Advice following Spinal surgery
The average length of stay following Back Surgery is 1-2 days. However this will depend on factors such as the type of procedure, your age and general fitness.
Should your Consultant feel that you are not well enough to be discharged – we will contact your Insurer to advise them of this. For Self funding patients this will be covered under your Inclusive Care agreement, further details of this are on the Spire website.
On discharge from the hospital , you will be given advice by your Consultant and Inpatient physiotherapists on looking after yourself in the post operative phase. Lumbar spinal patients will be advised to avoid sitting for longer that 20 minutes at a time and you will not be allowed to drive for a number of weeks, Your Consultant will advise but it may be up to 6 weeks for some patients following certain procedures.
Going home following surgery
A discharge summary will be sent to your GP to keep them informed and you will be given some pain medication to take home with you also. You will not be able to drive yourself home. Depending on what you have had done, you will be are reviewed by our Outpatient physiotherapists after 3 weeks and then by your Consultant at 6 weeks after your operation.
Post-operative Back Care
Generally a long period of bed rest isn’t necessary after spinal surgery. It is important to gradually return to normal everyday activities.
You will feel sore and stiff for a few days but changing your position and keeping mobile will help. If you have had lumbar spine surgery you will be encouraged not to sit for longer than 15 minutes at a time four times a day in the first 2 weeks and to build up gradually. Walking is good exercise after any spinal surgery and should be gradually increased.
Little and often is good advice!
Try not to lift heavy objects in the first 6 weeks to allow your back to heal. Keep your activities at waist height so that you don’t bend or twist your back.
For Cervical Surgery patients whilst there are No sitting limitations you should sit well supported in chair with lumbar support and No heavy lifting . Our Physio will have discussed sleeping positions/pillows whilst here as inpatient
With any spinal surgery, you will be advised not to drive for 2/ 3 weeks.
Returning to work
Your Consultant will advise you at your 6 week appointment, and this advice will vary depending on what type of job you do and your recovery so far.
For example an office worker will be advised to leave their desk periodically and walk about. For others, sitting in a car for a long commute to work may be problematic. Some patients may need to arrange a phased return to work. Perhaps just a few hours a day for the first few weeks and then a gradually building up by 12 weeks post op to full time again.
You will be encouraged by your physiotherapist and Consultant to think about long term back care. For most patients keeping active by walking, cycling, swimming, Good posture and maintaining an optimum weight avoids further problems.
Everyone’s spinal surgery is slightly different and individual circumstances vary so it is best to speak to your consultant who will be able to explain exactly what is best for you.