Post-Operative Information

Wound care:

Try and keep your wound clear and dry to promote wound healing.

It is important that you notify your doctor immediately if you notice any of the follow:

  • There is more redness, pain, swelling, or bleeding at the wound site.
  • The wound is larger or deeper, or it looks dried out or dark.
  • The drainage coming from or around the wound increases or becomes thick, tan, green, or yellow, or smells bad (which indicates pus)
  • Your temperature is 38°C or higher.

If your surgeon used Steri–Strips (adhesive skin closures), they can be removed 14 days following the surgery or whenever they fall off on their own. You may shower as the protocol for your particular surgery permits. Remember to gently dry the incision area / Steri-Strips. It is common for the edges of the strips to loosen and curl. Simply clip the frayed edges but try to leave the strips on for 14 days unless they are so loose they are obviously no longer functional. In this case, you may gently lift off the strips, but do not pull or jerk to remove them. Do not apply cream / ointments to the incision.

Medications:

Your surgeon will provide you with adequate Pain Medication following your procedure as needed. You are encouraged to take the prescribed pain medication in order for you to be comfortable during your recovery. Pain may prevent you from doing the activities that help with your recovery. If you have any concerns about your pain management, please do not hesitate to ask your surgeon. Please report any new, increasing, or unrelieved pain to your doctor.

Activity/ restrictions:

After the procedure, and when the anaesthesia has worn off, get up and be active as soon possible. This will help your muscles stay strong and will lead to a faster recovery. We encourage you to be active as soon as it is safe, which is usually in the evening after your procedure. We recommend that you walk, sit up in a chair, or at least turn frequently in bed.

As you continue with your recovery, follow the specific activity instructions given by your doctor. Different surgeries require different limitations on activity. Generally, you should not lift objects heavier than 10 pounds for 6 to 8 weeks. Lifting heavy objects too soon may weaken your incision. Your doctor will tell you specific activity instructions for your type of surgery. Plan your daily activity so that you can rest often. Do not expect your energy level to be the same as it was before surgery. Your body needs more energy to heal, and this may cause you to feel weak or need to take naps.

Driving:

Usually, you will not be able to drive for 6 to 8 weeks after surgery. However, this can vary depending on the type of surgery that you have had. Never drive while taking narcotic pain medications.

Postoperative Appointments:

Unless otherwise indicated by your surgeon, your post-operative appointment will be approximately 4-6 weeks following your procedure. BrizBrain & Spine administrative staff will contact you regarding this appointment.

Please remember that it may take some time for numbness or pain to improve after cervical or lumbar spine surgery. Due to the healing process, it is not unusual to have some pain in the surgical area for weeks after surgery. If your post-op pain is worse than before surgery, please notify your surgeon immediately.

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