Had spine surgery: Struggling with post-surgery depression

Posted by bernese53 @bernese53, Apr 30, 2019

I am 10 days post-op; I had surgery on my cervical spine on April 19 (a 2-level disk removal plus fusion). The surgery went well and I have been very lucky in terms of minimal pain. However, over the last few days, I have been really struggling with depression. I am supposed to take brief walks but find it very difficult to actually get out of bed and walk. I have been taking antidepressants and continue to do so. I am wearing a hard cervical collar 24/7 and cannot drive. My husband works long hours and so I spend most of my days alone. In addition, our house has very steep steps and I am very afraid of falling so I have been confined to the second floor. Any suggestions for coping with the post-op depression?

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Spine Health Support Group.

Isolation can intensify depression. Been there,done that. When I had a couple of cancer surgeries and relatives who all had employment commitments that did not allow them to visit me I certainly noticed my depression raise its ugly head. My suggestion is to find one or two people you can count on to come to your house and take you out to walk and get some fresh air. Who? Well, start with relatives, move to friends, neighbors. If you belong to a church or other place of worship ask for a referral to someone who can help you. During a particularly difficult personal time in my life I hesitated to ask for help as I felt too proud to accept that I was at a weak point and I truly needed assistance. A wise relative reminded me that most people are willing and maybe even eager to help. They just do not want to force themselves on you. Take a deep breath and ask. I would be very surprised if you hear 'no' three times before you hear a compassionate 'yes'.


@bernese53 great suggestions from @rubyjane. I think most people are happy to help out if they know they can. I sometimes find myself holding back because I don’t want to intrude, but I realize i should get over that.

Would it be possible for your husband to help you to get down to the first floor before he leaves for work? That could be a step forward perhaps.

I hope you do find people to help/visit. I’ll be interested in hearing how you are doing.


@bernese53 Welcome to connect when I had surgery I made my bed on 1st floor ,can you do this? or have your husband take you downstairs before he goes to work


@bernese53, it has been a few months since your spine surgery. You had mentioned you were having a hard time during the initial recovery due to being home a lot on your own. How has your recovery gone? Has your physical activity been able to increase with the passing of time from your operation?

Please sign in or register to post a reply.