Cervical disc replacement may be a solution to help you reduce pain, improve mobility, and have a better quality of life. Being prepared for the recovery is important so you can heal properly. Following the instructions of medical professionals will help you get the best results from the procedure. Knowing what to expect allows you to plan in advance. Some patients go home the same day as the procedure. Most will stay the first night at the hospital and then go home if all is well.
Pain and Discomfort
During the cervical disc replacement recovery, there can be some pain and discomfort. It will depend on the patient. This can last for a few days or several weeks after the procedure. The pain will be mainly at the incision location, around the front of the neck. It shouldn’t be unbearable and it should start to diminish. If the pain and discomfort get worse, let your doctor know right away.
You may be given some medication to help at first and then take over the counter medications until you feel better. Make sure you have a comfortable place at home to rest and relax so you can heal. Avoid lifting anything or any strenuous activities. If you have small children you will need someone to help you with them while you recover from the procedure.
Limit your movements in the days after the procedure as much as possible. This will help the cervical disc replacement recovery. You may need help walking for several days before you can do so on your own again. Try to avoid stairs and stay on one level of your home rather than going up and down them. Make sure you have someone to assist you if you must go up and down the stairs for the first few days.
Swallowing and Talking
Some patients have trouble swallowing or talking during the early part of cervical disc replacement recovery. Being prepared for this reduces anxiety and helps you take care of it. You may a liquid diet for a few days. Then you can introduce soft foods for a few days until it no longer hurts to swallow. Try to limit talking so you can heal easier. It may help to have a pen and paper close by so you can write notes instead of being vocal.
It will take time for the incision to heal after the procedure. You will be given instructions to clean it and care for it. This speeds up the healing process and reduces the risk of infection. You won’t be able to shower for a couple of days while the incision is in the early stages of healing. The dressing needs to be changed daily.
Communicate with your Doctor
A follow-up appointment is generally scheduled for two weeks after the procedure. The doctor will evaluate recovery and give any special instructions at that time. Communicate with your doctor if the pain is severe or you don’t feel well during the recovery process. They can help assess any problems.