Resume activity gradually and do not over exert yourself.

Avoid prolonged sitting. Get up and walk around. Short trips are better than long ones right after surgery. Climbing stairs is not restricted.

You may travel in a car for short trips but do not drive until your doctors tells you it is OK.

Do not lift or carry anything that is heavier than 10 pounds. When picking up an object from the floor, bend with your knees, keeping your back straight, use both hands to hold the object close to your body.

Constipation is a common side effect of some pain medications so it is important to drink plenty of liquids and eat a diet high in fiber. You may need to take a stool softener for a short time while taking pain medication, but avoid laxatives. It is fine to take Milk of Magnesia, Metamucil, Fibercon, Citrocel or other mild laxative. Ask your pharmacist for advice if needed. Avoid stronger laxativesunless your surgeon has prescribed them for you.

It is normal to have a slightly red, swollen incision. But call your surgeon if you have increased redness, swelling or drainage, or if you notice an odor from your incision.

You may shower, but do not take a tub bath until your incision is completely healed.
Call your surgeon if you are having difficulty urinating or if you develop a fever over 100 degrees F after your discharge to home.

Pain medication allows you to be up and around more comfortably. This helps healing and prevents post-operative complications. Take pain medication as directed (usually every 4-6 hours) before pain becomes severe. Don't take the medication more often than directed. Taken as directed, medication won't lead to addiction during recovery. Taking pain medication at night helps you get a good night's sleep. If you are taking muscle relaxers, separate the pain medication from the muscle relaxer by 1-2 hours for better pain relief.

The level of surgical discomfort should improve over the first few days and weeks after hospital discharge as the irritation and swelling of damaged nerves and muscles heal. Call your surgeon if you notice any increase in pain, decrease in your ability to move, numbness or tingling.

Avoid drinking alcohol while taking pain medication. Mixing pain medication and alcohol can lead to serious complications and is sometimes fatal. Avoid driving while taking pain medication. Check with your surgeon before taking any over the counter drugs or medications not specifically ordered by him after your surgery.

Be sure to follow any specific post-op instructions from your surgeon or nurse

+ Post-Op Instructions
Board Certified in Neurosurgery
Spine Fellowship Trained
Appointments Call: (860) 522-7121  Fax: (860) 244-3516
Howard Lantner, M.D.    Tameka Brooks, A.P.R.N.