A very common problem affecting patients after back surgery is scar tissues (medical term epidural fibrosis). Further surgical interventions might be required to correct the effects of scar tissue. The scar tissue itself will not feel pain as it does not contain nerve endings, but might press against tissue with nerve endings or even nerves themselves. Often times it creates leg pain or chronic back pain.
Understanding and controlling the root cause of pain is important in treating patients after back surgery. For example, the effects of scar tissue appear after one or two months following the surgery, inducing recurrent pain and more often leg pain. If the situation does not improve in less than 3 months, the operation was not successful.
Pain control is a required process after the operation, creating difficulties in the recovering individual. Simple measures such as using ice, certain positions or movements of the spine might yield considerable relief. These can be easily learned by any recuperating patient and a physical therapist should provide extensive information on how to apply them. Suffering from mild pain immediately after the surgery may not always indicate a failed surgery and may be caused by injured tissue.
Further steps are taken in the rehabilitation process after pain control, these include physical therapy aimed at the muscles directly surrounding the incision area, muscles that had or have problems caused by nerves in the incision area, and vertebral muscles that support the entire spine. Training the small muscles around each vertebrae will help protect the operation site from further damage. Also, a range of motions need to be removed from everyday activities, movements that could impair the recovery of the patient. An active life is encouraged, including regular exercise and lifestyle changes. Recovering periods are shorter when patients and therapist work together in the healing process.
Lifestyle changes are recommended and should be applied successfully if the patients state of mind is on a positive attitude. Anesthetics will usually cause a shock after surgery, and its effects will include depression for a few days. Again, a positive attitude will help. Sleeping during the day is recommeded and some special precausions need to be taken at all times. Sleeping on your back should be restricted and ideally a cushion needs to support the operation site. Having a stiff mattress will improve healing times but may also create general discomfort.
Special hygiene precausions regarding the sutured incision have to be taken, such as often dressing changes and cleaning and disinfecting after showers. If the incision becomes swollen, red or feel hot, it may indicate inflammation and a doctor should be contacted immediately.
Going back to work after back surgery will be decided by your doctor, according to yur recovery rate and proffesional medium.