Recovery Time After Back Surgery

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Alexandra Turcios, Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner with Baptist Health Neuroscience Center, tells her patients the first time after the surgery will be very challenging, because they will feel pain, but this is going better through the days.

She considers six weeks such an ideal recovery time after the surgery. She advises her patients, during this period, no lifting more than 10 pounds, no twisting, and no bending with their backs, no overexertion of activities.

Transcript
WHAT ABOUT RECOVERY TIME GUIDELINES? > I USUALLY TELL MY PATIENTS, ACROSS THE BOARD, THE FIRST WEEK AFTER SURGERY WILL BE CHALLENGING. I TELL A LOT OF OUR PATIENTS, “YOU WILL HAVE PAIN.” THERE IS SOME TYPES OF PAIN THAT ARE EXPECTED WITH ANY TYPE OF SURGERY. THE FIRST FEW WILL BE DIFFICULT, AND EVENTUALLY, THE PAIN STARTS GETTING BETTER. USUALLY, THE FIRST TWO WEEKS, I TELL PATIENTS, YOU’LL SEE YOUR CAREGIVER WITH AND THE NEXT TWO WEEKS. YOU USUALLY GO OVER THE SYMPTOMS YOU ARE FEELING. EVENTUALLY, BY THAT TIME, A PATIENT’S PAIN IS BETTER. USUALLY, THE RESTRUCTURING TIME, THE RECOVERY TIME IS KEY. FOR THOSE WEEKS, I TELL PATIENTS, NO LIFTING MORE THAN 10 POUNDS, ABOUT ONE GALLON OF MILK, NO TWISTING, NO BENDING WITH YOUR BACK. NO OVEREXERTION OF ACTIVITIES WHATSOEVER. >WE TALKED ABOUT RECOVERY, NO OVEREXERTION OF ACTIVITIES. EVERYTHING I’VE READ, IT IS A MYTH, IT IS WRONG, DON’T DO IT. HOW DO YOU GET THEM TO UNDERSTAND THAT YOU’VE GOT TO GET TO THE POINT WHERE YOU HAVE TO MOVE? > I COULD NOT EMPHASIZE THIS ENOUGH TO OUR PATIENTS. AS SOON AS YOU ARE IN THE RECOVERY ROOM AFTER YOUR SURGERY, THEY WILL GET YOU UP WITHIN AT LEAST THE FIRST TWO TO THREE HOURS. THE POINT OF IT IS NOT TO MAKE PATIENTS SUFFER. IT IS FOR THEM TO RECOVER SOONER. I TELL OUR PATIENTS, ONCE YOU GO HOME, YOU NEED TO CONTINUE THIS, AND NOT JUST DO IT ONCE A DAY, BUT A FEW TIMES A DAY FOR A FEW MINUTES. I NOT ONLY TELL OUR PATIENTS THIS, I TELL THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS. WHOEVER IS GOING TO BE WITH THEM AFTER SURGERY, BECAUSE IT IS OBVIOUSLY VERY DIFFICULT TO SEE YOUR LOVED ONE SUFFERING, GOING THROUGH PAIN, AND NOT WANTING TO GET UP. BUT AS THE COACH, AS THEIR DESIGNATED CAREGIVER, IT IS IMPORTANT TO EMPHASIZE THAT WE NEED TO GET UP AND WALKING.
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