Guidelines to Follow Before and After Spine Decompression

Spine decompression is a type of surgery performed to remove pressure applied on the spine or nerve root. This surgery works by removing the lamina to widen the spaces in the spine or nerve roots to relieve all symptoms that are related to spinal cord irritation and compression. Such symptoms include numbness, pain, weakness and burning sensations.  

Spine decompression is a very effective way in treating a herniated disc, ligament formation, bone spurs and tumors and it can be performed in various sections of the spine, the neck and the back (thoracic and lumbar).

Spine Decompression Surgery Preparation:

You should not eat or drink the night prior to your surgery not unless you are directed to do so by your doctor. You can still continue with your medications in the morning of the spine decompression surgery with a little sip of water. Also, it is very important to talk to your doctor if you are taking certain medicines for diabetes and hypertension.  

Recovery Expectations:

You can expect to stay in the hospital for at least 3 days after the surgery. To relieve pain, you will be given intravenous pain medication. But as the pain slowly subsides, you will be given oral pain relievers.

Ask the nurse to administer pain medication at least an hour before performing any physical activities. This will allow you to move in and out of the bed with lesser discomfort. You will also be advised to take deep breaths to prevent lung infections after the operation.

Never get out of bed alone after your spine decompression surgery. You should always ask for assistance from therapists and nurses when walking until you can gradually walk on your own.

Before leaving the hospital, you should talk to your physician about your first post-spine decompression surgery consultation.

Nursing your Incision and Dressing:
To prevent infection you should keep your dressing dry and clean always. Sponge bath is recommended until the sutures are removed. You can only take a shower if you cover your incision with a plastic wrap.

Proper Body Mechanics after Spine Decompression:

No bending and twisting of the back should be done after the first few weeks of surgery. Always keep your back straight and bend your knees when picking up something.

Also, you should not sit on soft couches because this causes your back to arch. Always sit or stand up straight and walk slowly when exercising. Jogging may only aggravate your spinal cord.

These are just some guidelines that you should follow after undergoing spine decompression surgery. To know more about this surgical procedure it is advisable to talk to your physician.