How to Recover From Spine Surgery
- 1). Prepare your home prior to going into surgery. Put items you need, such as bathroom necessities or remote controls, in areas where you don't need to bend or reach to get them.
- 2). Keep the incision site dry. You will have sutures that will be removed at your first postoperative visit. If you do get these wet while showering, dry them and replace the bandage covering with a sterile dry one to prevent infection.
- 3). Arrange for someone to pick you up from the hospital. You will not be able to drive home or anywhere else until your doctor clears you. For minimally invasive procedures, this can be as soon as two weeks.
- 4). Refrain from any movement that twists your spine. This includes getting in and out of bed. Learn to sit at the edge of the bed and pivot your legs with your torso as you straighten yourself in bed.
- 5). Take your pain medications and anti-inflammatory medications as prescribed.
- 6). Don't lift. It will take time for your spine to recuperate. Lifting will strain your spine and possibly reinjure the area. While lifting a toothbrush or cup of coffee is OK, you don't want to lift a bag of groceries into the house.
- 7). Rest. Whether it takes two weeks or six months to recover, take your time and listen to your body. Several weeks after surgery you may feel well enough to do many of your normal activities, but know that the more rest you get, the faster and better your healing will be. Everything within moderation.
- 8). Perform your physical therapy exercises as directed by your surgeon and physical therapist. Expect to start slow with minor movements and no weight and work your way up. It is important to work on flexibility of the spine as prescribed to give your spine the movement it needs to perform properly and be healthy.