A major reason that people turn to minimally invasive spine surgery over other kinds of procedures is the reduced recovery period. A smaller incision disrupts less tissue and puts less stress on the body, and an outpatient procedure means you can return home the very same day. Still, a faster recovery time does not mean that there is no adjustment period following a minimally invasive procedure. Here are some tips that can help your recovery process go more smoothly — and hopefully more quickly, too.
If you’ve been given specific guidelines about how long to wait to go back to work, exercise, or engage in other activities, it’s important to follow them even if you feel well enough to do them. Rushing into an activity that is too strenuous for your body can compromise your recovery process and may make it take longer. If you are feeling better, that’s terrific! Relax and enjoy it rather than getting right back to your routine.
After you leave the Spine Institute Northwest, don’t be a stranger. While we will make regular follow-up calls to check in, if you have any questions or concerns throughout your recovery, don’t wait for us to call you! Call the clinic — we’ll help you get to the bottom of it.
You may not have a huge appetite, especially right after your procedure, but it’s important that you regularly eat nutritious foods, and that you’re drinking plenty of water. Always have water within easy reach in your recovery space (one option: Put bottled water and an ice pack in a mini cooler so you don’t have to leave the room to get a drink). Prior to your procedure, stock up on healthy snacks like nuts, string cheese, and fresh fruit.
Get Some Rest
Listen to your body’s cues: If you’re tired, go ahead and take a nap. While you don’t want to be sedentary throughout your recovery, it’s important that you do give your body the rest it needs. Make sure that your bed or a reclining chair has been set up so that you can sleep comfortably. You may need additional pillows or bolsters so that you can rest in a position that supports your back and helps you heal properly.
Try to avoid feeling cooped up and restless during your immediate recovery by planning activities that you can easily enjoy while you’re recuperating. Fill up your Netflix queue with new movies, download new books to an e-reader or tablet (a better option right now than a heavy book), or save up episodes of your favorite shows on your DVR. You’ve got a totally legitimate reason to veg out for a few days — why not take full advantage of it?
Do you have questions about what it’s like to undergo minimally invasive spine surgery? Call the Spine Institute Northwest at 206-496-0630. You should also check out the patient testimonials section of our website, where you can hear patients describe their experiences with minimally invasive procedures in their own words.