Frequently Asked Questions - Surgery
- What do I need before surgery?
- What will I need after the hospital?
- How long is the recovery?
Before surgery, the most important step is to ask your primary physician for medical clearance, make sure there are no unresolved medical issues prior to surgery. Consider donating blood if a transfusion is considered. Exercise as much as possible to keep your strength for after surgery. Minimize narcotics before, you'll need it after surgery.
Our discharge planner will see you in the hospital. Most patients need an elevated toilet seat, walker, shower seat to be delivered before discharge. Home PT will be arranged, but have family or friends available daily. You can walk after surgery, but not household chores, driving, or cooking full meals.
The first week after any surgery is hard, most is spent in the hospital. Patients are not at bed rest, but all movement is slow, initially. A physical therapist is sent to your house during the first month for gentle recovery. For simple surgeries recovery is a few weeks, then therapy recovers function within 6 weeks. Complex surgeries require six weeks before beginning rehabilitation, the one or two months of outpatient therapy.
Rules after surgery
- If it hurts, DON'T DO IT. Lifting objects, bending or twisting to get them, will aggravate the spine. Listen to your body, practice proper body mechanics and get plenty of rest
- Walk every day, twice a day, start at 5 minutes, then add 1 minute every day to the duration of that walk. By the end of the month you will walk 30 minutes and be ready for outpatient therapy at the office.