Recovery & Aftercare
Like any major surgical procedure, your back surgery recovery and aftercare are both vital and highly important to your recovery. Regardless of how pleased your surgeon was with the procedure, you must put the weeks that follow the surgery to very good use.
Pain management is an integral part of back surgery recovery. During your hospital stay, you will be prescribed pain medication or be administered a painkiller through an IV. And you will likely be prescribed a narcotic painkiller later, to facilitate your home recovery; thus restricting activities such as driving for weeks following the surgery.
Even the way that you adjust your posture and position your spine will matter during this pivotal time; and while it’s always important to rest up during back surgery recovery, any interval of bed rest must be balanced with rigorous regimens of physical activity that will stimulate muscles and circulate the blood.
During the back surgery recovery process, exercise and take physical therapy to achieve optimum results. Just be certain that you choose an exercise program that is medically sound and doctor recommended in nature.
The proper diet is another integral part of the back surgery recovery process, as enhanced by a doctor-approved regimen of iron or other vitamin supplements.
Things to do during recovery from back surgery
- Eat balanced meals.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Avoid smoking.
- Avoid drinking alcohol to excess.
- Use lumbar support and maintain proper posture when sitting.
- Do not twist or bend right away. Consult with your doctor on increasing your range of motion during recovery.
- Avoid lifting, pushing or pulling objects larger than 5 pounds.
- Do not allow constipation to progress more than 2 days without taking a laxative.
- Do not bathe in a tub or swim until your wound is completely healed and you have approval from your doctor to do so.
- Only engage in sexual activity when you feel physically strong enough to do so. Certain positions may be more comfortable than others and you should stop if it becomes painful.
- Walking is the best activity for the first 6 weeks after surgery.
Warning Signs to Report to Your Doctor
If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should report them to your doctor immediately:
- Shaking chills
- Fever above 100 degrees
- Swelling, pain or red streaks in your legs
In an emergency, always call 911.