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Post Operative Information

  • Discharge information: Your surgeon or nursing staff will give you written discharge instructions including things like medications, physical therapy and ideas for home recovery. You will also be given contact information in case problems develop once you have returned home.
  • Help at home: Following your surgery it will be important for your spouse or significant other to understand you may need some help: performing physical activities, meal preparation, aid in rising or sitting, helping with some chores and running errands. If you live alone, you might need help from a home health agency.
  • Home activities:It will be helpful to wear loose fitting clothing. If your doctor recommends this, the application of heat or cold might be of value. Frequent movement so as not to stay in one position can minimize stiffness. Find a comfortable position in which to sleep. If you cannot find a comfortable position, try these:
    Lie fact up with your shoulders elevated
    Place a pillow between your knees with your knees and hips slightly bent. This will take some pressure off you back.
  • Therapy Exercises: Exercise is one of the most beneficial things you can to. Your doctor may suggest physical therapy or give you home exercises to do, including stretching, strengthening and aerobic activity. The key is movement. Move frequently, but gently. Your doctor should suggest limitations to your exercise, but as you do the activities, you will know what is best for you.

Develop habits that are healthy

You are an active participant in your health. Your doctor has addressed the surgical problem, but the rest is your responsibility. It may mean changing some of your habits. It is important to know that changing habits takes time. Knowing that in the beginning can help support you when it seems difficult to make the changes necessary.

Here are some things you can do to keep your back, and body in healthy:

  • Eat healthy food: Look for fresh foods and vegetables. Minimize red meat and make fruit a part of your diet.
  • Manage your weight: Reaching and keeping a healthy weight is important for your health. It is a direct result of your eating and exercise habits.
  • Exercise regularly: this includes stretching, strengthening and aerobic activity.
  • Support your back: Make sure you have a comfortable and supportive chair for your work and home. It is helpful for some lumbar support either in the chair or from a lumbar roll. This keeps pressure off the supporting ligaments and muscles.
  • Stop smoking: This is one of the most important things you can do to contribute to your health. Smoking contributes to back pain, poor healing, reduced oxygen use and contains many toxic chemicals.
  • Drink moderately: If you drink alcohol, do so with moderation. There is controversy as to the value of drinking in moderation, but if there is a question, less is better.