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Thoracic Spine Surgery and Recovery

There are many advances in treating thoracic spine conditions and symptoms. Conservative treatments, such as medication, physical therapy and other minimally invasive approaches, can effectively relieve pain, reduce inflammation and address the cause of your pain. 

If your pain does not improve with a non-surgical approach, your doctor may recommend surgery. There are many options available to help get you back on the road to recovery. After this conservative approach, your doctor may discuss surgical options. Today’s advances have made spine surgery more effective, less invasive and safer. 

Types of Thoracic Spine Surgery

Advances in spinal surgery offer more options for patients than ever before. New approaches and technology deliver safer, more precise procedures that get you back to the activities you enjoy more quickly with a faster recovery time. 

The experienced surgeons at the Spine Center at St. Elizabeth Florence deliver the latest advances in spinal surgery. Our partnership with specialty practices give you unmatched access to the latest equipment, technology and approaches to help you feel better, faster.

Our spine surgery capabilities include, but are not limited to:

Recovering from Thoracic Spine Surgery

Recovering from thoracic spine surgery begins before you even arrive at the hospital. Take simple steps to prepare yourself, your home and your caregiver on what to expect to make the healing and recovery process a little easier. 

Preparing for Back Surgery

  1. Prepare meals. It may not seem like much but planning ahead and deciding what meals you are going to eat means one less thing to worry about when you are recovering from back surgery. Pick a few favorite restaurants to get carryout or make freezer meals in the days before surgery. 
  2. Accept offers of help. Friends, family and neighbors often ask what they can do while you are recovering from surgery. Accept their help! Ask them to help take care of daily chores that may be too much for you immediately after the surgery – things like laundry, cutting the grass, cooking dinner or cleaning the house. 
  3. Set up your recovery area before you leave home. When you first arrive home after your procedure, you will likely need to rest. Set up a space where you can comfortably lie down. Have a table next to you to put water, snacks or a book. Make sure the things you need when you return home from the hospital are within arms reach. 
  4. Treat yourself. Chances are you will need to rest for the first few weeks after surgery. Treat yourself to a new book, movie, puzzles or hobby that you can do from home without overexerting yourself. 
  5. Knock off items from your to-do list before surgery. If grass is getting long or something needs to get moved, plan to get it done before your surgery. You may need to ask for help from family, friends or neighbors to take care of anything that could cause more pain or aggravate your back or neck. Taking care of to-dos before surgery will help you focus on rest and recovery after your procedure.
  6. Familiarize yourself with discharge instructions. Instructions after surgery vary by procedure. Be sure you and your caregiver pay close attention to discharge instructions, so you are ready to begin the healing process as soon as you arrive home.

What to Expect After Thoracic Spinal Surgery

After you are discharged from the hospital, follow a few simple steps to help your recovery process. As always, be sure to follow specific discharge instructions:

  • Be prepared to rest and take it easy. Today’s surgical procedures are often less invasive and offer quicker recovery periods, but it is still important to let your body heal.  
  • Follow your doctor’s instructions. Listen closely to your doctor’s discharge instructions and avoid the temptation to push yourself when you start feeling better. You could re-injure your back or slow down recovery time.
  • Take medication as directed by your physician. It’s important to follow instructions for prescriptions or pain medication after your surgery. Taking medicine as prescribed will help ease pain and keep you comfortable as your body heals.
  • Do your exercises. Your doctor and physical therapist will give you specific instructions on what exercises you should be doing and when. Most patients are encouraged to get up and walk around every day. Be sure to follow those directions. It may be uncomfortable immediately after surgery, but physical therapy is another important step in your recovery process and getting your back healthy and strong. 

Spine Surgery Discharge Instructions

Your doctor will provide discharge instructions for your specific neck or back surgery before you leave the hospital. Spend some time reviewing these so you know what to expect when it’s time to go home. 

Get answers to your questions about spine surgery

The team at St. Elizabeth includes surgeons and specialists with unmatched experience in diagnosing and treating injuries, conditions and diseases that cause thoracic spine pain. Physicians and accredited providers offer their insight on how to best treat your back pain. 

When you need surgery, our experienced surgeons will map out a plan that’s tailored to your health, condition and symptoms. Meet our surgeons.