Spinal Fusion

Care After

These instructions give you information on caring for yourself after your procedure. Your doctor may also give you more specific instructions. Call your doctor if you have any problems or questions after your procedure.

HOME CARE

  • Only take medicines as told by your doctor.

  • Do not drive if you are taking certain pain medicines (narcotics).

  • Change your bandage (dressing) as told by your doctor.

  • Do not get the wound wet. Do not take baths or swim until your doctor says it is okay.

  • Check the wound often for redness, puffiness (swelling), or leaking fluids.

  • Ask your doctor what activities you should avoid and for how long.

  • Walk as much as you can. Do not sit for long periods of time. Change positions every hour.

  • Do not lift anything heavier than 5 to 10 pounds (2.25 to 4.5 kilograms) until your doctor says it is safe.

  • Do not twist or bend for 6 weeks. Try not to pull on things. Do not hold things away from your body.

  • Ask your doctor what exercises you should do. Exercises can help make the back stronger.

GET HELP RIGHT AWAY IF:

  • Your pain suddenly gets worse.

  • The wound is red, puffy, bleeding, or leaking fluid.

  • Your legs or feet are painful, puffy, weak, or lose feeling (numb).

  • You cannot control when you pee (urinate) or poop (bowel movement).

  • You have trouble breathing.

  • You have chest pain.

  • You have a temperature by mouth above 102° F (38.9° C), not controlled by medicine.

MAKE SURE YOU:

  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.