Spinal surgery is generally recommended by Spinal Surgeons’ when you have exhausted all other conservative means of managing your symptoms.
A few signs and symptoms to look for when to consider surgery are:
1. Constant pain
Constant pain that does not relieve with pain medications or by other physical modalities like heat, topical gels or change of position;
2. Pain at night
Pain at night which is disturbing your sleep.
Weakness that is not improving with exercises as prescribed by your physiotherapist or exercise physiologist over a period of 4 weeks and most importantly, if there are any signs of pins and needles or numbness around the perineal area or any loss of bladder or bowel control.
In some cases, surgery may still be recommended to avoid getting to the above stages and have a good early functional outcome.
Seeing a Spinal Physiotherapist pre-operatively is a good idea. Your Spinal Physiotherapist will explain to you what to expect and do immediately pre and post operatively. That helps you to prepare for surgery mentally and physically. Having a good understanding of the whole process and rehab afterwards makes a world of a difference to the outcome of your surgery.
Your Spinal Physiotherapist will teach you basic core exercises, neural stretches and glides and upper body and lower body exercises as required. Your physiotherapist will also discuss with you the precautions and exercises you need to do post-surgery in the hospital.
In some cases, we will also see you in the hospital Day 1 after surgery and maintain that continuity of care. If you have any questions regarding pre-operative Physiotherapy care, feel free to contact us at 1300 189 289 or go to our online booking page to book an appointment with one of our spinal physiotherapists.
By Neel Pangaonkar
Physiotherapist Payneham, myPhysioSA