How Long Is the Recovery for Neck Surgery?


Quick Answer

Although recovery time varies widely depending on the procedure, many patients experience the full benefits of a neck surgery after several months of rehabilitation, as stated by the University of Maryland Medical Center. Many patients only need to remain in the hospital one or two nights after surgery.

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Full Answer

Patients may normally sit and stand within 24 hours after surgery, but walking is approached with caution, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. A physical therapist might give the patient exercises to ease leg soreness and prevent blood from pooling in the legs, and may recommend using a cane or walker for a short time. Some pain can be expected within the first few days after surgery and is normally controlled with oral painkillers. Although many patients notice improvements immediately after surgery, they may need to undergo a long-term exercise program to strengthen the neck's muscles and soft tissue.

Patients who come out of surgery may need to wear a neck brace for some time, which may take the form of a soft collar, a hard collar or a halo, as affirmed by SpineUniverse. Patients who use halo braces can normally switch to another brace within six to 12 weeks. Patients with stitches or sutures generally have them removed two weeks after surgery.

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