For your own safety, you will need to have someone stay with you for at least the first few days after your surgery, as post-surgical patients can be dizzy, disoriented and more prone to falling. Your companion should be available to:
- Follow written post-surgical instructions
- Help with back brace or neck collar
- Outpatient only – Drain fluid from surgical drains (may be done by Home Health Nurse instead)
- Change dressings (may be done by Home Health Nurse instead)
- Outpatient only – Remove surgical drain (may be done by Home Health Nurse instead)
- Dispense medications on a timely basis
- Help you to the restroom
- Help with bathing, if needed
- Help you get in and out of bed
- Walk you around the house multiple times a day
- Prepare beverages and meals for you (as tolerated)
- Contact OSC should problems arise
Care should be taken that you not lift more than 20 pounds for all spine surgeries until you are released to do so by your doctor! That includes children, pets, laundry, groceries, etc.
You should make rest your primary focus for the first few days after surgery. If not sleeping, you should be resting comfortably and quietly, with increasing activity as tolerated. Walking is the best therapeutic activity while recovering from spine surgery and the distance should be increased on a daily basis, as tolerated.
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