Can I do yoga after spinal fusion?

Spinal fusion is a surgery to connect one vertebrae to another vertebrae.  This is done by the placement of bone in between the vertebrae and connecting the vertebrae with rods and screws or other fixation devices.

The patient’s activity is restricted after spinal fusion.  Most patients are restricted from twisting, bending and lifting after spinal fusion.  Walking and light activity is encouraged.  Yoga is a series of postures and breathing exercises.  There are many benefits of yoga including improving flexibility, strength, posture and breathing.

Flexibility is improved by slow gradual stretches decreasing stiffness in muscles, ligaments and joints.  Strength in legs, back and arms are improved by holding specific postures.  Yoga is important for core strengthening.  This is especially important in people with back problems.  Posture is improved through core strengthening.  Some yoga can be aerobic but  breathing is controlled to promote relaxation.

Yoga may be helpful after spinal fusion.  Treatment should be direct by an yoga teacher experience in spinal fusion treatment.  Extreme bending and twisting movements should be avoided until your back is fused to prevent screws and rods from breaking.

For more information on spinal fusion please see Spinal Fusion and Options.

Click schedule-an-appointment to set up a consultation.

Do I need rehab after spinal fusion?

Spinal fusion surgery is the joining one spinal vertebrae to another.  This is usually done by placing bone in between the vertebrae and then connecting the vertebrae together with screws and rods, hooks, wires or clamps.

Even though spinal fusion surgery can be painful and initially limit activity, the main reason for rehabilitation after surgery is general weakness and reconditioning.  Severe back pain may lead to decreased level of functioning and de-conditioning.   Rehab also helps people to manage with activities of daily living (eating, preparing food, bathing, dressing, cleaning, etc), proper usage of assistive devices such as canes, walkers, wheelchairs and usage of spinal braces.  Sometimes back braces can be tricky to take off and put on, especially for people who have weakness or arthritis in there hands.  Rehab is also more common with big surgeries.

The amount of rehab depends on general health, functional ability, severity of the disease, the type of surgery done and the number levels fused. Rehab can vary from none to inpatient. People who need rehab usual need outpatient physical therapy 2 to 3 times per week. Elderly patients may require in patient for many days to weeks depending on their physical condition and the level of support they have at home.

Please see Spinal Fusion and Options for more information.

To set up a consultation please call 908-452-5612 or schedule-an-appointment online.

Should I hire a nurse after spinal fusion?

Spinal fusion surgery is the joining of one backbone to another backbone (bony vertebrae to another bony vertebrae).  This is usually done for instability, that is when the spine is weak and falling apart.  Spinal fusions can be large, painful and debilitating procedures, but hiring a nurse is not usually not necessarily required after lumbar fusion surgery.   That said each person, spinal disease and surgery is different.  If you are very concerned you could set up just in case.

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery (MISS) tends to be less painful and debilitating then open surgeries. Multilevel surgery is more painful then single level surgery.  Minimally invasive surgery is less painful then open traditional surgery because there is less tissue destruction.  In traditional surgery there is a large skin incision, signifiant retraction of the back muscles and a lot of bone removal resulting in severe pain.

Tissue damage is minimized with minimally invasive surgery.  The skin incision is small instead of large.  The muscles are dilated (pushed apart) rather than retracted.  Muscle retraction damages muscles producing scar tissue and weakness resulting in pain.  Little if any bone needs to be removed during minimally invasive fusion (this is especially true for endoscopic lumbar interbody fusion (ELIF).  These benefits results in less pain then with traditional fusion surgery.

For more information on spinal fusion click Spinal Fusion and Options

For more information on how Executive Spine Surgery can help you please call 908-452-5612 or inquire at schedule-an-appointment.

Dr. Spivak Imports Cutting Edge German Technology for Spine Repair

Dr. Carl Spivak, board-certified Neurosurgeon and specialist in minimally invasive spine surgery, has returned from Germany with the latest techniques and technology. Dr. Spivak dedicates himself to keeping up with the latest innovations in spine repair and disk regeneration.

Back and neck pain is often caused by the herniation of spinal disks. Traditional methods to repair damaged disks involve a large incision and retraction of the muscle around the spine so that the disk can be removed and replaced or fused. When performed on the neck, there is even more potential for damage, as the voice box and the esophagus must be retracted as well. This can cause unpleasant side effects such as difficulty swallowing and a hoarse voice, as well as scarring. In the case of disk fusion, rather than replacement, there is potential need for future neck surgery, as the remaining disks must compensate for the missing disk and may eventually become damaged by the strain.

To avoid these and other complications, much research has been done in the realm of endoscopic and other minimally invasive techniques. Endoscopic spine surgery is a becoming a popular alternative to more invasive procedures. The pen-size endoscope is a high-definition camera that is inserted with x-ray guidance. The endoscope allows the surgeon to remove the herniated section of the disk with tiny instruments. This relieves pain and suffering with minimal tissue damage and a same day discharge.

Endoscopic spine surgery has become a popular alternative to traditional spine surgery. The endoscope is a pen-sized, high-definition video camera that is inserted into the spine under x-ray guidance. The endoscope allows the surgeon to find and remove the herniated portion of the disk under direct visualization with very tiny instruments,relieving pain and suffering. Advantages of endoscopic surgery include a tiny skin incision, minimal tissue damage and pain, quicker recovery and same-day discharge.

German doctors and research scientists have been refining and perfecting endoscopic techniques. Dr. Spivak has spent the past week meeting with them and furthering his knowledge of endoscopic spine surgery. His newly acquired knowledge of pioneering German technology will help him perform even more advanced endoscopic techniques, minimizing tissue damage and potential complications.

Upon his return from Germany, Dr. Spivak also celebrated the launch of his new Manhattan office. He will now be available at the new Manhattan location, which features an on-site surgical center.