CRMC’s Spine Care is dedicated to restoring lives affected by spinal injury, disease and disorder. Our experienced spine surgeon offers a wide range of services.
Spine surgery procedures continue to experience innovative advancements that allow spinal procedures to be performed in a less-invasive manner. Our surgeon uses spinal procedures and the latest technology for disc replacements, spinal decompressions and spinal fusions.
Our surgeon will recommend a specific treatment plan based on your spinal condition, and if a surgical procedure is recommended, the surgeon will explain the surgical spine procedure to you, along with its benefits and risks, to help you make an informed decision about your care.
When can I return to work after surgery? We will likely keep you off work for 6 weeks. This depends on what type of work you do. If you have a low intensity job, such as a desk job, we may be able to send you back as soon as 2 weeks postoperatively. Contrarily, if you have a high intensity job, such as construction or semi trucking, we may keep you off for up to 12 weeks.
When can I drive after surgery? You may not drive for 24 hours postoperatively, at minimum. This is due to the anesthesia used during surgery. Additionally, if you are taking narcotic medications to manage your pain, you may not drive until you have completed using these medications. Upon completion, you may begin driving 24 hours after your last dose of narcotic medication or any other medication that impacts alertness.
When can I shower after surgery? If your incision was dressed with a Prineo dressing (this is the most common dressing we use, but your nurse in the hospital will tell you what dressing was used during your surgery), you may begin showering the day after your surgery and you do not need to cover the dressing because it is waterproof. If your incision is dressed with any other type of dressing, you can begin showering the day after your surgery, but you should cover the dressing with clear plastic wrap. You can do so by taping a square of plastic wrap over the dressing or wrapping the area with plastic wrap.
When can I take a bath or go swimming after surgery? You should not submerge your incision and/or dressing until the skin is completely healed. At minimum, this would be 6 weeks following surgery.
When can I resume strenuous activities after surgery? You should follow all activity restrictions specified in the education materials provided that are specific to your surgery. Strenuous activities such as boats, lawn mowers, roller coasters, big vehicles like semis, dump trucks, and other construction type equipment, golf, horseback riding and any other similar activity all cause jarring motion on the spine. This inhibits proper healing and can cause complications such as screw loosening or failure of fusion. We recommend you do not participate in these activities for a minimum of 3 to 6 months following surgery.
When can I resume taking over the counter medications or supplements? You may begin taking all over the counter medications and supplements, except for NSAIDs and vitamins that cause blood thinning, the day following your procedure. If you had a decompression procedure, you may continue NSAIDs and vitamins that cause blood thinning 3 days following your procedure. If you had a fusion procedure, you should resume taking NSAIDs and vitamins that cause blood thinning 3 months after your procedure.
Will I need physical therapy after surgery? Most spine surgery does not require physical therapy after surgery. If you experienced weakness prior to surgery, we may have you participate in physical therapy after your procedure. Regardless of pre-operative symptoms, we will not have you begin physical therapy until, at minimum, 6 weeks following your surgery. We will discuss the need for physical therapy at your 6 week follow up visit.
When and how will I follow up with my surgeon after surgery? You will follow up with someone from our office either in clinic or via the telephone at 2 weeks after your surgery. We will see you in our clinic at 6 weeks, 12 weeks, 6 months, and 1 year after your surgery. Depending on the type of procedure you had done, we may obtain x-rays at your clinic visits.
How long can I expect my incision to drain after surgery? It is normal for your incision to drain for up to 1 week following surgery. The color of the drainage should move from a bright red to pinkish color over time, and the amount should lessen. If you have any concerns regarding the drainage from your incision, or if you are needed to change your bandage more than 2 or 3 times in a day, you should contact our office.
Do I need antibiotics before dental visits after surgery? Following any type of spine surgery, you do not need antibiotics prior to dental visits. We recommend you either get dental work taken care of before your scheduled surgery or wait 1 month after surgery before having any dental work done.
Will I need special clearance for the airport after surgery? The instrumentation in your spine with not set off alarms at the airport. If you plan to travel within the first 3 months following your procedure, we recommend you discuss this with a clinician at our office. We may be able to provide you with medical documentation for assistance at the airport.
Will I need a handicap parking permit after my surgery? Following your surgery, there is significant risk of falling, and you may require the use of assistive devices for walking. If you feel you may benefit from a handicap parking permit, please discuss this with our office.
What should I do if I have questions or concerns before or after surgery? If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact our office using the contact information listed below
Get relief from chronic spine conditions
Life’s simple pleasures are not so simple when you suffer from pain. Our spine surgeon is dedicated to a comprehensive diagnosis, ensuring the cause of your pain is located before any treatment decisions are made. Through advancing spine care, we’re helping more people discover their options and get back to life faster.
Time to See the Doctor?
CRMC offers a total spine care provider committed to treating chronic back and neck pain with the least invasive approach that’s appropriate for your condition. Schedule your consultation today to discover your options.