Senior bicyclePostoperative care advices following lumbar fusion surgery

1- Stroll: Short but frequent strolls. Walk short distances each day and increase them progressively. Walking is key to your recovery since it strengthens the muscles and prevents muscle atrophy.
2- Do not lift anything heavier than 4 kgr during the first two weeks after surgery. Overall, do not lift anything that might be too “heavy” or may cause your back to bend. Avoid pulling, twisting or bending your back over the first 4 weeks. Avoid high-impact exercises. You can use an exercise bike. These activities should gradually be increased after 4-6 weeks.
3-Arrange your household to be able keep everything you need at your fingertips.
4-Remove from transited areas: electrical cords, rugs, and anything else that might cause a fall.
5-Free your hands so you can use them for balance. Use a fanny pack, apron, or pockets to carry things. Be sure not to take too many things at once.
6- Do not sit for more than 30-45 minutes at a time. Do not stay in bed all day.
7- Do not drive while taking pain medications containing opioids (for example tramadol or codeine).
8- Use chairs with arms. The arms of the chair will help you stand up and sit down.
9- Going back to work: this will be discussed after the operation in a personalized way.
10- In general, most patients who undergo a lumbar fusion surgery at a certain level and have an “office job” can return to work about 2-3 weeks after surgery. However, you may be able to return to work before this if you feel physically and mentally ready, without having to take any narcotic medications at work. Some patients are back to work in just 1-2 weeks after a lumbar fusion, while others have required more than 8 weeks.
11- Do not get the wound wet until eight days after the operation (procedure for first intervention) and 16 days if it is a reoperation. If the wound is wet, the skin is more likely to re-open.
12- Exposing the wound to the sun may cause hypertrophic scars. For the first 15 days after surgery, if the wound is exposed, apply sunscreen onto it (FP 30 or more) for at least 9- 12 months.
13-Try not to take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) after a bone fusion, such as ibuprofen or aspirin for example, within 3 months after the surgery unless instructed by the surgical team, your doctor or other specialists that think they are necessary to reduce the pain. They could affect the fusion of the spine.
14-Try not to smoke. It affects postoperative recovery.

Last Update 2019-04-19 10:45:56

Neurosurgery & Spine Surgery
Phone: +34 93 220 28 09



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