“If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house is on fire, then you have a problem. Everything else is inconvenience” – Robert Fulghum
Not only broken necks but also, conditions like bone spurs, spinal stenosis, spinal cord compressions, nerve pinching, bulging & ruptured discs, degenerative disc diseases, etc. can be a pain in the neck – literally! But pun aside, when conditions like these cause chronic neck pain that worsens with time and is not cured by non-surgical treatments. This is indicative of the need for Neck Surgery. If you are confused, read further on “3 signs that you may need back or neck surgery” to be sure if you need a neck surgery or not.
A Neck surgery consultant, when suggests a neck surgery, understands that there is no other option available. So, have belief in your Neurosurgeon / Orthopaedic surgeon, take a second opinion if need be, and prepare yourself for the journey ahead. To relieve the stress and anxiety of the patient, you must understand what is your neck problem, what is its root cause, and what will be the procedure of the surgery. Make sure you talk with your Orthopedic or Neurosurgeon consultant to understand what type of neck surgery is to be performed. Your recovery will vary accordingly.
The various types of neck surgeries include –
Neck fusion Surgery: Here, two cervical vertebrae are joined to completely and permanently stop movement between them.
Laminoplasty: Here, the Lamina i.e. the bony back wall of vertebrae is opened up for decompression of the spinal cord.
Laminectomy: Here, the complete Lamina, is removed to relieve pressure on it.
Foraminotomy: Here, the foramen i.e. the opening through which spinal nerve roots exits, is widened to remove the pressure on roots of spinal nerves.
Discectomy: Here, the surgeon will remove the complete or a small part of a damaged, degenerated, diseased, ruptured, or herniated spinal disc
Disc replacement surgery: Here, the damaged/diseased spinal disc is replaced with an artificial spinal disc. (P.S. it can be done after discectomy)
The main benefit that you can expect from performing neck surgery is Pain relief and preventing further health deterioration. You can then retain a normal lifestyle that is devoid of pain.
How long does it take to recover from neck surgery?
Now that you understand the need for undergoing neck surgery and the various procedures involved; we’ll move ahead to understand its recovery aspects. We have got for you a list of Important tips to recover from neck surgery which we’ll discover further below. Now, for starters, lets’ begin with the basics. Various factors affect the recovery of a neck surgery including the overall health of the patient, his/her age, and how well they follow the recovery instructions given by their Neck surgery consultant. Thus, follow all the recovery instructions to the dot, and refer to our basic guidelines and tips. Recovery time for Neck surgeries varies and can take around a month on average for recovery. Also, if you undergo laser surgery, the recovery time is much less i.e. even as less as a week as it is less invasive with no cuts or incisions. With all this in mind, let’s move ahead with our tips.
5 Important tips to recover from neck surgery
Understand & follow the restrictions well: Listen to the instructions given by your Orthopedic / Neurosurgeon consultant and accordingly limit your physical activities. You’ll have to wear braces to restrict the neck movement. Also, driving, lifting weights (more than 3.5 kg) should be avoided. Also, make your house ‘surgery ready’ by keeping things at easy-to-reach places (top shelves cannot be reached); orr have a helper.
Be regular with your Physical Therapy and exercises: Be careful of your posture to prevent stressing your neck. Diligently follow the exercises and Physical therapy as dictated. Take it slow initially and later on improve to recover your motion & flexibility, improve strength & fitness, and prevent any future reinjury.
Take a balanced diet: In diet, include fats to reduce chances of infection & immunity strengthening; carbohydrates to overcome fatigue; green leafy veggies rich in vitamins & minerals to help blood clotting; and proteins for bone recovery. Have food with high antioxidants and Vitamin C for body repair & quicker healing.
Take well care of the surgical site wound: Initially avoid showering to prevent wetting and infection of the surgical site. Follow through with proper bandaging. Keep the padding of your braces clean as they are directly in the contact with your skin. Keep your hair away from the wound and take a proper diet.
Improve your lifestyle: Follow a proper diet plan, follow the proper posture, regularly do the physical exercises, avoid smoking and drinking, control your weight. These are all the personal habits you need to follow well. This’ll help in your recovery, help you heal with minimum complications, and also improve your long-term health.
These were our tips for recovery from neck surgery. Looking to get your Neck Surgery done? At Doctor Click Away you can consult the specialists online within a few clicks.