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When can I return to work following canal stenosis surgery?

If you’re preparing for canal stenosis surgery, you’re probably trying to envision the road ahead and what your life might be like both during your recovery and after you’ve healed. How will you feel? Will you need to make adjustments to your daily routine? And, if you are employed, when will you be able to return to your regular job? There are many things to think about and plan for.

Of course, every patient, spinal condition and occupation are unique. Therefore, you cannot — and should not — base your expectations on something you read on the internet or hear from a friend. For answers to questions like these, your best source of information is always the surgeon who will perform your canal stenosis surgery. In addition to considering your individual situation, your surgeon can take into account the surgical technique that he or she will use to address your canal stenosis. Your surgeon has the knowledge necessary to provide you with highly personalized advice and guidance about your expected recovery and surgical outcome.

Points to discuss with your surgeon

When you talk with your surgeon about returning to work after your canal stenosis surgery, you’ll want to provide him or her with as much detail as possible about your job-related duties. For instance, be sure to let your surgeon know if you regularly perform tasks that involve:

  • Extensive sitting
  • Computer use
  • Standing for prolonged periods of time
  • Awkward body positions
  • Repetitive bending, lifting, carrying, turning, pushing or pulling movements
  • Heavy lifting

This information can help your surgeon make a well-informed projection of your ability to perform your job following your canal stenosis surgery. Of course, no such assessment can be made with 100 percent accuracy, and furthermore, your capabilities will probably change over time as you regain strength and flexibility in your spine. Toward that end, your surgeon will likely recommend that you participate in a customized physical or occupational therapy program. For instance, many patients begin by taking short walks and gradually increase their distance, then add other physical activities as appropriate. In order to promote recovery and achieve the best possible surgical outcome, it is important to proceed slowly and listen to your body — if something hurts, you should slow down or stop immediately.

Minimally invasive surgery

Before you consent to traditional canal stenosis surgery, you may want to find out if there is a minimally invasive alternative. Have you considered USA Spine Care? Our surgeons perform minimally invasive spine surgery to address canal stenosis and other spinal conditions. And, unlike open spine surgery, which often involves several days of hospitalization, our minimally invasive procedures are performed in an outpatient setting and have no lengthy recovery.^

If you’d like to learn more about the minimally invasive procedures performed at USA Spine Care, contact us today.

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