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Spinal Surgery Tips

Essential Tips To A Speedy Recovery After Spine Surgery!

Dr. Surya Prakash Rao Voleti 85% (10 ratings)
MBBS, MS - Orthopaedics, DNB - Orthopedics
Orthopedist, Hyderabad
Essential Tips To A Speedy Recovery After Spine Surgery!

It is not that very easy to get complete recovery after spinal surgery and for that you have to rely on different caring tips. Your surgeon can help you in this regard and can provide you a checklist containing different essential caring tips. You should follow those tips sincerely so that unwanted side-effects can be easily avoided. 

Few caring tips after a spine surgery:

  1. Consumption of adequate amount of proteins: If the protein content is increased in your diet, then quickest recovery can be definitely expected. Muscle collagen can be strengthened and healed with the regular intake of the necessary amounts of protein. In fact, infectious conditions can be effectively dealt with by protein intake. 
  2. Getting adequate rest: proper rest is needed and you should have enough sleep for getting complete recovery. If your body needs some more sleep than the standard one, then you should go for the same. Your mood, memory and body will get refreshed and rejuvenated by taking proper sleep at night. In fact, you can also get rid of pains and other side-effects after surgery by taking rest. 
  3. Taking nutritional supplements: There are a few essential nutrients that are needed after the surgical procedure, and they are vitamin D, vitamin C, Omega-3 fatty-acids, magnesium and others. These nutritional elements are now available in the form of supplements and are readily available in the stores. Though these supplements are completely organic, but still you should start taking the same when doctors permit you. These supplements help in collagen healing and thus speedy recovery can be gained by taking them in a consistent manner. Muscle heath can be effectively protected by consuming these supplements. 
  4. Acute hydration: Hydration is highly needed especially after spinal surgery so that toxin accumulation can be prevented. If you want to get proper hydration, then nothing can be a better option than drinking lots of water. In fact, spinal surgeons also recommend the same for avoiding surgical complications. Tea, coffee and sodas need to be completely replaced with water. Your system can be thoroughly cleaned by draining out toxins. 
  5. Eliminating refined sugars from diet: Refined flour and sugary products are to be completely curtailed from regular diet; otherwise you might face severe complications. Your blood-sugar level needs to be regulated. If your immunity system gets suppressed, then you will be in great trouble and hence sugar should not be included in your diet at all.
1 person found this helpful

What To Do Before And After Spine Surgery?

Dr. Rakesh Kumar 92% (130 ratings)
MS - Orthopaedics, MBBS
Orthopedist, Delhi
What To Do Before And After Spine Surgery?

Spinal surgery becomes inevitable when back pain cannot be managed with medications and/or exercise. This is a major decision and requires planning for many things before, during, and after the surgery.

Before a spinal surgery- This preparation will help in smooth recovery, especially if you do not have a full-time caretaker.

  1. Discontinue pain killers: Discontinue pain killers at least 10 to 14 days before surgery. These are blood thinners and can prolong bleeding during the surgery.

  2. Prepare for blood loss: Most people experience some blood loss, but not excessive.

  3. Use a toilet seat raiser: Sitting and getting up from the toilet seat may be difficult. The seat raiser is used to increase the height, making this movement easy.

  4. Enable easy access to common items: Before heading for the surgery, keep things which are commonly used within easy reach. This will help reduce movement and avoid searching (especially if someone else is going to be doing it).

  5. Stock it up: Cooking may not be feasible during the initial postop period, and so it is advisable to stock up food items (ready to eats, fruits, soups, etc.) which will come in handy.

  6. Slip-ons: Bending down and tying shoes may not be easy, so slip-ons can be used.

  7. Caregiving: It is always advisable to have someone stay over with you during the initial postop days. They could help with regular household chores, cooking, etc.

  8. Lifestyle changes: Ensure you eat well in the days before surgery, quit smoking, quit/use moderate amounts of alcohol, and exercise as advised by your surgeon.

After Surgery- Post surgery, there will be some pain and limitation of movement. It is important to understand that adherence to post-op instructions will improve the success rate of the surgery. Also, recovery time for spine surgery is slightly longer and affects overall quality of life, so psychological preparation is required.

  1. Postoperative medications: These will be given to control infection and pain in the immediate postop period, and should be taken without fail

  2. Rehab: The surgeon will recommend physical therapy and rehab exercises which need to be followed. Complete recovery may take anywhere between 3 to 12 months. During this time, care should be taken to avoid repeat injury.

  3. Support: Adequate back support should be provided using lumbar support and ergonomic chairs, and the right posture should be maintained. Ensure there is no undue strain on the back muscles.

  4. Weight management: With excess weight, there is too much strain on the lower disks. Therefore, weight should be managed to reduce this strain.

  5. Smoking and alcohol should be completely stopped, as healing can be hampered.

With some preparation, spinal surgery can be sailed through smoothly. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2407 people found this helpful

Split Spine: Know The Signs That Indicate It!

Dr. Vikas Bhardwaj 84% (10 ratings)
MS - General Surgery, MCh - Neuro Surgery, MBBS
Neurosurgeon, Greater Noida
Split Spine: Know The Signs That Indicate It!

The medical term ‘spina bifida’ or spinal bifida refers to a congenital defect in the spine. In simpler terms, spinal bifida is a defect in the neural tube. Based on the severity of this disease, spinal bifida can be divided into three different types:
• Myelomeningocele
• Meningocele
• Occulta

The symptoms of spinal bifida vary depending on each of these three types. Let's take a closer look at its symptoms here:

Myelomeningocele

Myelomeningocele is the most severe form of spinal bifida. In this type of neural defect, the spinal canal of the baby remains open in the middle or lower back along a few vertebrae. Due to this opening, a sac is formed at the back of the baby at birth, which exposes the baby to several life-threatening infections.

Some of the common symptoms of this type of spinal bifida are:

  1. Seizures
  2. Presence of uneven hips
  3. Deformed feet
  4. Curved spine or scoliosis
  5. Bladder and bowel problems
  6. Muscle weakness
  7. Paralyzed leg muscles.

Physical deformities from moderate to severe levels are also very common in this type of spinal bifida.

Meningocele

Meningocele is a ratherrare form of spinal bifida in which a sack of fluid stays in open at the back of the baby. Here the protective membranes that usually stay around the spinal cord push out through the vertebrae’s opening. Though this sack contains no part of the spinal cord, it may cause minor disabilities.

Some common symptoms of this kind of spinal bifida are:
o Membranes forming a visible sack on the back at birth
o Presence of a small opening in the baby's back
The good news is that this sack can be removed through surgery without hampering the normal development of the spinal cord.

Occulta
Spina bifida occulta is the mildest form of spina bifida, which, in majority of the cases, often stays hidden as its symptoms are rarely visible. As it doesn’t even cause any form of disabilities, it generally goes unnoticed. It doesn’t cause any damages to the nerves or the spinal cord.
Some common symptoms of occulta are:

  1. Presence of a gap between the vertebrae
  2. An area on the back formed with extra fat
  3. Acluster or small group of hair on the back
  4. A dimple or birthmark on the back.

In this kind of spinal bifida, neither any sack of fluid is formed, nor are there any visible opening in the back. Sometimes, people who have spinal bifida are not aware of it due to its minimal symptoms.
Spinal bifida usually affects a child before birth, when the brain or the cord or the protective covering over them fails to develop completely. Knowing about the symptoms can be one of the best ways to identify and diagnose this disease and opt for proper treatment solutions.

 

2985 people found this helpful

What To Expect Before And After Spine Surgery?

Dr. Vipin Garg 89% (66 ratings)
MS - Orthopaedics, Fellowship In Minimal Invasive Spine Surgery
Orthopedist, Gwalior
What To Expect Before And After Spine Surgery?

Spinal surgery becomes inevitable when back pain cannot be managed with medications and/or exercise. This is a major decision and requires planning for many things before, during, and after the surgery.

Before a spinal surgery- This preparation will help in smooth recovery, especially if you do not have a full-time caretaker.

  1. Discontinue pain killers: Discontinue pain killers at least 10 to 14 days before surgery. These are blood thinners and can prolong bleeding during the surgery.

  2. Prepare for blood loss: Most people experience some blood loss, but not excessive.

  3. Use a toilet seat raiser: Sitting and getting up from the toilet seat may be difficult. The seat raiser is used to increase the height, making this movement easy.

  4. Enable easy access to common items: Before heading for the surgery, keep things which are commonly used within easy reach. This will help reduce movement and avoid searching (especially if someone else is going to be doing it).

  5. Stock it up: Cooking may not be feasible during the initial postop period, and so it is advisable to stock up food items (ready to eats, fruits, soups, etc.) which will come in handy.

  6. Slip-ons: Bending down and tying shoes may not be easy, so slip-ons can be used.

  7. Caregiving: It is always advisable to have someone stay over with you during the initial postop days. They could help with regular household chores, cooking, etc.

  8. Lifestyle changes: Ensure you eat well in the days before surgery, quit smoking, quit/use moderate amounts of alcohol, and exercise as advised by your surgeon.

After Surgery- Post surgery, there will be some pain and limitation of movement. It is important to understand that adherence to post-op instructions will improve the success rate of the surgery. Also, recovery time for spine surgery is slightly longer and affects overall quality of life, so psychological preparation is required.

  1. Postoperative medications: These will be given to control infection and pain in the immediate postop period, and should be taken without fail

  2. Rehab: The surgeon will recommend physical therapy and rehab exercises which need to be followed. Complete recovery may take anywhere between 3 to 12 months. During this time, care should be taken to avoid repeat injury.

  3. Support: Adequate back support should be provided using lumbar support and ergonomic chairs, and the right posture should be maintained. Ensure there is no undue strain on the back muscles.

  4. Weight management: With excess weight, there is too much strain on the lower disks. Therefore, weight should be managed to reduce this strain.

  5. Smoking and alcohol should be completely stopped, as healing can be hampered.

With some preparation, spinal surgery can be sailed through smoothly. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2506 people found this helpful

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery - Is It Right For You?

Dr. Surya Prakash Rao Voleti 85% (10 ratings)
MBBS, MS - Orthopaedics, DNB - Orthopedics
Orthopedist, Hyderabad
Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery - Is It Right For You?

The spine plays a very crucial role, both from a person’s movement and sensation point of view. It carries the nervous supply for a lot of internal organs and the lower body. By virtue of its structure, it also helps in movement through the disks. Due to various reasons, spinal injury is common, causing pain along the back, lower extremities, neck etc.

Medicines and exercise are the first line of treatment for most spinal injuries. The issue, however, is that these only provide relief from the pain and the medicines, but do not actually ‘rectify’ the underlying problem. Whether it is a herniated disk or a pinched nerve, the medicines and exercise can relieve the symptoms, but the disk continues to be herniated and the nerve continues to be pinched. Definite treatment is in the form of surgery, and with recent advancements in the field of spinal surgery, there are minimally invasive surgical options, which provide complete cure with minimal recovery time. Some of the benefits of this are listed below-

  1. Smaller incision compared to traditional surgical procedures, where only the injured area is accessed

  2. The surrounding tissues are untouched, unless they are injured and require repair

  3. Lesser bleeding compared to earlier techniques

  4. Lesser painful procedure

  5. Reduced hospitalization period

  6. Quicker recovery and return to normal activities

The question, however, is whether this is indicated in everybody. A detailed discussion with your surgeon keeping the below points in mind will help identify the answer for this. The main driver should be the answer to the question – will the surgery be able to effectively relieve you of the pain and symptoms? Additionally, the following factors help in getting better results out of a minimally invasive spinal surgery.

  1. Presence of symptoms relating to nerve compression, including pain from the spine down the leg.

  2. Recent onset of symptoms, with pain starting days to months before seeing the doctor. This indicates the condition is relatively new and so damage is minimal, indicating favorable outcome. Chronic pain conditions take slightly longer time compared to recent injuries.

  3. People with active lifestyle who engage in regular physical exercise are likely to have better benefits from the minimally invasive procedure.

  4. Smoking reduces blood flow to the spine, leading to disk degeneration and weakening of bones. Healing is highly slowed down and recovery is overall delayed.

  5. Excessive weight puts strain on the back, and so healing can be delayed or badly affected with more complications. It is not a contraindication, but be prepared for a longer recovery period.

Talk to your doctor keeping these points in mind, and you can bid farewell to your back pain forever.

2391 people found this helpful

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery - What All Should You Know?

Khushansh Clinic 87% (48 ratings)
Orthopedist, Gurgaon
Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery - What All Should You Know?

Surgery on the spine is typically performed as an open surgery. This implies that the surgery is performed by making a large incision that allows the surgeon to do the surgery while seeing the spine. However, advancements in medicine have helped surgeons operate on the spine through minimally invasive surgical techniques. This type of surgery involves making a few small incisions instead of a large incision through which the surgeon inserts specially designed instruments to operate on the spine.

Minimally invasive surgery has a number of benefits. Primary amongst these benefits is shortened recovery time. Faster healing is also associated with lesser pain. It also causes less muscle damage. Since the incisions are smaller than normal, they heal faster than a large incision. Smaller incisions also reduce the risk of infections.

There are many different types of minimally invasive surgical techniques. A minimally invasive surgery may be used to treat issues such as spinal fusion and lumbar decompression. These are typically performed only when medication and other forms of non-invasive therapy such as physical therapy have been unsuccessful. Surgery is also advised only when the surgeon can pinpoint the exact cause of the issue. 

Like open surgery, minimally invasive procedures on the spine are also performed while the patient is under general anesthesia. The most common minimally invasive surgical procedure involves the use of a tubular retractor. This creates a tunnel from the incision site to the part of the spine to be operated on by pushing the muscles around instead of cutting them. The surgeon can then use the retractor to access the spine with the use of special instruments. Any bone shrapnel or disk material that must be removed can also be taken out through the retractor. Similarly, any rods or screws that need to be inserted into the spine can also be transported through the retractor. Surgeons may also use an endoscope to access the problem area in the spine.

As with any other surgical procedure, there are a few risks associated with minimally invasive surgery. Some patients may experience slight bleeding after the procedure and pain at the bone graft site. The surgery may also cause an infection which can be treated with antibiotics. Blood clots are a rare complication associated with such surgeries. If they travel up to the lungs, it could be significantly dangerous. In rare cases, the blood vessels or nerves around the surgery site can also be damaged during the surgery. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

4591 people found this helpful

Spine Surgery Recovery Tips You Must Know!

Dr. Sunil V Nukapur 85% (10 ratings)
MBBS, Ph. D - Orthopaedics
Orthopedist, Bangalore
Spine Surgery Recovery Tips You Must Know!

It is not that very easy to get complete recovery after spinal surgery and for that you have to rely on different caring tips. Your surgeon can help you in this regard and can provide you a checklist containing different essential caring tips. You should follow those tips sincerely so that unwanted side-effects can be easily avoided. 

Few caring tips after a spine surgery:

  1. Consumption of adequate amount of proteins: If the protein content is increased in your diet, then quickest recovery can be definitely expected. Muscle collagen can be strengthened and healed with the regular intake of the necessary amounts of protein. In fact, infectious conditions can be effectively dealt with by protein intake. 
  2. Getting adequate rest: proper rest is needed and you should have enough sleep for getting complete recovery. If your body needs some more sleep than the standard one, then you should go for the same. Your mood, memory and body will get refreshed and rejuvenated by taking proper sleep at night. In fact, you can also get rid of pains and other side-effects after surgery by taking rest. 
  3. Taking nutritional supplements: There are a few essential nutrients that are needed after the surgical procedure, and they are vitamin D, vitamin C, Omega-3 fatty-acids, magnesium and others. These nutritional elements are now available in the form of supplements and are readily available in the stores. Though these supplements are completely organic, but still you should start taking the same when doctors permit you. These supplements help in collagen healing and thus speedy recovery can be gained by taking them in a consistent manner. Muscle heath can be effectively protected by consuming these supplements. 
  4. Acute hydration: Hydration is highly needed especially after spinal surgery so that toxin accumulation can be prevented. If you want to get proper hydration, then nothing can be a better option than drinking lots of water. In fact, spinal surgeons also recommend the same for avoiding surgical complications. Tea, coffee and sodas need to be completely replaced with water. Your system can be thoroughly cleaned by draining out toxins. 
  5. Eliminating refined sugars from diet: Refined flour and sugary products are to be completely curtailed from regular diet; otherwise you might face severe complications. Your blood-sugar level needs to be regulated. If your immunity system gets suppressed, then you will be in great trouble and hence sugar should not be included in your diet at all.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3552 people found this helpful

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery - Who Should Actually Go For It?

Dr. Saravanan Manoharan 89% (10 ratings)
MS - Orthopaedics, MBBS
Orthopedist, Chennai
Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery - Who Should Actually Go For It?

The spine plays a very crucial role, both from a person’s movement and sensation point of view. It carries the nervous supply for a lot of internal organs and the lower body. By virtue of its structure, it also helps in movement through the disks. Due to various reasons, spinal injury is common, causing pain along the back, lower extremities, neck etc.

Medicines and exercise are the first line of treatment for most spinal injuries. The issue, however, is that these only provide relief from the pain and the medicines, but do not actually ‘rectify’ the underlying problem. Whether it is a herniated disk or a pinched nerve, the medicines and exercise can relieve the symptoms, but the disk continues to be herniated and the nerve continues to be pinched. Definite treatment is in the form of surgery, and with recent advancements in the field of spinal surgery, there are minimally invasive surgical options, which provide complete cure with minimal recovery time. Some of the benefits of this are listed below-

  1. Smaller incision compared to traditional surgical procedures, where only the injured area is accessed

  2. The surrounding tissues are untouched, unless they are injured and require repair

  3. Lesser bleeding compared to earlier techniques

  4. Lesser painful procedure

  5. Reduced hospitalization period

  6. Quicker recovery and return to normal activities

The question, however, is whether this is indicated in everybody. A detailed discussion with your surgeon keeping the below points in mind will help identify the answer for this. The main driver should be the answer to the question – will the surgery be able to effectively relieve you of the pain and symptoms? Additionally, the following factors help in getting better results out of a minimally invasive spinal surgery.

  1. Presence of symptoms relating to nerve compression, including pain from the spine down the leg.

  2. Recent onset of symptoms, with pain starting days to months before seeing the doctor. This indicates the condition is relatively new and so damage is minimal, indicating favorable outcome. Chronic pain conditions take slightly longer time compared to recent injuries.

  3. People with active lifestyle who engage in regular physical exercise are likely to have better benefits from the minimally invasive procedure.

  4. Smoking reduces blood flow to the spine, leading to disk degeneration and weakening of bones. Healing is highly slowed down and recovery is overall delayed.

  5. Excessive weight puts strain on the back, and so healing can be delayed or badly affected with more complications. It is not a contraindication, but be prepared for a longer recovery period.

Talk to your doctor keeping these points in mind, and you can bid farewell to your back pain forever.

2 people found this helpful

Spine Surgery - What Should You Do To Take Care Post Surgery?

Dr. Ankit Varshney 91% (10 ratings)
MS - Orthopaedics, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, Fellowship In Arthroscopy, Sports Orthopaedics & Shoulder
Orthopedist, Ghaziabad
Spine Surgery - What Should You Do To Take Care Post Surgery?

It is not that very easy to get complete recovery after spinal surgery and for that you have to rely on different caring tips. Your surgeon can help you in this regard and can provide you a checklist containing different essential caring tips. You should follow those tips sincerely so that unwanted side-effects can be easily avoided. 

Few caring tips after a spine surgery:

  1. Consumption of adequate amount of proteins: If the protein content is increased in your diet, then quickest recovery can be definitely expected. Muscle collagen can be strengthened and healed with the regular intake of the necessary amounts of protein. In fact, infectious conditions can be effectively dealt with by protein intake. 
  2. Getting adequate rest: proper rest is needed and you should have enough sleep for getting complete recovery. If your body needs some more sleep than the standard one, then you should go for the same. Your mood, memory and body will get refreshed and rejuvenated by taking proper sleep at night. In fact, you can also get rid of pains and other side-effects after surgery by taking rest. 
  3. Taking nutritional supplements: There are a few essential nutrients that are needed after the surgical procedure, and they are vitamin D, vitamin C, Omega-3 fatty-acids, magnesium and others. These nutritional elements are now available in the form of supplements and are readily available in the stores. Though these supplements are completely organic, but still you should start taking the same when doctors permit you. These supplements help in collagen healing and thus speedy recovery can be gained by taking them in a consistent manner. Muscle heath can be effectively protected by consuming these supplements. 
  4. Acute hydration: Hydration is highly needed especially after spinal surgery so that toxin accumulation can be prevented. If you want to get proper hydration, then nothing can be a better option than drinking lots of water. In fact, spinal surgeons also recommend the same for avoiding surgical complications. Tea, coffee and sodas need to be completely replaced with water. Your system can be thoroughly cleaned by draining out toxins. 
  5. Eliminating refined sugars from diet: Refined flour and sugary products are to be completely curtailed from regular diet; otherwise you might face severe complications. Your blood-sugar level needs to be regulated. If your immunity system gets suppressed, then you will be in great trouble and hence sugar should not be included in your diet at all.

 

4 people found this helpful

Spinal Fusion Surgery - Know Its Surgical Procedure!

Dr. Shailesh Jain 85% (13 ratings)
MBBS, MCh, MS
Neurosurgeon, Delhi
Spinal Fusion Surgery - Know Its Surgical Procedure!

Spinal fusion surgery is also known as spondylodesis or spondylosyndesis. It is a surgical procedure in which two or more vertebrae are permanently joined into one solid bone with no space between them. The procedure aims at preventing the movement between two bones and prevents back pain. It can be performed at any level in the spine (cervical, thoracic, or lumbar).

Indications

  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Lumbar spondylolisthesis ( a condition where one vertebra slips onto the vertebra below it causing severe pain)
  • Fractures
  • Unstable spinal column
  • Tumors
  • Severe arthritis Infections
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Scoliosis (curvature of the spine)
  • Kyphosis (abnormal rounding of the upper spine)

When Does An Individual Need This Surgery?

Spinal fusion surgery is required if medicines, physical therapy, and other treatments (like steroid injections) do not relieve the back pain.

Types of Spinal Fusion

  1. Anterior spinal fusion
  2. Posterior spinal fusion
  3. Vertebral interbody fusion

Preparation for Spinal Fusion Surgery

  1. Preoperative preparation
  2. Preoperatively, 8-hour fasting is required. All the routine investigations, including blood tests, and X- rays are done.

Surgical procedure

The surgery is performed under general anesthesia. A bone graft (ie, a synthetic bone or a small piece of the patient’s pelvic bone) is prepared to fuse the two vertebrae. Depending on the location of fusion, the graft is placed accordingly between the affected vertebras to join them. Once the graft is put in place; plates, screws, and rods are used to keep the spine from moving. This maneuver is called internal fixation. It provides stability and helps the spine to heal faster with a higher rate of success.

Postoperative

Postoperatively, the patient may need to wear a brace to keep the spine in proper alignment. Fusing may take up to 6 weeks or longer, after which normal activities can be resumed. Physical rehabilitation is required to strengthen the back and learn ways to move safely. Complete recovery takes about 3-6 months.

Complications

  • Infections causing inflammation of the affected parts
  • Poor healing causing pain
  • Pain at the site of the fused area, especially nerve pain
  • Heart attack or stroke during a spinal surgery
  • Reactions to medications or anesthesia
  • Respiratory problems
  • Damage to a spinal nerve leading to weakness, pain, bowel, or bladder problems
  • Blood clots in the legs that can be life-threatening if they travel to the lungs
  • Blood loss
  • Pseudoarthrosis (nonunion between fused bone segments)

Warning Signs of Infection

  1. Swelling, redness, or discharge from the operated site
  2. Fever above 100 0F
  3. Shaking chills
  4. Increased pain 

Safe and faster recovery from spinal surgery is suggested through physical therapy.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2639 people found this helpful
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