Pre-Op and Post-Op Instructions

Before Surgery | After Surgery | First Weeks Home


Surgical Procedures (First Weeks Home)

First Weeks at Home

During the first few weeks, you will be very tired. You should be spending half of your time resting and the other half up and moving around. It is good planning to have someone available to help you for the first two weeks. You should be able to go to the bathroom and moving toward managing your surroundings without help. Pain medications should be taken on an as needed basis.

Post surgery constipation may occur because of reduced food intake and reduced intestinal motility. A decrease in your ability to ambulate and possible increase in pain medication may also be a cause.

Common treatments for constipation include: ambulation as tolerated, increased fluid intake, eating fresh fruits including prune juice and green leafy vegetables, and increased fiber intake. Laxative should only be taken when ordered by a physician.

Activities at this point should include a walking program. Do what you feel you can do, but be conservative and safe. In any event, do not lift anything more than 10 pounds and no stooping, twisting, lifting, housework, or yard work are allowed at this time. You can return to sexual activity when you feel ready.

The wound must be kept clean and dry and the dressing should be changed on a daily basis. For showering, you can tape a a cut piece of plastic wrap to cover the wound to keep the incision dry. Change this to a dry gauze once again after the shower. Place no lotions, powders, or ointments on the incision unless instructed to do so.

Keep track of your prescription medications by writing down when they should be taken. Narcotic pain medications require the actual escribe, so don't wait until you are out of medication to call the office for a refill. Please be advised that Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C. requires 48 hours notice for refill requests and prescriptions are only generated during the week (no weekends.)

As the weeks progress, you should gradually increase your amount of activity however, the restrictions are still in effect.

First Month After Surgery

Your postop visit to Long Island Spine will occur at about two weeks after surgery. At this time, we might increase your level of activity, which could include progression towards a basic exercise program. The specifics of your particular surgery will influence this decision. For example, fusion surgeries require a longer period of rest than laminectomy surgeries Physical therapy may or may not be prescribed at this point.

Three Months Post Op

Expect to have another office visit at three months after surgery. At this time, a more vigorous physical therapy exercise regimen will be initiated, if necessary. X-rays will be taken as needed to check the healing of the fusion, if performed. If you had a straightforward laminectomy, a full release to all activities will likely be given a green light at this point. Fusion surgery will probably require restrictions for another three months.

Fusion Surgery - Six Month Office Visit

The six month office visit will focus on your rehab plan. More x-rays will be taken to further assess the fusion progress. Most fusions will be mature at this point so many restrictions will be lifted at this time. However, the fusion will take a good one year period before your recovery is totally complete, so some restrictions may remain.

Annual Checkups

A routine office visit is recommended on an annual basis after a major spine surgery. The staff at Long Island Spine is committed to the long-term health of your spine.