Recovery from back surgery can take anywhere from a few months to six months or more, depending on the procedure you had performed. Taking steps to be prepared for this period during which certain movements will need to be avoided or modified can prevent unexpected setbacks as you recover.
1. Some Assistance
Getting some help during your recovery period can make life much easier. Depending on your circumstances, you may need assistance running errands or with more demanding household tasks.
2. Comfortable Shoes
Crocs or slippers can make it easier to walk without placing too much stress on your feet, which can help maintain the natural alignment of your spine.
3. Water Bottle
You’ll be encouraged to drink plenty of fluids as you recover. Use a refillable water or sports bottle to keep water within easy reach throughout the day.
Many patients experience some degree of constipation following spine surgery. Natural laxatives like prune juice or stool softeners and over-the-counter laxatives can minimize this issue.
Running up and down stairs multiple times to get food and drinks can place added stress on your back. A mini-fridge provides convenient access to light snacks and beverages.
6. Ice Packs/Heating Pad
Even after surgery, you may experience some degree of discomfort. Ice packs and heating pads can provide temporary relief of minor aches and pains. If you experience increased pain, however, contact your spine surgeon.
Extenders or grabbers will allow you to get light items off high shelves without too much exertion.
8. Extra Pillows
Pillows under your back and knees can prevent pain from sleeping positions that don’t offer enough support for your recovering spine.
9. Toilet Riser
Providing 3-4 inches of elevation, toilet risers can make it easier to get up from a seated position.
A cane or walker can provide the added stability you need while allowing you to retain your independence.
To learn more about recovery after surgery or for more information regarding spine surgery options, reach out to Dr. Hyun Bae at The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration by calling (310) 828-7757. Dr. Bae can discuss surgical options for pain relief, including spinal fusion and motion-preserving spine surgeries, and help you choose the right treatment for your lifestyle.