Rehabilitating the Back after a Spinal Surgery
Spinal surgeries can be a long and painful. The extreme pain you feel before and after the surgery require special attention from a professional. However, operating the spine does not mean that the problem will go away, like it does in other injuries and conditions.
After a faulty preoperative diagnosis or a spine surgery, inadequate rehabilitation program is the second most common reason for continuation in back pain. The intensity of the pain and surgery means that it takes time for the back problems to heal themselves. The rehabilitation program often extends from month to a year depending on the healing power your body possesses.
A postoperative rehabilitation program is extremely important for recovery. The rehabilitation program involves strengthening and stretching exercises as part of a conditioning experiment that helps in ensuring the surgery is successful.
Generally, the bigger and heavier the back surgery means the longer the patient has to spend time in the rehabilitation period. The length of the postoperative rehabilitation is directly dependent on the duration you felt the preoperative symptoms for. Usually people prefer going for a lengthy and extensive rehabilitation after the spine injury than choosing another surgery.
However, in some cases patients are left with no options other than opting for another surgery as in the case of a recurring disc herniation.
Problems You Face After Spine Surgery
The problems that are felt after a spine surgery are called secondary problems and these must be looked out after the completion of a back surgery. For example a patient who suffers from a pinch in the L5 nerve root may still require extensive physical therapy because they may be a suffering from a secondary piriformis syndrome. Unpinching the L5 nerve root with the help of surgery may relieve the patient of pain, but the continuous muscle spasms in the buttocks means that the patient has not fully recovered.
Until the patient is not able to move freely and without any pain, the surgery will not be classified as successful. Sometimes spine surgery is essential to provide relief so that the patient can start the rehabilitation program. This means the rehabilitation process is the most important aspect in the treatment of back pain. Unfortunately, many patients believe that the surgery is enough to get rid of the problem and they can start moving freely again once the surgery is over.
The Considerations of Rehabilitation after Back Surgery
Careful follow up and rehabilitation is of utmost importance after a spine surgery. If the patient feels constant pain despite adequate healing time after surgery and rehabilitation, it means that further work-up is required. The work-up helps in finding the new lesion or another problem that can end up contributing in the pain a patient feels.
Contrary to popular opinion, failed back syndrome is not really a syndrome, and it does not require typical scenarios. Each patient is completely different and each one requires a personalized treatment plan according to the situation and problem they are suffering from.
Formation of a Scar Tissue after Back Surgery
All patients heal from back injuries with the formation of a scar tissue. Medical experts believe this is the only way to heal from back problems. While many doctors blame the scar tissue for continued pain after surgery, it usually is a rare cause for postoperative pain. This is particularly true for patients who suffer from the same pain after the surgery as they did before it. Therefore, in such cases the likelihoods of scar tissue having any clinical relevance are considerably low.
However, medical experts still use the scar tissue as a basis for explaining the postoperative pain that patients feel, regardless of whether they have in evidence to support their statement or not.
The presence of a secondary pain is usually a better explanation especially for patients who suffer from extreme pain even after the rehabilitation process. Sometimes the lesion operated is not the main source of pain for the patient, which means the doctor has to go through the routine of diagnosis and treatment again. These scenarios of post-operative pain are for more likely than the presence of a scar tissue.
An Explanation for Scar Tissue Pain
It is imperative for the patient and the doctor to be aware of the distinct scar tissue pain. Usually the scar tissue pain is asymptomatic and only occurs when the scar tissue is symptomatic. This happens when the patient does well initially only for the pain to redevelop again after 6-12 weeks of surgery.
6-12 weeks is the time it takes for the development of a scar tissue. The formation of the scar tissue means the nerve tissue can become adherent between the spinal canal. Many doctors and health experts recommend stretching exercises that help in preventing the nerve from becoming stationary again.
Remember pain that starts immediately after a surgery only to continue in the same manner and intensity as the initial pain indicates it is not from the formation of a scar tissue.
Scar tissue formation is quite common component of the healing and rehabilitation mechanism. While scar tissues are usually responsible for pain, the actual pain from scar tissues is very rare as it does not possess any nerve endings.
On the contrary, the mechanism of pan is usually linked between the fibrous adhesions and the lumbar nerve. This process is called epidural fibrosis and pain is one of the side effects of this process.
Stretching exercises recommended by a comprehensive postoperative rehabilitation program helps in limiting the effects of the surgical scarring around the nerve root.
As a patient it is imperative for you to be aware of the minor details. Some doctors and clinics value financial gain over the health of their clients. These doctors do not pay much heed to the rehabilitation process and blame all complaints of the same intensity of pain on scar tissue pain.
Change your treatment and consult a better professional if you feel the doctor is not paying much attention to your complaints post-surgery.