What is discectomy?

It may as well be a Greek word! In order to understand discectomy, we must first understand what are discs. These are soft get like discs that exist between the bones of our spine. Discectomy is the removal of all or part of the disc in order to reduce the compression on the cord or nerves. I am sure you are wondering how do the spinal cord or nerves get compressed? Well there are a few different answers, however, the most common one’s are due to a bulging discs. Disc injuries may occur either due to repeated injury over time like repetitive bending and lifting or trauma like a car accident. In any case it must be noted that surgery is advised mostly in cases where Physiotherapy has failed or the symptoms are so severe that they need immediate back surgery

cervical spine, spinal conditions, lumbar spine, laminectomy, discectomy

Recovery after discectomy

Physiotherapists are trained to manage the pain and strengthen muscles before and after surgery. Although the surgery has good results in reducing leg pain, the back pain may remain unless otherwise treated with Physiotherapy. There is generally loss of muscle strength after surgery where the muscles are cut to perform the surgery. This in turn results in muscle weakness which need to be strengthened to return to normal activities. There is also scarring at the site of the cut that needs mobilizing in order to improve the blood circulation. Furthermore, the muscles around the scar need to be stretched and massaged to release the tension around the muscles. Physios help with all of the above and not to mention will give you tremendous education for long term results.

Exercises after surgery

As mentioned above it is important to strengthen the muscles around the scar. However, it is also very important to strengthen the “core muscles” that protect the spine. Studies show that patients who received Physiotherapy treatment immediately after surgery had quicker recovery as compared to patients who were not referred for any rehab afterwards. Your Physiotherapist will give you all the information about which muscles need to be strengthened and design an exercise program along with the exercise physiologist to best suit your needs. If you were very active prior to surgery, it is important to gradually return to higher intensity of exercising