Can Fitbit Fitness Trackers Help Predict Spine Surgery Recovery Times?

Spine Surgery Sanjay KhuranaDevelopments in technology have significantly improved the way medicine is practiced across the board, especially in the field of spine surgery. Board-certified orthopedic spine surgeon Dr. Sanjay Khurana and his team at the Los Angeles Spine Group are experts in minimally invasive spine surgery, treating patients for a range of conditions, like degenerative disc disease and spinal instability, that once required complicated, traditional open surgery.

In addition to robotic surgery and modern procedures, like the XLIF procedure and the ALIF surgery, modern technology has lead to the development of practical, common, and affordable consumer devices that can help Dr. Khurana and his patients monitor the time it takes to recover and regain full mobility after spine surgery.

Physical Activity and Recovery after Spine Surgery

According to a collaborative research study between Northwestern University, the University of California San Francisco, and New York University, using Fitbit trackers to monitor a patient’s physical activity after spine surgery could help to predict projected recovery time for spine surgery in the future. “An activity monitor allows us to have an objective, numerically exact and continuous measure of activity. This can show exactly how much function a patient has regained and, critically, when and if it occurs during the recovery period. This may allow us to predict when a patient will be back to 50 percent activity, 100 percent activity or even 200 percent activity in the future,” said Dr. Zachary Smith, the principal investigator of the study.

The Fitbit trackers will be used to monitor and record activity during the four weeks before surgery, and for six months following surgery. Initial results have shown how surgery changes patient activity levels.

Activity typically decreases during the four to six week period right after surgery. At approximately the one month mark after spine surgery, the Fitbit trackers recorded patient activity close to preoperative levels. Activity slowly continued to climb to new levels of activity that “could never have been reached before,” according to the study authors.

Contact an Experienced Orthopedic Spine Surgeon in Los Angeles

If you are considering spine surgery in Los Angeles, or need a second opinion for a previous diagnosis, call 310.321.4333 today to schedule an appointment at the Los Angeles Spine Group.

Next, read about 5 Tips to Seeking a Second Opinion for a Spine Injury

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