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Spine Surgery: Post-Surgery Instructions

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​What Should You do After You Have Undergone Spine Surgery?

The instructions provide general information and advice regarding your condition. These guidelines are not exhaustive and taking these precautions may help to reduce risks and complications.

How Should You Take Care of Your Wound?

  • Keep the dressing and back wound dry and covered for 3 days
  • You may take a light shower 4 days after surgery
  • Remove the dressing to dry and expose the wound
  • You may remove the smaller bandages or steri-strips as they begin to peel off
  • Do not soak in bathtub or swim until 2 weeks after your surgery

What Activities You Should not do?

  • Do not lift weights heavier than a carton of milk for 1 month
  • Do not drive for 1 week after surgery
  • Do not sit for longer than 15 minutes for 1 month after surgery
  • Do not engage in rigorous sports or heavy work for 2 months after surgery
  • You may resume light work after 1 week if it is not physically demanding
  • You may gradually resume simple exercises such as walking
  • Stop if the activity causes any pain or discomfort

Do You Need to be on a Special Diet?

You may resume a regular diet after discharge if you do not feel nausea or vomiting from the anaesthesia.

How Should You Take Your Pain Medications?

  • Take the prescribed pain medications during times of pain causing discomfort.
  • Stop taking the medication if you do not feel any pain or discomfort.
  • Stop taking the medication immediately if you are experiencing signs of allergic reaction (skin rashes, breathing difficulty, swollen eyes or lips or face)

When Should You Seek Medical Attention?

A slight amount wound drainage is normal for up to 2 days following surgery
You need to seek medical attention if you experience the following:

  • Wound infection (wound redness, wound discharge, fever and chills)
  • Persistent worsening pain, numbness or weakness or abnormal bladder activity (occasional or intermittent symptoms is part of healing process)

When can You be Discharged?

  • Your vital signs are stable
  • You regain the ability to walk on your own
  • You can eat without nausea
  • Your bladder activity is normal
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