Preparing for surgery is often at the forefront of your mind, however, back surgery recovery preparation is also important. Although your procedure may not involve a lot of downtime, you may have limited mobility which could lead to questions such as who will prepare your meals? How will you get around your home? And who will take care of your pets?
If you are preparing for post-operative care, below are some tips that could help make the back surgery recovery process easier for you and whoever is helping you through the recovery process.
- Prior to your surgery, stock up on toiletries and groceries, including quick and easy meals.
- Be sure to have loose, comfortable clothing that will not irritate your incision site.
- Make sure your home is free of clutter and that it is easy for you to move from room to room.
- It’s best to sleep on one side, with a pillow between your knees to help support your back.
- Actively participate in rehabilitation, including making sure you complete your walking regiment.
- Avoid smoking and excessively drinking alcohol.
- Eat nutritiously. A diet high in fiber after back surgery may help with post-operative constipation.
- Make personal hygiene easier by using a shower mat or shower chair and using a shower brush with a long handle so you won’t need to bend or twist.
- Have extra pillows handy as they can add support in bed, on a recliner or on a sofa.
- If you’re in pain, speak up. Appropriate pain management can be very helpful with the recovery process so be honest with your doctor about your pain levels.
What to Expect Immediately after Back Surgery
Typically, patients at The Bonati Spine Institute will be able to go home after a day or two and no overnight hospitalization is required. After surgery, you will be taken to a post-operative care unit so that you can rest. A consultation with the surgeon will be completed in order to determine if you need additional surgeries.
You will be prescribed a walking regimen as it is the most beneficial exercise for your back and does not require any special equipment. If follow-up surgeries are needed, they will be scheduled within a few days of the first surgery.
Most importantly, make sure you have someone you can count on to get you to the surgery and then safely back home. If you do not have friends or family who can help, discuss with your Patient Advocate some options for home health care.