As the old saying goes, “one hundred days to break a muscle and move a bone” means that the bones, muscles and other tissues are damaged and need to rest for about 3 months. So after the lumbar spine surgery and internal fixation with nails, do we need to go home and stay in bed for 3 months after the surgery? We use a real case to tell you.
I hardly get out of bed for 4 months after lumbar spine surgery. What is the result of recuperation?
Recently, I met such a postoperative patient in the outpatient clinic of Director Liao Bo of the Department of Orthopedics and Spine. The female patient suffered from lumbar disc herniation. She underwent lumbar internal fixation surgery 4 months ago. After the operation, the nerve was decompressed completely, and her lower limb pain and other symptoms were significantly relieved.
Now I’m here for a post-operative review. The imaging film shows that the operation is very effective, but the strength and movement of her lower limbs have not returned to normal. How is this going? When I asked, I found out that she had almost never got out of bed in the past 4 months. Why not move and exercise? The patient and family members said, “It’s still 100 days since I was injured, and I can’t rest for a long time after the operation. I just stayed in bed because I was afraid that the activity would worsen.”
But in fact, this thinking of patients and their families is dead wrong.
The success of the operation is not the ultimate goal, it is to allow the patient to return to a normal life as soon as possible!
After lumbar spine surgery, should you do moderate activity, exercise, or stay in bed for a long time? In fact, we understand the purpose of surgery, we can understand it very well.
After surgery, the patient’s compression of the nerve can be relieved, and the symptoms can be significantly relieved. Now, lumbar spine surgery is becoming more and more minimally invasive, causing less and less harm to patients, allowing patients to recover quickly after surgery. Even now, many patients can walk on the ground the day after surgery, which can completely achieve self-care and reduce Hospital and nursing expenses. Therefore, we hope that the patient can relieve the pain through surgery, and can quickly return to normal life and work. But if you have to lie in bed for 3 or 4 months without moving after surgery, this is obviously contrary to our expectations of treatment.
In addition, prolonged bed rest and non-participation in activities are also very detrimental to the postoperative recovery of patients, and even greatly reduce the effect of surgery.
Why focus on post-operative rehabilitation?
Now, we advocate the combination of surgery and rehabilitation exercises, and even believe that sometimes rehabilitation is more important than surgery. Reasonable rehabilitation exercises can restore the vitality of our lumbar muscles. After the strength is strong, it can increase the stability of the lumbar spine, which can not only consolidate the operation effect, but also prevent the recurrence of lumbar disc herniation.
Generally speaking, when patients have not been discharged from the hospital after surgery, doctors will ask them to exercise moderately, walk around and turn around. When the patient is still on the hospital bed, the doctor will ask them to do some hooking and straight leg raising actions according to the situation. These exercises can make the nerve root slide up and down in the surgical site and the spinal canal, prevent adhesion and nerve edema, and help the patient. recover.
Patients were able to do moderate daily exercise about two weeks after discharge from the hospital. At this time, there is no problem in carrying out daily life and self-care activities, and you don’t need to lie in bed all the time. Of course, exercise also needs to be gradual, not strenuous activities all at once.
Here, we also remind the majority of patients after lumbar spine surgery: there may be some pain and discomfort in the process of starting activities after the operation, but with the extension of your activity time, this discomfort will gradually reduce. Of course, the intensity at the beginning of the exercise should be based on one’s own comfort, and it should be carried out step by step. In the later stage, the muscles will gradually adapt, and then when the symptoms are relieved, the exercise will not be particularly uncomfortable.
This is because the muscle strength needs to be activated after the operation. If the muscle is in an unused state, sudden muscle exertion will cause various edema and inflammatory exudation, resulting in discomfort. When this kind of discomfort occurs, you can take a break or do physical therapy, apply pain relievers, etc. to relieve it. However, regular postoperative rehabilitation exercises still need to be carried out. Although this process is relatively boring and hard for many patients, it is worthwhile to work hard for long-term lumbar spine health.