take short walks as much as possible. With regular walks, you can build strength and muscle. If you live in a home with stairs, you may want to avoid using them for the initial weeks following surgery. Your surgeon can give you particular guidelines.
Stick to a Healthy Diet
Fill your breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks with fresh, nutritious foods. Eat plenty of fruits, veggies, and whole grains and stay away from fats, sugars, and processed foods. Not only will a healthy diet increase your chances of a successful recovery, it'll allow you to keep your weight in check once you've fully recovered.
Bathe with Caution
Bathing can be quite challenging after outpatient spine surgery. Your surgeon will likely suggest that you keep the skin surrounding your incision dry and clean for several days after the procedure. Do not take hot baths until your incision has healed completely and your surgeon has given you the green light.
Lay in Bed Correctly
Certain sleeping positions are unsafe after spine surgery. Ideally, you'd sleep on your back while raising your shoulders and head. Supportive pillows or an adjustable bed can help you achieve this position.
When you get out of bed, roll onto your side and keep your hips and shoulders in line. Use your arms to prop yourself up and allow your legs to bend over the bed. This way you won't twist your spine.
Take It Easy
After spine surgery, your top priority should be to recover safely and efficiently. Ask your loved ones to help you take care of everyday chores like grocery shopping, cleaning, cooking, and doing laundry. Depending on the nature of your job, you may also want to take several days or weeks off work. Your surgeon will inform you of when it's safe to return.
Following spine surgery, do your best to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Eat healthy, exercise regularly, sleep well, and stay positive.