Getting Back on Your Feet After a Long Recovery Period

When patients are considering undergoing a surgical procedure, there are a number of concerns patients have when they decide to undergo minimally invasive spine surgery. Some of these concerns include how much does minimally invasive surgery cost, who is a candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery, is minimally invasive spine surgery effective, and how long is the recovery period for the procedure. The decision to undergo surgery can be a complex decision and many factors need to be considered before the surgery. The recovery period is often just as important as the surgery itself. It is important to follow recovery instructions as directed in order to ensure a smooth recovery. 

At BEST, we believe that patient education is a vital part of any treatment plan. An educated patient is best suited when deciding whether or not they need surgery, the type of treatment they need, and other important medical decisions. Our less invasive spine surgery is a much safer alternative to traditional open spine surgery. 

Why You May Need Surgery

When it comes to who is a candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery it depends mostly on the patient and the type of condition they have. A patient will only be recommended for surgery as a last-resort option. This means that weeks or months of conservative treatment methods must be explored before undergoing minimally invasive spine surgery becomes an option. Conservative treatment varies from patient to patient but generally includes the following:

  • Over-the-counter or prescribed medication
  • Periods of rest
  • Hot/cold therapy
  • Low impact exercise

The conservative treatment plan a patient receives is dependent on the condition they have, the severity of the condition, and the lifestyle they lead. Surgery will also become an option if the condition warrants immediate attention – such as a fatal incident. 

Steps for a Smooth Recovery Period 

Recovery is extremely important to the overall process of minimally invasive spine surgery. Here are some tips that can help your recovery be as smooth and effective as possible:

Give Your Body Time to Heal

After a minimally invasive spine surgery, you may not feel like eating, but you need to give your body the energy it needs to heal. It is important to provide protein and vitamin C to the body for the healing process to succeed. Vitamin C is found in fruits and is also shown to enhance healing. Iron and B12, which are found in fish and eggs, help the body create new blood cells. Probiotics and fiber improve the immune system’s ability to fight infection. Sugary snacks suppress the immune system and upset the body’s balance. 

Remain Active

It is important to rest but when you are cleared for movement it is important to do so. Movement increases the flow of blood which aids the healing process. It is also possible to prevent harmful blood clots by walking. When your doctor approves, you can begin therapy to stretch scar tissue and regain muscle strength.

Remember to Hydrate

A low-calorie, non-carbonated beverage can aid in the healing process. Besides plain water, flavored waters are also good. Hydration is enhanced by fruits like watermelon, strawberries, and grapefruit.

Properly Take Care of Your Wound

Minimally invasive spine surgery typically calls for an incision that is less than an inch. However, it is still important to wear clothes that does not irritate the surgical site. Check for infection signs and change the dressing as instructed. You should consult your physician if you experience itching or other discomfort. Due to the lack of pigmentation in newly formed scar tissue, it is imperative to protect it from the sun. Follow your doctor’s recommendations regarding sunscreen use.

Follow Doctor Instructions

Your own treatment plan should not override that of the doctor. It is important to take all prescribed medications as instructed, no matter how much you feel you don’t need them. Avoid driving, lifting, or performing other restricted movements. It may take some time for your wound to heal internally before it is safe to perform certain activities. 

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery at BEST Health System 

At BEST, we take pride in our state-of-the-art facilities and exemplary patient care. We understand the stress of surgery and offer a variety of conservative treatments such as physical therapy, orthotics, nutrition services, and minimally invasive procedures. 

Our board-certified surgeons, Dr. Girton and Dr. Abbott perform minimally invasive spine procedures employing a muscle-sparing technique. This has several benefits over traditional open spine surgery. Minimally invasive spine surgery requires a shorter recovery period, lower risk of complication, and a smaller incision usually less than an inch. 

The cost of minimally invasive spine surgery at BEST will vary from patient to patient. BEST accepts several health insurances that can cover the expenses of your procedure. If you would like to learn more about BEST Health System and our procedures, feel free to contact us today!