When neck surgery is necessary, there’s likely to be some pain afterwards. The good news is that, if the surgery is successful, your post-op pain is likely to go away. Any pain or discomfort following neck surgery can be further minimized with a combination of medications and some careful planning on your part.
Have an Honest Discussion Before Your Surgery
Take some time to talk with your surgeon and other key members of your care team who will be managing your pain during surgery. Be honest with your doctor about supplements or over-the-counter medications you may be taking since there may be interactions with some of the medications you’ll be given after surgery.
See if Less Invasive Procedures are an Option
Schedule appointments with different surgeons to get an idea of what surgical techniques are available for your procedure. Choosing a less invasive neck procedure can minimize post-opt pain. Neck surgery from the front of the neck, for instance, tends to involve less stress to supporting muscles.
Report Changes or Increases in Pain after Surgery
Depending on the type of neck surgery you’re having, your doctor may suggest that you wear a cervical collar following surgery to minimize pain. The best thing you can do to minimize pain is to report any unusual discomfort to your doctor and follow any post-surgical instructions you’re given, especially with regards to what activities you can safely resume while healing. Expected post-op neck pain often includes:
- Neck stiffness and soreness
- Minor pain between shoulder blades
- Small patches of numbness around surgical site
- Minimal pain around incision site
Take Your Post-Op Pain Medications as Directed
Following neck surgery, you’ll be prescribed various pain medications. In order to minimize pain, take your medications as directed. If the medications aren’t working for you, be sure to inform your doctor so that adjustments can be made.
For more information about minimally invasive neck surgeries in Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and the Los Angeles area, contact The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration at 310-828-7757 and request an in-person consultation with Dr. Hyun Bae. With a specialization in minimally invasive surgery and non-fusion techniques, you can rest assured that you’ll be presented with all your treatment options.