Is It Normal To Feel Pain After Cervical Disc Replacement?

Feeling nervous about postoperative pain following cervical disc replacement is common among patients. Dr. Tim Johans, a seasoned neurosurgeon in Boise, often addresses these concerns in his appointments with patients, providing reassurance that experiencing some level of pain is a normal part of the healing process and that you won't be alone in managing it. This blog aims to demystify the recovery experience, focusing on the nature of post-surgery pain, effective pain management strategies, and indicators for when to seek further medical advice.

Dr. Johans is a Diplomat and Fellow of the American Board of Neurological Surgeons, board certified in Pain Management and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American Board of Neurological Surgeons. He began his neurosurgical career in 1988 and has been practicing in Boise since 1993. With these credentials, you can trust that Dr. Johans has the specialized knowledge and experience to provide you with an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan.

He is a dedicated family man who is heavily involved in his community, is involved in several hospital boards and committees and takes pride in being a faith-driven person. Dr. Johans has had a 3 level neck fusion and can discuss options from his vast personal experience.

We also work closely with other non-surgeons if necessary so that our patients can access all available resources when making decisions regarding their treatment plans. Additionally, our team is always prompt in responding to inquiries and addressing patients' concerns throughout their recovery process. Reviews on Google and Healthgrades show that many individuals who have sought treatment from Dr. Johans have found success in his treatments while feeling comfortable and supported throughout their experiences at our office.

Is It Normal to Experience Immediate Post-Surgery Pain?

It is common and expected to experience mild to moderate pain immediately following cervical disc replacement surgery. This discomfort primarily arises from the surgical manipulation of muscles and nerves in the neck area, manifesting as a moderate dull posterior neck ache. Rarely is the post-operative pain significant.

Unlike the severe pain, numbness, or tingling that prompted the surgery, post-operative pain tends to be more acute but diminishes as the healing process progresses. Notably, the initial pain or discomfort in the shoulder or arms that led to the surgery should begin to subside shortly after the procedure, marking the start of recovery. Some patients feel relief in their arms or shoulders as early as the first hours after surgery.

image of man experiencing neck pain

How Can I Manage Pain After Cervical Disc Replacement?

Dr. Johans emphasizes the importance of adhering to a prescribed regimen of pain relievers, ice, and anti-inflammatory medications, carefully following the dosage and schedule to control pain effectively. His goal is for them to provide you with the necessary assistance with the management of pain, and then to get you off them as quickly as possible.

Additionally, participating in guided physical therapy, if prescribed, is essential for expediting healing and reducing discomfort. Tailored gentle stretches and exercises, designed according to each patient's stage of recovery, are important in restoring mobility and alleviating pain. Home care practices, such as applying ice packs, using heat therapy, and maintaining a comfortable resting position, further aid in managing post-operative pain.

How Long is the Recovery Time From Cervical Disc Replacement?

image of man looking down and grabbing his neck

When Should I Contact Dr. Johans After Cervical Disc Replacement?

Dr. Johans advises patients to be vigilant for certain symptoms that could indicate complications or the need for additional medical attention. It is critical to contact him immediately if there is a sudden increase in pain intensity that is not alleviated by medication, signs of infection like fever, redness, or discharge at the incision site, or the onset of new numbness, weakness, or tingling in the arms or hands. Recognizing and responding to these signs promptly ensures that potential issues are addressed early, facilitating a smoother and more effective recovery process. It is important to know that all of these post-operative symptoms are very rare.

What To Look For In A Spine Surgeon

Over the decades in practice, Dr. Johans has had an incredible record of patients not developing infections from surgery or significant blood loss. He has never had to give a blood transfusion. Dr. Johans has never had a significant post-operative deep neck infection, and complications, such as stroke or death, have never happened to his patients. This is thanks to his high skill and training and the minimally invasive procedures he can perform.

Contact Dr. Johans for Disc Replacement in Boise

If cervical disc replacement is a procedure you're considering, Dr. Johans is here to guide you every step of the way. My commitment is to provide personalized care that aligns with your lifestyle and health objectives.

Reach out directly at (208) 327-5621 or initiate your journey to recovery by completing our patient questionnaire. Together, we'll explore the best treatment options tailored just for you.

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