Acute Phase: 1 day - 1 week post-op
- Hospital stay 0-1 night.
- Restrictions: No pushing, pulling, bending, or lifting, no driving, no sitting more than 20 minutes at a time.
- Walking is encouraged as much as tolerated.
- Sponge bathe only until staples are removed at 2 weeks post-op.
- Incentive spirometry four times daily.
- TED stocking to be worn most of the time. Only removed 2-3 times per day for ½ hour to wash lower extremity (until 1st post-op appointment).
- Do ankle pumps on an hourly basis to promote circulation.
- Finish all antibiotics and continue use of pain medications (as needed and only as prescribed).
- Call your primary doctor about resuming your pre-operative medications including blood thinners.
- First physician post-op appointment at 2 weeks.
Please call if any of the following occur:
- High fever and chills.
- Redness, bleeding, drainage, or swelling of the wound.
- Severe sudden pain that persists.
- Severe pain in legs and/or shortness of breath.
Subacute Phase: 1 week - 8 weeks post-op
- Begin physical therapy pending physician orders.
- Gradually restore functional range of motion (mid range only).
- No flexion beyond neutral until 6 weeks post-op.
- Progress lumbar stabilization exercise program as tolerated.
- Lower extremity flexibility exercises where indicated.
- Incorporate knee extension and dorsiflexion exercises to avoid neural adherence.
- Postural and body mechanics education and correction.
- Lower extremity strengthening .
- Continue endurance exercises with emphasis on walking to tolerance.
Return to Activity Phase: 8+ weeks
- Restore full lumbar range of motion in all planes.
- Progress all exercises as needed to allow for return to full function.
- Instruct in home exercise program for self-management.