6 Tips For Recovering After Spine Surgery


If you’re about to undergo an operation on your spine, odds are you’re a little nervous about the surgery and your recovery. It’s completely normal to be nervous about your operation, but our goal is to help put your mind at ease. One way to help calm your nervousness about an operation is to walk you through some tips that will help you recover after surgery. Here are 6 tips that can help put your mind at ease and help your body recovery after spine surgery.

Spine Surgery Recovery Tips

These tips can help you recover after a back operation.

  1. Understand Your Rehab Before Surgery – Before you undergo surgery, talk to your surgeon about what life will be like in the days and weeks after surgery. If you’ll need a walking aid or won’t be able to work for a few weeks, make arraignments so you’ll be prepared for life after surgery.
  2. Stick To Your Rehab – This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be amazed at the number of people who say they are unhappy with the speed of their recovery who don’t fully commit to their rehab plan. Whether that means physical therapy, resistance training or stretching exercises, stick to the plan laid out by your surgical team.
  3. Eat Right – If you’re stuck on bed rest for a few days after surgery, it can be easy to fall into a habit of ordering food or microwaving TV dinners. A poor diet can lead to inflammation in your spine, making movement painful and crippling your rehab. Prepare healthy options before you go in to surgery so you’ll have quick access to smart food choices when you get home.
  4. Scar Care – Whether you undergo a minimally-invasive or open spinal procedure, you’re going to want to monitor your scar in the days after surgery. Infections are one of the leading causes of hospital re-admission after spinal surgery, and while they aren’t too common, you’ll still want to practice good wound care habits to decrease your likelihood of developing an infection. Change your bandages at regular internals and only shower as directed by your surgeon.
  5. Rest – Rest is a restorative process that helps your body recover from trauma, and although it is controlled, surgery is a traumatic experience for your body. Your body will need rest in the first few days after surgery, but you’ll also want to work in some movement and exercises once your body starts to recovery, because excessive inactivity only serves do slow your recovery time.
  6. Relax – This may be easier said than done, but if your mind is at ease, you’ll actually have an easier time completing your rehab. Stock up on some movies, bring some work home, or work on a puzzle. Challenge your mind or cross other things off your To-Do list while you’re recovering from back surgery, and you’ll find yourself in a positive mindset, which goes a long way in helping you complete your rehab.

St. Paul Spinal Neurosurgeon

For more tips, or if you have questions about an upcoming operation, contact Dr. Chang today.


David Chang, MD-PhD, DABNS
1835 County Road C West, Suite 150
Roseville, MN 55113
Phone: 651-219-7292
Fax: 651-430-3827

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