Surgery for cervical myelopathy (say "my-uhl-OP-uh-thee") removes any tissues that are pressing on the spinal cord. Your doctor made a cut (incision) in the skin over the spine where the pressure on the spinal cord has occurred. He or she used special surgical tools through the incision to do the surgery.
You can expect your neck to feel stiff or sore after surgery. In the weeks after your surgery, it may be hard to sit or stand in one position for very long and you may need pain medicine. It may take up to 8 weeks to get back to doing your usual activities.
Your doctor may advise you to work with a physiotherapist to strengthen the muscles in your neck and upper back. You will need to learn how to lift, twist, and bend so that you do not put too much strain on your neck and back. Some activities may be limited, depending on the type of surgery you had.
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to get better as quickly as possible.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for any changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter Y383 in the search box to learn more about "Surgery for Cervical Myelopathy: What to Expect at Home".
Current as of: November 29, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
©2006-2018 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.