YOU SHOULD REPORT ANY FEVERS, CHILLS, NAUSEA, VOMITING, NIGHT SWEATS, WEAKNESS OR DRAINAGE FROM YOUR INCISION TO YOUR PHYSICIAN IMMEDIATELY.
After low back (lumbar) surgery, your hospital stay can vary. For a lumbar fusion you will stay in the hospital 3 days. For a laminectomy you may be discharged the same day or kept overnight. This depends on the extent of your surgery.
Generally, no brace is needed. You may be given a soft brace to help with incisional pain. Driving is not allowed until your physician gives you permission. DRIVING ON NARCOTICS IS PROHIBITED.
IT IS NORMAL FOR YOUR BACK PAIN TO GET WORSE FOR 3-5 DAYS AFTER SURGERY. PLEASE TAKE YOUR MEDICATIONS AS INSTRUCTED DURING THIS TIME. STOOL SOFTENERS ARE ALSO ADVISED FOR THE FIRST 3 WEEKS AFTER SURGERY. ANY OVER-THE-COUNTER STOOL SOFTENER IS APPROPRIATE.
Steri-Strips will cover your incision. These are small, rectangular bandages that remain on your incision for seven days. For example, if your surgery is on Monday, you should keep the Steri-Strips in place until the following Monday. IF YOU HAVE VISIBLE SUTURES YOUR DOCTOR WILL REMOVE THESE.
A drain is placed only if you stay in the hospital overnight. You can shower 24 hours after the drain is removed. Do not to take a tub bath, swim in a pool, or soak in a hot tub until given permission to do so by your physician.
You may experience some numbness and tingling around your incision, and your incision may be very sensitive. You may also have some temporary leg pain or numbness. This is very common after surgery.
We recommend that you take the prescription medication given to you only if you are having pain. We do not recommend narcotic prescriptions beyond three weeks.
If you were on blood-thinners prior to surgery such as Plavix, aspirin, Pradaxa, Effient or Coumadin please discuss with your physician when you may resume these medications. Generally, they can be resumed in 5-7 days after surgery however, do not resume these unless instructed by your physician.
If you undergo a fusion, please note that anti-inflammatory medications, which include Advil, Ibuprofen, Motrin, Aleve, Naprosyn, Diclofenac (Toradol), Celebrex (Celecoxib), Mobic (Meloxicam) and aspirin, are not recommended for THREE MONTHS after your surgery. These medications can inhibit the fusion we are trying to achieve. The ONLY exception to this is 81mg of aspirin. If you were on this prior to surgery you may resume these medication three days after your procedure.
Your first postoperative follow-up appointment will be approximately three weeks after your surgery. You may be given a prescription for physical therapy to be done 10 days post-op. Please attend this visit. It is important to your overall recovery.
Lifting will be restricted to 10 lbs. for the first three weeks after surgery. At your three-week follow-up visit, your physician will give you further instructions.
We encourage you to walk as much as possible without restriction. We encourage you to walk one mile per day by three weeks after your surgery. You may climb stairs without restrictions.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Keystone Spine and Pain Management Center at 484-509-0840.