Almost 80% of people will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives and will seek spinal pain treatment. Chiropractic adjustment can help with spinal pain management. However, most of the time, chiropractors suggest other remedies as well. Read more to find out how you can find immediate relief for your spinal pain.Admittedly,…
What to Expect Following Cervical Spine Decompression
Cervical spine decompression is a surgical procedure that can help relieve pressure on neural elements and to reduce pain caused by neural impingement. Decompression surgery may be recommended as the primary treatment for herniated disc and cervical spinal stenosis. It can also help treat cervical injuries including fractures, spinal cord tumors and other expanding diseases. Read on to learn more about cervical spine surgical procedures.
Cervical spine decompression
Over the years, there have been thousands of cervical spine surgical procedures performed in the United States. A common surgical procedure that is usually performed is anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF). It often accounts for many of the surgical procedures for cervical decompression. ACDF helps relieve nerve and spinal cord compression in the neck. The procedure involves the removal of one or more dysfunctional discs before two or more vertebrae are stabilized and fused together.
What to expect
While this surgery can achieve long-term success, the recovery process can vary significantly from one person to another. After an ACDF, many patients go home on the day of the surgery or the next day. Most of the recovery time is usually spent at home. Patients should expect some short-term inconveniences like fatigue, discomfort and reduced activity levels that can last from a few weeks to a few months.
Patients can also experience other challenges like pain that moves around. The first few days after surgery, many patients have issues with coughing and hoarseness. Sometimes, a patient may not be able to speak above a whisper or at all for days or weeks after the surgery. A patient may also have to be on a liquid diet for a few days before slowly working in soft foods like applesauce.
ACDF surgery postoperative care
Initially, recovery after the surgery emphasizes pain control and walking. The patient may benefit from taking narcotic pain medications. Walking is often encouraged as soon as a person is able to in order not only to promote healing but also to prevent potential complications. After about one week using narcotic pain relievers, the patient may gradually shift to non-narcotic pain medication. But there are particular pain medications like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that should be avoided for some months after surgery.
In the first weeks at home, there are certain activities that should be restricted. For example, the patient should avoid lifting anything heavy, bending over and turning the head sharply to the side. A person who is taking muscle relaxers and narcotic pain medication should avoid driving. Patients should also move carefully, but a daily walking program can help. Smoking should also be avoided.
ACDF is a common type of neck surgery that can address pain as well as other symptoms caused by cervical disc issues. You should expect to experience some challenges after surgery. Even though most of the issues can be managed successfully or pass on their own, it is beneficial for you to know they may occur and to monitor them. It is also important to take steps that can help speed your recovery. If you want to find out more about what to expect after cervical spine surgical procedures, talk to your doctor.
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