Rehabilitation after narrow spinal canal surgery: Steps

recovery after surgery

Le narrowing of the lumbar canal can lead to various orthopedic problems. Indeed, the spinal cord and the nerve roots are at risk of being compressed, which can lead to pain, weakness, or even numbness in the legs.

Surgery is sometimes necessary to treat this condition, and the rehabilitation that follows is essential for a full recovery. In this article, we will discuss the stages of rehabilitation after surgery of the lumbar canal narrow.

Definition and anatomy of lumbar canal

Le lumbar canal is a relatively tubular structure narrow in which the spinal cord and nerves pass. It is located in the lower back, between the vertebrae for the spine. The walls of the canal are made up of bones, ligaments and muscles.

The canal is surrounded by a layer of connective tissue called the dura mater.

The spinal cord and nerves are protected by the dura as they pass through the lumbar canal. THE lumbar canal may shrink due to arthritis, disc degeneration, or other conditions that affect the spine.

This can compress the spinal cord and nerves, causing pain, numbness, and weakness. A lumbar canal narrowed is also called lumbar stenosis.

Le lumbar canal narrow what is it exactly ?

Le narrow lumbar canal is a condition in which the spinal canal gradually narrows over time. This can put pressure on the nerves and spine, causing pain and discomfort.

This condition is often diagnosed in older adults, but it can occur at any age. The symptoms of a lumbar canal narrow may vary depending on the severity of the condition. In some cases, there are no symptoms at all.

In other cases, symptoms may include:

  • Pain in the lower back or in the legs,
  • Numbness or tingling in the extremities
  • Urinary disorders (urinary or faecal incontinence),
  • Weakness in the legs or feet
  • And difficulty walking.

If the disease is not treated, it can lead to paralysis. It is therefore essential to identify the cases where the symptoms result from a serious attack requiring urgent medical or surgical intervention.

Operation of lumbar canal narrow

The surgery of lumbar canal narrow is indicated when the patient has either intractable lower back pain or nerve root compression that severely limits functionality.

In some cases, both may be present. The surgery of lumbar canal is generally considered a last resort after other conservative measures have failed.

However, if the patient still has significant symptoms and their quality of life is greatly affected, surgery may be the best option. The goal of surgery is to decompress the nerves to relieve pain and improve function.

In some cases, a fusion may also be performed to stabilize the spine. The success of the operation depends on many factors, but if successful, it can relieve pain and help the patient return to their previous level of functioning.

Surgical techniques for the operation of lumbar canal narrow

There are a number of surgical techniques that can be used to treat a lumbar canal Shrunk. The most common approach is called laminectomy.

In this procedure, the surgeon removes part of the spinal blade to create more space for the nerves. This is a relatively simple operation that can be performed under general or spinal anesthesia.

Another technique that can be used is lumbar fusion (lumbar arthrodesis). In this procedure, the surgeon fuses two or more vertebrae to stabilize the spine. It is usually reserved for patients with severe stenosis who have not responded to other treatments.

Both of these procedures are generally safe and effective, but they do carry some risks.

Recovery after surgery lumbar canal narrow

The patient is usually up and rehabilitated to walk very early the day after surgery after a narrow spinal canal surgery. After 48 hours, the surgical drain can usually be removed.

For office workers, the suggested professional rest period is 6 weeks; for professionals who practice significant physical activity, 3 months are recommended.

The patient can expect a full recovery from this type of procedure with proper care and rehabilitation. Although it may take some time, the patient will eventually be able to resume all regular activities painlessly and without restriction.

Post-operative rehabilitation

After the operation, the patient will have to follow a strict rehabilitation program to optimize his recovery. Rehabilitation after surgery is an important step in regaining previous levels of function.

With a tailored program designed by specialists, most patients can achieve these goals and return to their usual activities without pain or restriction.

When does rehabilitation start?

For most patients, this begins after a 3-4 day hospitalization to recover from the operation. During this time, patients will be encouraged to walk frequently and resume moderate activity.

However, it is strictly not recommended to lift heavy loads and make efforts. After discharge from the hospital, patients can be referred to a suitable medical professional for effective and additional rehabilitation sessions.

Post-operative rehabilitation: With whom?

Le rehabilitation process will be led by physiotherapists, with regular checks by the surgeon and the attending physician. In general, there are post-operative protocols dictated by doctors, which physical therapists (physiotherapists) will follow.

However, each case is unique and the rehabilitation process may vary depending on the individual's needs. Throughout the rehabilitation process, it is important to stay motivated and focus on healing.

The goals of post-operative rehabilitation vary from person to person, but in general the goal is to regain as much function as possible. For personal activities, this may mean being able to walk and climb stairs without assistance.

For athletes, it may mean regaining the ability to play their sport without pain or restriction. And for professionals, it may mean being able to return to work with minimal restrictions.

Stages of post-operative rehabilitation

The road to recovery after surgery is not always easy. In addition to having to deal with the physical and emotional impact of their injuries, patients also have to go through a long process of rehabilitation.

The objectives of postoperative rehabilitation are to control inflammation and pain, to regain mobility, to regain muscle strength in the trunk and lower limbs, to resume daily activities, to integrate a gradual return to leisure activities and to return to work.

Although these goals may seem daunting at first, the physiotherapist will work in close collaboration with the patient to ensure a smooth and successful recovery.

By emphasizing prevention and seriousness, a physiotherapist will help the patient avoid further injury and ensure a full and speedy recovery.

What are the modalities of post-operative rehabilitation?

Medication can help control pain and inflammation, while manual techniques and massage can promote tissue healing.

Gentle mobilization and electrotherapy can help reduce swelling and increase range of motion. Heat and ice can be used to help control pain and inflammation.

Exercises are important for regaining strength and flexibility. A well-designed post-operative rehabilitation program should include all of these modalities to optimize the chances of a successful recovery.

What about natural products?

Although they are not supported by solid scientific evidence, several natural products and home remedies are used to treat various body aches and speed post-surgical healing, especially for their anti-inflammatory power.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of plants and essential oils that are effective in controlling pain and inflammation:

  • Turmeric : Thanks to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powers very powerful, turmeric is one of the most used plants in a culinary and therapeutic context. The composition of turmeric is essentially made of essential oils, vitamins (B1, B2, B6, C, E, K) and trace elements. But it is to its composition rich in curcumin and curcuminoids that we owe them and calm skin of this spice.
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  • Ginger : In addition to the special flavor it brings to the kitchen and its aphrodisiac properties, ginger is a root well known for its anti-inflammatory powers. THE gingerol gives it its anti-inflammatory action. It is an active component acting on the inflammatory pain related to chronic joint inflammatory diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, rheumatic diseases, etc. It has been proven that this active element is also effective in acting on the inflammation linked to arthritis and sciatica. Ginger also has other benefits thanks to its high potassium content and its richness in trace elements (calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium) and vitamins (provitamin and vitamin B9).
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  • Omega-3s : Omega-3 are polyunsaturated fatty acids that play a very important role in the functioning of our body. They are provided by food in three natural forms: docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), alpha linolenic acid (ALA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Beyond their action on the brain and the cardiovascular system, omega-3s prove very effective against inflammation. Indeed, they have the ability to act on the inflammatory mechanisms in osteoarthritis by slowing down cartilage destruction, thus they reduce the intensity of osteoarthritis pain. Sciatica, being most often linked to an inflammation secondary to a herniated disc, it can also respond to omega-3 provided it is consumed regularly. 

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  • Lemon eucalyptus: Eucalyptus is a plant most often used in the form of herbal tea or essential oil. She would have anti-inflammatory effects which give it the ability to act on the bone and joint pain in general and the pain of sciatica in particular.
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  • wintergreen : Wintergreen is a shrub from which a very interesting essential oil is extracted. It is one of the most used essential oils in aromatherapy. This oil extracted from the shrub bearing the same name, is used in massage to relieve sciatica and act like a analgesic. Indeed, it provides a heating effect thanks to its ability toactivate blood circulation locally.
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