Do’s and Dont’s After Spine Surgery [10 useful tips]
Time after the spine surgery
The time after surgery is critical to your recovery. Although the surgical part is over and you can look forward to improved mobility and overall quality of life, the final outcome of your surgery depends, in large, on what you do and don’t do after you get home.
We have prepared some tips for you so that you know what to expect after you go home after your spine surgery.
1. DON’T LIFT OBJECTS UNTIL CLEARED
Unnecessary straining of any sort could not only cause the incision to reopen, but it can also cause infection in areas of broken skin.
2. DON’T SKIP APPOINTMENTS
It is understandable that once you feel better, you want to forget all about the surgery, thinking you don’t need a surgeon anymore. However, your surgical incision needs to be checked, and your condition evaluated. If you have any questions about your follow-up appointment with your physician, contact their office.
3.FOLLOW YOUR DOCTOR’S DIRECTIONS
Choosing which instructions to follow and which not to isn’t up to you. Sometimes, you will not know the reason for a specific recommendation. If you disregard it, the consequences might be severe.
4.USE PAIN MEDICATION AS INSTRUCTED
Take your pain medications as directed by your surgeon. Many procedures involve a regional nerve block that will wear off within 6-18 hours. It is important to stay on schedule with your pain medication as it will decrease the severity of pain when the block wears off. Do not force any motion that causes pain. Do not drive, operate machinery, or sign any legal documents while taking narcotic pain medication.
If your surgeon orders physical therapy sometime after the surgery, take the offer! Furthermore, if the physical therapist prepares a home exercise plan for you to follow on your days off from physical therapy, do it.
6.ASK FOR HELP
If you are having anesthesia, you will need to have someone over the age of 18 remain at the spine surgery center in Boynton Beach, or Delray Beach during your procedure to receive discharge instructions, drive you home, and stay with you for 24 hours after your surgery. Please make arrangements ahead of time.
7. COUGH AND SNEEZE CAREFULLY
If you are left with an incision after surgery, you can do some harm to it if you cough, or sneeze the wrong way. A new incision isn’t very strong and a forceful sneeze can cause it to open.
8. PREPARE YOUR ENVIRONMENT
Make sure you have these items waiting for you at home after the surgery:
- hand sanitizer and antibacterial soap
- easy-to-make meals
- comfortable clothes
- filled prescriptions
- over-the-counter remedies
- emergency contact information
- movies, music, or books
- incision care supplies
9. PAY ATTENTION TO SYMPTOMS
You may feel numbness or pain around your incision, and it may look a little red. Check it every day to see if it:
- is more red, swollen, or draining extra fluid
- feels warm
- begins to open up
If any of these occur, contact your surgeon.
10. AVOID TOBACCO
Do not smoke, or use tobacco products after spine surgery. Avoiding tobacco is even more important if you had a fusion or a graft. Smoking and using tobacco products slows down the healing process.
Orthopedic Spine Surgeon Delray Beach
If you are preparing for spine surgery, you may have a lot of questions concerning your preparation for both before and after the procedure. Contact us to make an appointment with Dr. Matthew Hepler, your best choice for an orthopedic spine surgeon. As a spine surgeon in Boynton Beach and Delray Beach, Dr. Hepler treats a broad variety of conditions affecting the back.
He has a subspecialty interest in complex spine reconstruction. That includes scoliosis, kyphosis, and spondylolisthesis. Dr. Hepler treats all spine conditions, including disc herniations, radiculopathy, discogenic disc disease, lumbar and cervical stenosis, traumatic and osteoporotic fractures. He is also an expert in back surgery and spinal stenosis treatment.
Visit our Patient Testimonials page for great reviews from our amazing patients!
If you have any additional questions about Dr. Hepler and his role as a great orthopedic surgeon, please contact the office on 561-345-1780.
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.