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Back Surgery: 101

February 14, 2022

Have you been told you’ll need to have back surgery? Back surgery can certainly be overwhelming, and even a little scary...but it doesn’t have to be.There are some important things you should know about back surgery and if you are on the fence knowing the pros and cons of pursuing back surgery can help you make your decision. If you still have questions, reach out to your local Wyoming or Nebraska physical therapist, or your team here at North Platte. 

There is always a reason your doctor is recommending back surgery - keep that in mind. While it can seem extreme, or even scary, you don’t need to be worried. Having the back surgery your doctor recommends can result in several benefits, including improved physical fitness/ability, improved mood, and ultimately getting back to your normal mode of operation. Post surgery, there might be some additional work needed...and that’s where we come in. Physical therapy after back surgery is extremely important - it’ll help you return to your normal day to day routine faster, and with less complications.

Now, there are a few different types of back surgery, and while the list is exhaustive here are some of the most common surgeries to help solve for back pain:
  • Spinal fusion: If you are having a spinal fusion surgery, your doctor will be joining your vertebrae. This is a common type of surgery, however the surgery will limit your motion between the vertebrae. Despite this, most likely you will not experience any limit in your range of motion. 
  • Laminectomy: This is a surgery in which parts of your bone, bone spurs, or ligaments will be removed. While this will help relieve any pressure you are can lead to a more unstable spine. Often times you might have this surgery, and then a spinal fusion to assist in stabilization. 
  • Disk replacement: This is exactly what it sounds like - a surgeon will remove a damaged disk and replace it with an artificial one. This tends to be similar to a spinal fusion, but recovery time is much shorter and this surgery will allow you to continue to move your spine.

If you have questions concerning an upcoming back surgery, we recommend that you reach out to your primary care physician and/or your physical therapist. You should always ask questions if you are having questions or doubts about an upcoming surgery or even treatment. If you are experiencing body aches and pains, also be sure to reach out to your primary care physician or our team. At North Platte Physical Therapy, we are here to help meet your needs. We serve the communities of Wyoming and Nebraska with 22 clinics offering a full range of physical therapy services. Contact us today for more information.