Post Op Day 1
You had your back surgery operation yesterday. The day after a lumbar laminectomy, spinal decompression, or other back surgery is likely going to be quite disorienting. You will still be feeling the effects of the anesthesia that knocked you out during your surgery. You’ve probably been given medication to numb the nerves in the area where the surgery was performed. You are, as they say, feeling no pain. Some patients are taken to the ICU, or Intensive Care Unit, from the recovery room, for overnight observation following back surgery. Often, this is planned beforehand, and the patient understands the reasons for this cautionary approach. The patient in ICU may be intubated – that is, have a tube inserted in your throat connected to a respirator that will assist breathing, but will not permit talking.
The day after your back surgery operation a nurse or physical therapist will help you begin your recovery, assist you in sitting on the side of the bed and possibly help you to sit in a chair. It’s not uncommon to need a walker to get across the room. The amount of disorientation on the first day after surgery will be most influenced by the type and extent of the surgery. The more extensive the back surgery, the greater the damage to peripheral and collateral tissue, and the more need for sedating pain medications that render the day after surgery a blur.
Fortunately, today many spinal conditions that previously required open back surgery can now be treated with microsurgical techniques and minimally invasive procedures. These include spinal stenosis, slipped disc and even spinal cord injury. And second generation spine procedures are providing superior outcomes for many spinal problems caused by the natural deterioration of the spin due to age, or by traumatic injury or disease. The TOPS™ (Total Posterior Solution) System, which provides better clinical outcomes than spinal fusion back surgery following spinal decompression therapy, is one example of these advances. Make sure you work with a spine surgeon who is familiar with, and experienced in advanced spinal surgery procedures, to ensure you get the best care possible. That will help ensure your Post Op Day 1 is the first day of a smooth recovery period!