Microdiscectomy is considered the “gold standard” for treating herniated discs by removing the tissue of the herniated disc. This is a minimally invasive surgery and is generally considered to be less invasive than other traditional surgeries. However, the amount of time required for recovering from a microdiscectomy can vary according to your physical condition and how properly you follow the post-operative instructions for microdiscectomy recovery.
Here, we have explained what you can expect during microdiscectomy recovery and how you can fasten your recovery.
How Long Will It Take To Recover From Microdiscectomy?
In general, the recovery time for microdiscectomy is shorter as compared to other procedures. You will be discharged from the hospital 24 hours after the surgery. During the initial 1-2 weeks, you will have to decrease your workload to give proper rest to your body. This also means avoiding lifting heavy objects for about 2-4 weeks post-surgery. Microdiscectomy recovery can be compromised if you engage in strenuous activities right after your surgery. Thus, you should slowly return to your active lifestyle. On average, complete microdiscectomy recovery can take about 6 weeks.
Managing Pain After Microdiscectomy
Since microdiscectomy is a minimally invasive procedure, you can expect to experience lesser pain post-operatively as compared to traditional surgery. However, initially, you will still feel sore after the surgery. Thus, you should inform the doctor if your pain has worsened. This is because the lingering pain could be a sign of reherniation, one of the most common complications of microdiscectomy. You should keep taking your medications as advised by your spine surgeon. Besides medications, you can also use heat and cold therapy for providing pain relief.
Physical Therapy For Improving Mobility
About 1-3 months after your microdiscectomy, the spine surgeon will suggest you begin physical therapy. You may think that you can rest for weeks after the surgery. This could not be farther from the truth. Though it is correct that you should avoid strenuous activities like gymming, you must start taking short walks after the surgery.
A physical therapist can help by tailoring the exercise and training regime according to your needs and preferences. This can help in improving your mobility and strengthen your muscles, especially around the spine. Although it may seem exhausting at first, you should not skip physical therapy as it can ensure that your microdiscectomy recovery is on track. Sometimes, inaccessibility
Taking Care Of The Surgical Site
After your microdiscectomy, you will have to follow the necessary steps to take care of your surgical site. A surgical tape strip is used to cover the site and it can take around 10-14 days for the incision to heal completely. However, you should allow the strip to fall off naturally.
You should keep the site clean and follow the given steps:
- Avoid long showers and do not submerge the wound in a hot tub, pool, or bath.
- Keep a check on your incision daily for redness or swelling. If you observe these signs then you should get in touch with your doctor immediately
- In case your incision gets wet while you are showering, you can dry it with a soft and clean towel.
Eating Healthy For Faster Microdiscectomy Recovery
During the initial days after the microdiscectomy, you can feel nauseous and may not feel like eating. This is normal as you will be recuperating from pain medications and anesthesia. However, as you begin to recover slowly, you will get your appetite back. Here are some tips that you can follow for eating healthy:
(I) Take a protein-rich diet
Protein is an important nutrient that helps in healing and speeding your recovery. Your diet should comprise protein-rich foods such as tofu, eggs, poultry, and lean meats. Low-dairy food products are also rich sources of calcium, vitamin D, and protein.
(II) Have sufficient calorie intake
Since after the surgery your body’s metabolism increases to support healing, you will need to increase your calorie intake. This involves eating foods such as legumes, grains, vegetables, and fresh fruits.
(III) Eat small meals but frequently
You should eat small meals instead of big ones. These are much easier for your body to digest.
Making Good Lifestyle Choices
In addition to adopting a healthy diet, you should avoid smoking as this can interfere with your microdiscectomy recovery. If you are a smoker then you should consider quitting it prior to the surgery. You should also get quality sleep and rest properly. At least 7-9 hours of sleep is recommended every night. Patients should also attend follow-up sessions with their doctors. This helps the doctor in tracking your recovery and making sure that the recovery is moving in the right direction.
Even though microdiscectomy is a safe procedure, you should still be cautious during the recovery period. Some of the concerning signs that you should immediately bring to the attention of your doctor are:
- Pain and weakness in the leg
- Severe or mild pain in your buttocks or lower back
- Difficulty with lifting or standing on a leg
- Pain in the ankles or foot
- Radiating pain in the leg
Start Your Post-Operative Care With MediGence
Faster and proper recovery after microdiscectomy can be achieved with MediGence. With our “care services”, you can ensure that your recovery is on track. Our post-operative packages are inclusive of several features that are designed specifically for your emotional and physical needs. Our post-operative services can be availed virtually and involve sessions with a nutritionist, psychologist, physical therapist, and spine surgeon for your post-operative needs.
Avail Microdiscectomy Treatment Across the World
To ensure that you have a smooth and safe microdiscectomy recovery, you should follow the post-operative instructions laid out by your doctor properly. Additionally, we can help you in availing the best post-operative care with our care services that are delivered virtually.