• nishitaagarwal

Care after Spinal Cord Operation

It is important to keep your spine aligned correctly after surgery in order to minimize its workload and reduce the risk of disrupting the healing process. Patients work with physiotherapists after operation to learn the safest ways to carry on with their routine tasks and take part in other activities without putting added stress on the back. In some cases depending on the patient, the physiotherapist may advise the patient to use a walker for stability - there may be other medical equipments too that might be suggested for patient's home use.

Exercise and Activities:

The doctor will advise you to take short walks as often as you can, and gradually increase your distance each day. Daily exercise is important for recovery and to build strength and maintain muscle tone. Do not stand or sit for too long.

Activities that might require bending, twisting, lifting more than 2.5 Kg, or push/pulling should be avoided. If you have had a spinal fusion, avoid lifting objects above your head until the fusion is fully healed.

Talk to your surgeon about whether you can go up or down stairs. For some people, stair climbing may be restricted for the first week or two after surgery.

Pain Management

Take your prescribed pain medicines as directed and make sure to keep the refills ready in time. Don’t take more pain medication than instructed. Call your surgeon if your pain is not well controlled by your prescribed medication.

Other pain relief treatments include moist heat (not directly on an unhealed incision), gentle exercise, massage, short rest periods, and frequent re-positioning.

Pain in the area of the incision is expected immediately after surgery and should subside as healing progresses. Follow your surgeon’s instructions on when to have sutures or staples removed. Some incisions are closed using dissolving stitches or strips that fall off on their own.

Healthy Eating

Establish a balanced, low-fat diet rich in fresh vegetables and fruit. Since you will be less active during your recovery, avoid heavy, high calorie, or fattening foods. Eating well is essential for a successful recovery and will help keep your weight under control after your recovery is over.

Bathing and Incision Care

Your surgeon will guide you on when you can start to bathe and what all precautions you need to take. Surgeons typically recommend keeping the skin around your incision clean and dry for at least 4 days after surgery. Avoid tub baths until the incision has healed and your surgeon clears you.

How to Lay in Bed after Spine Surgery

laying on the bed after spinal injury

  • Good deep sleep helps you recover faster. Ask your surgeon regarding the best sleep position is for you and how to get into and out of bed. The following steps may take stress off of the spine and back, but make sure to check with your surgeon first: Sleep on your back with your upper back, shoulders, and head raised slightly, using an adjustable bed or using a wedge/supportive pillows.

  • Place a pillow or rolled up blanked under the back of your knees so your hips and knees are slightly bent.

  • When getting out of bed, use the “log roll method.” While laying on your back, bend your knees and keep them together. Roll onto your side keeping your hips and shoulders in line and turning at the same time, so your spine doesn’t twist. Push yourself up using your arms (lead with your top arm) and let your legs bend over the side of the bed so that you end up in a seated position.

How to Sit After Spine Surgery