July 12, 2019

How long does spine surgery recovery take? Check out one patient’s progress

Neck, Back and Spine | Patient Stories

For some patients who aren’t able to find relief for back pain using non-operative treatments, it takes having an operation to get back to normal. But, what happens during spine surgery recovery?

Read on to hear one patient’s story of how back pain slowed her down and surgery helped her feel better after the healing process was complete.

As an active mom with young children, Meghan Olds is always running around and playing with her kids. Additionally, she spends a lot of time traveling the country to watch her 11-year-old son’s go-kart races. However, her active lifestyle was put on pause when pain spread to her right hip, along with numbness, tingling and back pain.

The pain made it unbearable to do the things she loved, including exercise and traveling. The pain even limited her daily activities, such as carrying her 2-year-old daughter and putting her to bed. On top of it all, she was experiencing chronic pain and exhaustion.

Meghan decided enough was enough. She needed to return to her normal life as an active parent. Based on her prior knowledge of OrthoIndy and spine surgeon, Dr. Kevin O’Neill, who she “knew was amazing,” said Meghan, she decided to come to “the best” place for her problems, even if it meant driving from Terre Haute to be seen at OrthoIndy.

This decision was a “big deal” for Meghan because at only 35 the possibility of what might happen during her spine surgery recovery was looming over her.

Deciding to have back surgery

Dr. O’Neill determined that Meghan needed surgery if she wanted to return to her daily activities pain-free.

“Meghan had dealt with her pain for years and had been seen by a number of providers in different specialties,” said Dr. O’Neill. “At the end of all of this, her pain was still making her pretty miserable. She had relatively advanced degradation at a couple levels in her lumbar spine, which had led to severe nerve compression. I knew surgery would really help her.”

After Dr. O’Neill and Meghan discussed options, it became clear that the possibility of spine surgery was no longer an option, but a reality.

“The surgery that was required in Meghan’s case was a nerve decompression along with a spine fusion of the lower two levels of the lumbar spine,” said Dr. O’Neill. “I explained the surgery to her in detail after reviewing all of her imaging with her. I think it really helps patients to have an idea of what the problem is and how the surgery will solve that problem.”

Meghan found that Dr. O’Neill was right about her spine surgery recovery and soon found relief from her back pain.

“My experience with Dr. O’Neill was phenomenal,” said Meghan. “He is so kind and understanding. Furthermore, he explains everything in detail and doesn’t pressure me or minimize anything. He takes his time to truly answer any and all questions and doesn’t rush through things. I have recommended Dr. O’Neill and the staff at OrthoIndy for any type of injury or musculoskeletal problems.”

Spine surgery recovery

After her surgery, Meghan said she is now back to her active lifestyle and is “better than ever.” Meghan’s back is free of pain and her leg is no longer numb, weak or tingly.

“I can play with my children, watch my son race and am more involved than ever before because I didn’t realize how much of my life I was missing out on from the pain,” said Meghan.

While the procedure was originally a scary thought for a young mom, Dr. O’Neill knew it was the key to get Meghan feeling normal again after her spine surgery recovery.

“I understand that the idea of surgery, especially spine surgery, can be intimidating,” said Dr. O’Neill. “But sometimes, surgery is just the right answer for the problem. That was the case for Meghan. She recovered well and I’m so excited for her to be feeling like herself again.”

Now, Meghan can turn her attention back to her children and away from pain. Meghan is currently focused on being the best mom possible by being present with her children, playing with them as much as she can and traveling around the country with her son and his racing team.

Since Meghan’s surgery, she has once again turned to OrthoIndy to help her husband, who was provided with “exceptional care as well,” said Meghan. In fact, they will “never go anywhere but OrthoIndy because my life after my spine surgery recovery has been amazing.”

Schedule an appointment

Your well-being is important to us. Call us at 317.802.2883 to schedule an appointment or make an appointment request online.

If your injury or condition is recent, you can walk right into one of our OrthoIndy Urgent Care locations for immediate care. For rehabilitation and physical therapy, no referral is needed to see one of our physical therapists.

You might also like:

Checklist on Prepping for Back Surgery cover

Checklist on Prepping for Back Surgery

Having back surgery? Find out what you can do now to make your recovery go smoothly and learn other ways to prepare, including what to pack and bring along to the hospital.

Download the checklist

Related Posts

More from OrthoIndy

Get stories and News in your inbox

Subscribe to our weekly articles