Lumbar disc replacement surgery has been used as an alternative to traditional spinal fusion surgery. It helps patients with back pain by removing damaged, degenerated discs and replacing them with artificial discs called lumbar disc replacements. If you’re considering this procedure, consider these tips before committing to it.
1. When choosing a surgical facility, ask about the surgeons’ experience
Your surgeon is an expert in disc surgery and has likely performed the surgery on many patients. Before you choose a surgeon for your lumbar disc replacement, ask him about his experience. The good news is just about any doctor can perform this procedure. You just need to find a surgeon who’s willing to take on the procedure and has experience with it. So don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you need to feel comfortable with your choice of surgeon.
2. Get more than one-second opinion
You don’t have to choose your surgeon entirely on the word of a friend or loved one. Make sure you ask around and get at least a second opinion from other patients who’ve had the surgery they want done. That way, you’ll feel comfortable with your choice and know that those people are happy with their care.
The lumbar disc replacement procedure is dangerous, so it’s a good idea to pre-medicate before the surgery. A mild painkiller can help you relax and put you in the right frame of mind for your procedure. This is especially important if you’re nervous about the surgery, as a mild case of anxiety could affect your reaction during the surgery, and make you feel worse. Don’t ignore any signs that tell you something is wrong. If there’s any doubt or mild pain, contact your surgeon immediately so they can take appropriate steps to help ease your discomfort.
4. Do what your doctor tells you to do
If your surgeon has given you instructions, follow them carefully. Your doctor will have gone over your procedure, know what the risks are and what he’ll need from you in order to make sure it goes as smoothly as possible. You should make sure you send him or her any emails or messages so they’re aware of any changes that need to be made during the surgery.
5. Don’t worry about pain medication after surgery or for a few days following surgery
Pain medication is an option if you want it. Make sure you give it some time to kick in before asking for more. You may be prescribed a muscle relaxer, but these can have negative side effects and are hard to come off of if you need to stop taking them. In general, the pain after your lumbar disc replacement surgery will be minimal and not hard to deal with because you’ll be given enough medicine so that you don’t have any severe pain.
After your surgery, it’s important to get physical therapy right away so that your recovery goes as smoothly as possible and so that you won’t face any complications from the surgery down the line.