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What Will I Be Able to Do the First Month after Microdiscectomy Surgery?


2.17 - What-Can-I-Do-4-Weeks-After-Microdiscectomy-Surgery

A microdiscectomy is a surgical procedure that is performed to treat a herniated disc. The surgery, which is the less invasive form of a traditional discectomy, involves the removal of a small portion of the damaged disc to relieve pressure on the nerve roots and spinal cord. If you are having a microdiscectomy, you may be wondering what you can do during the month or so after the procedure to help with your recovery. This article will explore some of the steps you can take during the first four weeks post-surgery to promote a successful recovery.

Take It Slow at First

First and foremost, it is important to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard too soon. After surgery, you will likely experience some pain, swelling, and discomfort. This is normal, and it is important to take the time you need to rest and recover. 

In the first few days after your surgery, you may need to stay in bed and limit your movements to avoid further damage. After a few days, you may be able to start getting up and moving around, but it is important to move slowly and carefully to avoid putting too much strain on your back.

Participate in Physical Therapy

It is also important to engage in physical therapy after microdiscectomy surgery. Physical therapy can reduce pain, increase range of motion, and prevent muscle weakness. Your physical therapist will work with you to develop a personalized exercise plan that is tailored to your needs and abilities. Some common exercises that may be recommended include:

  • Stretching, particularly sciatica stretches if a lumbar disc is involved
  • Gentle muscle-strengthening exercises
  • Low-impact activities such as walking, swimming, or biking

Try Massage Therapy

In addition to physical therapy, you may also benefit from massage therapy. Massage therapy can reduce muscle tension, relieve pain, and promote circulation. A licensed massage therapist can work with you to develop a plan that will help you recover and reduce any discomfort you may be experiencing.

Make Healthy Lifestyle Choices

Another important aspect of recovery after microdiscectomy surgery is maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This includes eating a well-balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. A healthy lifestyle can help you feel better, reduce inflammation, and promote faster healing.

Manage Your Stress Levels

Additionally, it is important to manage stress after microdiscectomy surgery. Stress can cause tension in the muscles, which can lead to further pain and discomfort. To manage stress, you may want to try practicing mindfulness, meditation, or deep breathing exercises. These practices can help you relax and reduce stress, which can help you feel better and recover faster.

Avoid Strenuous Activities

For the first month after surgery, you are still vulnerable to the possibility of reherniation. To protect your healing spine while you recover, find a balance between increasing your activity level and avoiding reinjury by refraining from making certain movements and engaging in vigorous activities. The primary activities to avoid during the first four weeks include:

  • Excessive twisting and reaching 
  • Playing contact sports
  • Strenuous exercises, especially ones that put pressure on the lower back
  • Lifting heavy items

If you have recently undergone microdiscectomy surgery, it is important to take steps to promote a successful recovery. This includes engaging in physical therapy, receiving massage therapy, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and managing stress. By following these steps, you can reduce pain, increase range of motion, and prevent muscle weakness. It is important to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard too soon, but with time and patience, you should be able to get back to your normal activities and enjoy a pain-free life.

Back surgery recovery time varies among individuals and depends on factors such as whether the patient has a large hole in the outer ring of the disc after surgery. If the hole in the disc is larger than a standard pencil eraser, the patient has a significant risk of experiencing a reherniation. Patients with a large hole in the outer ring of the disc are more than twice as likely to reherniate after surgery. These reherniations often require additional surgery or even a larger spinal fusion operation. Barricaid is a bone-anchored device shown to reduce reherniations by closing the hole in the disc after a discectomy, and 95 percent of Barricaid patients did not undergo a reoperation due to reherniation in a 2-year study timeframe. This treatment is done immediately following the discectomy—during the same operation—and does not require any additional incisions or time in the hospital. 

If you have any questions about the Barricaid treatment or how to get access to Barricaid, you may ask your doctor or contact us at 844-288-7474.

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