Disc herniation has a lot to do with the quality of life and the treatment is very important. How long does it take to recover from disc herniation? Is there a relapse? Is the question of many patients when indicated for disc herniation surgery. The following article will help you to answer questions about this issue.
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How long does it take to recover from disc herniation?
Depending on the nature of the lesion, the complications and the severity of the disease’s impact on mobility, disc herniation is treated with many different methods. According to current statistics, up to 60% of patients with disc herniation have the ability to recover well with medical treatment and functional rehabilitation.
However, in 3 months, if the patient has been actively treated but is still ineffective, surgery will be the method prescribed by the doctor. This method will help the patient relieve pain, relieve pressure and can soon return to a normal life.
There are many different methods of operating disc herniation. Depending on the medical condition, disc herniation surgery will be selected such as:
- Opening: is a traditional surgical method. Then the doctor will make an incision on the skin of the area to be intervened and remove the excess disc to release the pinched nerve root.
- Laparoscopy: This method will insert the endoscope with camera through the conjugate hole through an incision about 7mm and then insert the device with camera inside to remove the mucus nucleus and herniated mass.
- High-frequency , laser surgery : This method is also known as transdermal pressure reduction completely non-invasive and does not cause bleeding.
Depending on the different surgical methods, the length of time patients stay in the hospital for monitoring is also different, namely:
- Open surgery: After 3 days of surgery, if the incision is dry and no fever, the patient can be discharged and re-examined after 1-3-6-12 months. However, the recovery time of this method is quite long, it may take up to 1 year for the patient to recover from their health.
- Laparoscopy: After surgery, the incision does not need stitches. Within 24 hours, the patient can walk and complete the discharge procedure when there is no unusual problem.
- Laser surgery, high frequency waves: With this method, the laser is not invasive and the patient does not need to be hospitalized, but only need to be monitored for a few hours to leave and rest at home.
Each patient will be advised by their doctor on appropriate treatment depending on the severity of the disease and the condition of the disease. However, the time to recover from surgery depends on many factors such as: Health, surgical methods, state of the incision, nutritional regime and postoperative treatment.
The recovery period after disc herniation surgery
The recovery process after surgery for disc herniation is divided into 2 main stages:
1. Recovery stage in hospital
After the surgery, the doctor will appoint the patient to stay in the hospital for a while. During follow-up, if there are no problems of concern, they will be discharged and self-care at home.
1.1. 24 hour postoperative period
At this stage, the patient’s body will be very weak. At that time, the patient cannot move, walk, eat, … but need the support of a doctor, nurse or family member.
After surgery, the patient will be infused or used some pain relievers and antibiotics that work to repel pain and prevent infection of the wound.
During this period, it is very easy for the patient to develop a number of complications if they are not properly cared for such as: Infections, post-operative bleeding, swelling or drainage, … When there are abnormal signs, Need to report immediately to health workers to be handled promptly.
In addition, the patient will be fully supplemented with nutrients to provide energy and increase the body’s resistance. The doctor will infuse protein or feed the patient soft and easily digestible foods such as milk, porridge, vitamins, …
2.2. Stage 4 – 5 days after surgery
During this period, the patient needs to stay in the hospital to continue monitoring the state of the wound to avoid potentially dangerous complications. Around this time, the incision also began to heal, and the patient’s health improved, and his ability to eat and drink improved.
In order to limit complications, increase blood circulation and quickly heal scars, the doctor will give the patient gentle movements such as turning or massage in bed. In addition, the patient will perform a number of basic activities in combination with imaging will help more specifically assess the condition of the disease as well as the degree of recovery.
If the diagnosis is good and there is no doubt about possible complications, the patient can go home and care at home. In this stage, the care regime is also very important because it determines the time to recover from the incision.
2. Home recovery period
This is an important stage, because it largely determines the effectiveness of postoperative care. Therefore, the patient and the family member need to be very careful to comply with the prescription of the doctor during this period.
2.1. Phase 1 – 2 months after surgery
According to doctors, this is the stage when the incision will heal very quickly. When taking care at home, the patient needs to keep the spirit comfortable, happy and not be psychologically affected. At the same time, it is also necessary to combine with adequate nutrition and reasonable rest, to help the wound quickly recover.
In addition, the patient will also be advised to practice some gentle exercises such as folding the joints, massage acupressure or walking. This will help increase blood circulation, bones and joints become flexible and shorten the recovery process.
2.2. Phase 3 – 6 months after surgery
During this period, the patient recovers almost completely and is able to return to his / her daily life more easily and flexibly. Patients can choose a number of gentle sports that bring health benefits such as walking, swimming, yoga, … Absolutely avoid the application of resistance sports, heavy weight lifting, …
In addition, patients also need to re-examine according to the appointment of the doctor to promptly detect abnormal signs after surgery.
Thus, from the above recovery stages it can be seen that the time when the patient can fully recover is 3-6 months, depending on the surgical method, the recovery time will be fast or slow. Normally, laser surgery will recover faster than laparoscopy and laparoscopic surgery will recover faster than open surgery.
The ability of the patient to recover greatly determines the patient’s condition as well as the right care. With the patient in good condition and combined with the right care, complete recovery takes only 3 months. However, there are also patients after 6 months or even 1 year to completely recover.
Will the disc herniation be relapsed after surgery?
Disc herniation is the most optimal solution to remove the hernia so that it does not cause pressure on the marrow or nerve roots. This method will help patients without pain during surgery, because the doctor will anesthetize the surgery site or anesthesia the spinal cord, anesthesia.
Many patients do not feel pain after surgery, but that does not mean that the herniated disc will not return in the future. According to the survey, about 5 – 15% of patients can relapse after 6 months, the degree of recurrence will depend on the results of the previous surgery as well as the non-scientific mode of activities of the patient.
Surgical results also depend on the degree of disc herniation, disease status as well as the surgical procedure. The possible complications include infection, muscle weakness in the lumbar spine, the sclera causing the leakage of cerebrospinal fluid, disorder of bowel or bladder control, …
However, these complications will be limited if the surgery is performed in a reputable medical facility. In particular, patients doing work related to limbs need to increase awareness of back protection and avoid doing work that puts pressure on the back.
Notes for patients after disc herniation surgery
After performing disc herniation surgery, to properly care for the incision as well as shorten the recovery time, the patient should note the following issues:
1. Postoperative care at the hospital
- When transferred to the postoperative room for 24-hour monitoring, the patient will likely experience a drop in blood pressure, dizziness, and pulse. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to gently move the patient with a stroller and avoid sudden position changes.
- Follow the treatment regimen and instructions given by the doctor.
- In the first 3 days after surgery, patients need to keep the wound clean and dry. At the same time, limit contact with water to avoid prolonging scar healing and causing pain.
- Gently massage around the surgical area to circulate blood evenly, avoiding blood stasis or numbness.
- Use pain relievers if you feel pain. Note, if the pain is excessive, it is necessary to report to a specialist for proper intervention.
2. Home postoperative care
- Regularly clean the incision to avoid the risk of infection. If you find any signs of infection such as: swelling, pain, heat, redness and accompanied by fever, immediately go to a medical facility for treatment.
- Diet must provide adequate nutrients to enhance the resistance and strengthen the immune system. The menu in each meal must include all 4 groups: Glucid, protid, lipid, vitamins and minerals to support the treatment process.
- Absolutely do not use harmful stimulants such as alcohol, tobacco, coffee, … to not affect the treatment process.
- Set up a reasonable resting regime, limit staying up late, working well, especially not carrying or carrying heavy objects.
- For the regimen of exercise and sports activities should only be performed when the health condition has progressed well and must comply with the instructions of the doctor.
- In the process of recovering at home, if there are any abnormal signs, the patient should immediately notify the doctor to take timely measures. In addition, patients also need to follow-up visits on schedule so that the doctor can easily track the recovery progress.
The article has solved the problem of how long does it take to recover from disc herniation? Is there a relapse? Hopefully, through this article will help readers better understand the disease to help the recovery process become more quickly. At the same time, patients also need to comply with the prescription of the doctor to avoid the disease from recurring or having complications arise.