Chiari malformation is a structural problem involving the location of the cerebellum to the foramen magnum at the base of the skull that affects hundreds of thousands of Americans each year. A surgical procedure to alleviate pressure on the brain may be necessary if symptoms are causing significant disruption in everyday life. Depending on your unique circumstances, your recovery from Roswell Chiari Malformation surgery might take several weeks or perhaps a year.
Understanding what to anticipate following Chiari malformation surgery assists you in preparing and concentrating on your recovery, whether you have a procedure planned or are arranging your treatment. If you want to know more about getting well, read the following.
You should expect pain and discomfort, particularly when you turn or move your head, so you will be given pain and muscle spasm drugs.
Analgesics, such as narcotics, are used to treat pain after surgery. Narcotic painkillers are only prescribed for a short time since they might be addictive (2 to 4 weeks). NSAIDs and acetaminophen (Tylenol, for example) are then used to treat the pain (e.g., aspirin; ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin, Nuprin; naproxen sodium, Aleve).
Constipation may be caused by long-term use of opioids, so drink plenty of water and consume foods rich in fiber. You can purchase laxatives and stool softeners (such as Colace and Docusate). An ice pack applied to the neck and shoulders for 20 minutes helps alleviate discomfort and muscle spasms. Likewise, your doctor may issue prescriptions for muscle relaxants in the event of an injury.
Fatigue, weakness, and headaches are frequent side effects of Chiari malformation surgery
Watch out for indications of infection, such as redness, inflammation, fever, or fluid pooling or seeping around the incision during this period. Severe headaches, neck discomfort when you bend your head forward, increased sleepiness, or numbness in the arms or legs should prompt you to see a medical professional right at once.
Follow up visits
You will also have follow-up appointments to check your healing and remove stitches and staples in the days following surgery. Your doctor may reduce the dosages of any drugs you are taking for other ailments while you are recuperating.
Return to normal activities
As your recovery progresses, you may gradually resume your usual activities, although your doctor may recommend avoiding intense activity. While you are recovering, walking may assist in circulating the blood and tone your muscles.
After surgery for Chiari malformation, neck discomfort and stiffness are frequent after-effects of the procedure’s dissection of the neck muscles. Strengthening these muscles and reducing stiffness may be accomplished via isometric neck exercises and mild stretching, both of which your doctor may suggest. Physical therapy may be helpful in the treatment strategy in certain situations.
The road to recovery is long, and it will take time and patience. Remember that you are not alone and that your doctor is here to provide you with guidance and assistance. Even though many individuals can return to work six weeks following the onset of their symptoms, it may take up to a year to go entirely for some patients.
Do not give up if you do not feel better right away. The mending process takes time. Maintaining a reasonable frame of mind may aid recovery by relieving stress. Assemble a team of people who can provide a hand along the journey, whether they are family, friends, or other people dealing with Chiari malformations.