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Recovery After Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression Surgery

Recovery After Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression Surgery

If you are suffering from a back condition that requires minimally invasive surgery, it can be stressful to think about the procedure and recovery process. The time spent healing after surgery and the surgery itself may raise a lot of questions as you decide if this is the right procedure for you. Advances in orthopedic surgery have made it possible for surgeons to effectively operate using small incisions as opposed to traditional open procedures where the entire back is opened with a long incision. Knowing that your lumbar surgery is minimally invasive can help reduce your anxiety and understanding the recovery process can put your worries to rest. There are many benefits to these new advances in minimally invasive lumbar decompression surgeries such as less pain, less time spent in the hospital, and shorter recovery periods.

What Is Minimally Invasive Back Surgery?

Lumbar decompression surgery is a type of surgery used to treat compressed nerves in the lower (lumbar) spine. The surgery is used to improve symptoms such as persistent pain and numbness in the legs caused by pressure on the nerves and in the spine. Lumbar decompression surgery is only recommended when non-surgical treatments have failed to relieve the painful and uncomfortable symptoms. 

Minimally invasive lumbar decompression surgery requires a small incision made by your surgeon in the affected area. Small tissue dilators are used to fold back the lower back muscles and muscle fibres to allow surgical access to the bone that makes up the spinal canal. Your surgeon then begins to remove this bone to gain access to your spine where your surgeon will then extricate some soft tissue and overgrown facets that are resulting in the pressure and will remove any bone spurs if found. Once the surgery is completed, your surgeon will fold your muscle back onto the bone and will close the small incision. 

Benefits Of Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression Surgery

As opposed to open surgery, minimally invasive surgical approaches can be faster, safer, and require shorter recovery periods. Because of the reduced trauma to the soft tissue and muscles, the potential benefits include:

  • Better cosmetic results from smaller skin incisions
  • Reduced risk of muscle damage
  • Reduced risk of infection and blood loss
  • Less rehabilitation is required after surgery
  • Faster recovery times
  • Diminished reliance on pain medications after surgery

Recovery After Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression Surgery

Although this surgery is less intrusive, your body will still need some time to heal and recover after minimally invasive surgery. Here is what you can expect during your healing process from lumbar decompression surgery:

Hospital Recovery

After your lumbar decompression surgery, your orthopedic surgeon may require you to stay in the hospital to recover anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days. Your doctor will determine how long your inpatient recovery will be and if you require physical therapy before going home. 

Recovery Time

Patients receiving minimally invasive lumbar decompression surgery will experience a much shorter recovery period than those who receive an open procedure. When you are home, you will need to rest, but you can resume your regular diet once you feel comfortable doing so. You may have mild pain and soreness as you start to move around. This pain will improve in a relatively short amount of time and your doctor will prescribe pain medication to relieve the discomfort. The full recovery from lumbar decompression surgery can take up to six weeks with the help of physical therapy. Depending on your condition and how the surgery goes, your surgeon will give you a more specific timeline as you recover. 

Private Spine Surgery Kelowna

Okanagan Health Surgical Centre in Kelowna is a world-class private surgical facility providing advanced orthopedic surgeries including lumbar decompression surgery, knee surgery, shoulder surgery, foot and ankle surgery, and more.  We provide minimally invasive procedures to allow our patients a faster recovery time so they can get back to living a pain-free life.

The team of private surgeons will be sure to answer any questions you may have during a complimentary consultation regarding minimally invasive procedures including lumbar decompression surgery. To book your consultation today call us at 1-250-868-9799  or Toll-Free: 1-877-505-8895 or fill out the contact form below.


Q: Do minimally invasive procedures require anaesthesia?
A: Many surgical procedures will require patients to be placed under anaesthesia including minimally invasive surgeries to prevent patients from feeling any pain or discomfort. 

Q: How long is the recovery for minimally invasive lumbar decompression surgery?
A: Minimally invasive decompression surgery requires at least six weeks of recovery time. 

Q: How long is lumbar decompression surgery?
A: Minimally invasive lumbar decompression surgery only takes about an hour to complete.

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