Discharge Instructions for Lumbar Fusion Surgery
(Anterior, Posterior, Anterior and Posterior)
These discharge instructions are printed with permission from Todd J. Albert, M.D. of the Rothman Institute at Thomas Jefferson University. Discharge instructions and recommendations may vary per institution, be sure to ask your doctor.
1. Check incision twice a day for the following: Green/yellow discharge. Increased redness and/or tenderness at incision site. Opening of the incision. Flu-like symptoms. Temperature above 101.5 degrees. If any of the above should occur, please contact your doctor.
2. Your bandages will most likely be removed before you leave the hospital, if not, they should be removed 24 to 36 hours after surgery.
3. You may shower after the bandages are removed. It is recommended that a shower chair be used for the first few weeks to ensure your safety. (This will be arranged for you before your discharge, if required).
4. The incisions should be cleaned gently using regular soap and water. Do NOT use heavily perfumed soaps. RUB GENTLY!
5. If you were given a brace to wear postoperatively, it should be worn whenever you are up and out of bed. It should NOT be worn at night while you are sleeping. If you need to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night you do NOT need to put it on.
6. You should NOT drive until seen in the office for your first postoperative visit. You may be a passenger for short distances (20-30 minutes). If you must travel for a longer period, be sure to make several pit stops so that you can stretch your legs. Reclining the passenger seat will be the most comfortable position for you.
7. Do NOT sit for periods longer than 20-30 minutes. You may increase this time as you become more comfortable.
8. DO NOT DO THE FOLLOWING:
- Lift anything greater than 10 lbs.
- Bend or twist at the waist
9. DO walk as much as possible. Stairs are good for you, but take it slow. You may also use a treadmill. No running. If you were discharged using a walker and/or cane, you may stop using these assistive devices once you feel safe and comfortable.
10. If your incisions have sutures or staples, they may be removed weeks following your surgery by a visiting nurse, you family physician, or by making an appointment with the hospital.
To learn about Dr. Albert’s practice, click here.