After any lower back pain treatment, you will want to help ensure a smooth, healthy recovery. That’s why it is important that you closely follow your surgeon’s instructions after surgery.

Hospital recovery

Prior to your procedure, you will have an intravenous (IV) tube inserted into your arm to give your body fluids. These fluids will make you feel swollen for the first few days after surgery.

When you awaken from the anesthesia, you may be disoriented and not know where you are. Your care providers will tell you where you are and remind you that you have undergone surgery. Members of your surgical team may ask you to respond to simple commands, such as “wiggle your fingers and toes” or “take deep breaths.” As the effects of the anesthesia wear off, you will feel tired. Your nurse or doctor will encourage you to rest.

You will also be lying on your back. Lying on your back is not harmful to the surgical area. You may feel the urge to urinate. You will likely have a catheter tube in your urinary tract to drain urine from your system. The catheter allows your care team to monitor your urine production and eliminates the need for you to get up and walk to the bathroom. Once you are able to get up and move around, we will remove the catheter so you can then use the bathroom normally.

Proper nutrition is an important factor in your recovery. Your surgeon may restrict diet or place you on a special diet, depending on your procedure. Exercise is also important. In most cases, your surgeon will want you to get out of bed within a day or two after surgery. Nurses and physical therapists will assist you until you feel comfortable enough to get up and move around on your own.

Home recovery

Before you are discharged from the hospital, you will receive home-care instructions, which you will follow for the first 6 to 8 weeks of your home recovery. If you are unsure of any instructions, ask for clarification. Following these instructions will be crucial to your recovery.

You may still have a dressing on your surgery site. A nurse may come to your home to change this dressing, or teach a designated family member or caregiver how to do it. Either way, your dressing must be changed daily and kept dry. If you see any signs of infection, call your doctor. These signs may include:

Call your doctor if you have chills, nausea, vomiting, or trauma such as a fall or car accident. Keep your incision(s) clean using soap and water. Don’t shower until your doctor permits you to shower. Here are some other recovery tips:

Avoid heavy lifting, climbing stairs, bending or twisting. Keep the area around your incision(s) dry and clean until it has healed fully. Follow up with your spine specialist during your recovery, and make sure to call if you have any concerns or questions.

Patients come to us for lower back pain treatment from in and around Vernon, South Windsor, Manchester, Hartford, Bloomfield and Ellington.