Pain control is necessary to give patients the chance to go home after an outpatient spine surgery. Successful outpatient surgery centers utilize a multifaceted approach to reduce pain and swelling after an operation.
These are some of the modes often used to limit pain:
- The surgeon must be deliberate in reducing the size of exposure while still having excellent visualization of the surgical field.
- Dissection trauma must be minimized as much as possible.
- The skin area should be locally anesthetized. The deeper muscle and fascial layers should also be infused with anesthetic. Corticosteroid medications can be utilized to decrease longer-term swelling and inflammation.
- A combination of narcotic medications, muscle relaxers, and anti-inflammation medications can provide better pain control. Anti-inflammatory medications are not used for any type of fusion surgery, however, such as an ACDF or lumbar fusion.
- Ice and cool therapies can reduce the postoperative pain and swelling.
Depending on the patient’s medical history, not all these different techniques may be utilized.