Laser spine procedures are performed to help patients find relief from symptoms caused by nerve irritation and compression caused by certain common spine conditions. After undergoing one of these minimally invasive procedures, many patients are typically able to walk on their own within an hour or two. This is an appealing concept to some individuals dealing with back or neck pain, considering that patients who undergo another possible surgical approach – open spine surgery – may be in a hospital bed for several days or more.
Still, even though healing time for endoscopic laser surgery will likely be faster and less painful than other operations, your journey to a full recovery after a minimally invasive spine procedure shouldn’t be taken lightly. Keep in mind that you should carefully adhere to the exact post-operative instructions that your personal physician or spine surgeon formulates specifically for you.
In the meantime, you may find it helpful to review the following general post-op guidelines as you research laser spine procedures:
- Avoid sustained postures – Sitting, standing, or lying down in one position for too long can cause discomfort. Try to change your position and move around every 10 or 20 minutes.
- Use ice packs – The inflammation caused by a surgical procedure can be mitigated by applying an ice pack or cold compress to the affected area several times a day for 15 or 20 minutes.
- Avoid repetitive motions – Try to avoid activities that involve bending, twisting, and lifting for the first few weeks after surgery. If you must perform these motions, be sure to do so with proper body mechanics and take regular breaks.
- Exercise – Immediately following laser spine procedures, patients are encouraged to take short walks, gradually increasing them in duration over a period of a few weeks. Your surgeon will likely recommend participation in other low-impact exercises, depending on the specific procedure performed, your lifestyle, and overall level of health.
Above all, you should pay close attention to what your body feels like as you recover from a laser spine procedure. If a certain activity causes you pain, stop doing it, rest, and apply ice or a cold pack as necessary.
To learn more about laser spine procedures and to find out whether you’re a candidate, consult a facility specializing in these minimally invasive surgeries.
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