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Home » Spine Conditions » Disc Protrusion » Things to expect after having surgery for a protruded disc

Things to expect after having surgery for a protruded disc

Opting to have surgery for a protruded disc is a big decision, and while it’s normal to have some preoperative apprehension, understanding what you can expect afterward will go a long way in alleviating your anxiety. At USA Spine Care, we are the leader in minimally invasive outpatient procedures that are a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back procedures. Our decompression and stabilization surgeries require smaller incisions and use muscle-sparing techniques to reduce the chance of postoperative infections and complications.^

While every patient’s recovery from disc protrusion surgery is unique, there are some commonalities that nearly every patient can expect after their procedure. These include:

  1. Minor discomfort. Although minimally invasive surgery is far less physically disruptive than traditional open spine surgery, you will still experience some tenderness around the incision site. You’ll likely be prescribed pain medication and muscle relaxers for the first week.
  2. Restrictions on lifting. You’ll be instructed to limit the amount of weight you lift during the first four weeks of recovery to no more than 10 to 15 pounds and to no more than 25 pounds for weeks four through 12.
  3. Driving restrictions. Driving should be avoided for the first week or until you are no longer using pain medications or muscle relaxers.
  4. Wearing a brace. Depending upon your procedure, you can expect to wear a neck or back brace for up to six weeks.
  5. Keeping your surgical dressing dry. It’s important to keep the bandages over your incision dry for two weeks. Sponge baths are the preferred method of hygiene during this period.
  6. Using a cold compress to diminish swelling. Icing the incision site for 20 minutes three to four times a day during the first four days after surgery will help diminish both soreness and swelling.
  7. A series of follow-up appointments. In order to check your dressing, gauge your recovery progress and schedule diagnostic tests, you’ll meet for consultations two weeks, six weeks and 12 weeks after your surgery.

To learn more about recovering after minimally invasive disc protrusion surgery, contact a member of the USA Spine Care team today. And if you’d like to learn whether you might be a candidate for one of our procedures, be sure to ask about obtaining a free review* of your latest MRI to begin the evaluative process.

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