Activities You Cannot Do After Cervical Disc Replacement

If chronic neck pain or degenerative disc disease is affecting your life, chances are you’re experiencing symptoms like shooting pain, neck stiffness, numbness, and much more. A cervical disc replacement may be the next option to help reduce your chronic neck pain or discomfort.
After getting a cervical disc replacement done, it’s important to follow your doctor’s recommendations in order to heal properly. This often includes certain activity restrictions during recovery. One of our experienced cervical disc replacement surgeons at NJ Spine & Orthopedic will help you throughout the entire process.

Activity Restrictions After Cervical Disc Replacement Surgery

When you’re in your first week of recovery from a cervical disc replacement procedure, your main focus will be pain control and rest. While most individuals experience substantial improvements in energy and pain levels during their second week, others will take longer to recover.

During this time, there are certain activities that you’ll need to limit or avoid during your first or second week after this procedure. These activities generally include:

1. Excessive Neck Movements

Many spine and neck specialists suggest a soft neck collar following your surgery to reduce excess movement and stabilize your neck. Even though most neck movements are safe and permitted during the early stages of your recovery, they can cause pain. Generally, most surgeons will advise patients to avoid extending their neck and head too far backward during their first two weeks of recovery.

2. Heavy Lifting

Your surgeon will also likely discourage you from lifting anything heavier than around eight pounds during the first two weeks after your procedure.

3. Driving

You’re not permitted to drive until you’re done taking any prescription medications that could impair your reflexes or cause drowsiness. You must also have an improvement in neck pain and mobility enough that you can drive safely.

4. Biking, Running, or Sports

You should avoid engaging in any vigorous activities like sports, biking, or running the first several weeks after your cervical disc replacement procedure.

Any restrictions that are placed on you will depend on your personal injury or condition and your surgeon. 

Recovery Tips After Cervical Disc Replacement

Having worn or damaged discs replaced in your neck can help manage or eliminate distracting pain. This can ultimately result in a more productive life. A cervical disc replacement procedure can also help retain a natural range of motion. There are certain things you’ll need to keep in mind while recovering to fully reap the benefits of this surgery, such as:

1. Preparing Your Home

You’ll need to go through a recovery period at home, even if you had a minimally invasive procedure done. Therefore, you’ll want to ensure everything is as convenient and safe as possible. Some ways to prep your home include:

  • Place your phones and other electronic devices in places that are easy to reach
  • Put commonly used items (i.e. TV remote, pots and pans, etc.) in accessible areas that don’t require bending or turning your neck too much
  • Rearrange your closet so you won’t have to stretch and reach clothes when getting dressed in the morning

Your spine and neck specialist will provide you with a complete set of instructions that you’ll need to follow as well to have your home ready for when you return after your procedure.

2. Make Arrangements for Transportation

While recovering from cervical disc replacement surgery, you’ll want to make transportation arrangements for getting to and from your follow-up appointments. Have a family member or friend to help you run errands. Wait for your surgeon to give you the go-ahead before you begin driving again on your own.

3. Stay Alert

Staying alert is another critical part of recovering from cervical disc replacement surgery. Let your surgeon know right away if you:

  • Experience any unexpected pain around the surgical area
  • Notice an increase in your discomfort level
  • Develop abnormal symptoms like numbness or heat sensations

It’s important to have realistic expectations about what you can and can’t do while recovering and be sure to consult with your doctor before fully resuming your regular work and home routines.

Contact a Skilled Neck and Spine Specialist Today

If you’re a candidate for cervical disc replacement surgery, know that you can experience pain relief, a greater range of motion in your neck, and quicker recovery through a cervical disc replacement. Our surgical team at NJ Spine & Orthopedic has broad experience in spine and neck surgeries, including cervical disc replacement.

You can live a life free of chronic neck pain after cervical disc replacement surgery. Call NJ Spine & Orthopedic at (866) 553-0612 today or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation.

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