Recovering from Spinal Surgery 

Recovery after spinal surgery is the process during which you work at becoming well! You are responsible for staying mentally and physically healthy. This means you need to follow your physician's instructions and ask questions when you have concerns. Here are a few key concepts to keep in mind following your procedure:

Have Realistic Expectations
As you know, healing and recovery will not happen overnight. In fact, sometimes it is a process in which you may feel you move two steps forward and one step back. This is normal.
Be Patient & Persistent
During the recovery period in the hospital and at home, try to rebuild your strength gradually. Rest when you feel fatigued and be persistent in your efforts. It is important to recognize that each patient heals at a different rate. The speed at which you recover depends in part on your age, general health, overall physical fitness and attitude.
Expect some Pain after Surgery
It is normal to have some pain after any operation. This may include some aching, muscle spasms and other pain. You will receive medication to help you manage your pain and reduce inflammation.
Be Prepared for some Emotional Changes
It is not unusual to feel tired and discouraged at times following your surgery. Remind yourself that these feelings are temporary and part of the normal healing process. Some patients find it helpful to keep a journal of their daily progress to help remind them of their overall gains.  
Develop a Positive Mental Attitude
You can begin to work on a positive mental attitude even before surgery is performed. Direct your energies toward the solution of your problem. Minor setbacks need not be the source of major discouragement.
Commit to a Healthy Lifestyle
Watch you weight. If you are overweight, you should gradually return to your proper weight. Crash diets rarely work. Commit yourself to better eating habits and stay with them the rest of your life.
Become more active. Your physician will tell you when you can resume normal physical activities after surgery. Make up your mind now that you will develop a regular aerobic exercise routine, such as walking, biking or swimming. Always check with your physician before starting any new exercise program.

The Spine Center at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center