Patient will be issued a cervical collar brace for use after surgery. This brace should be brought to the hospital on the day of surgery.
Acute Phase: 1 day - 4 weeks
- Hospital stay: 2-3 days.
- Hospital instructions will be given for safe transfers and bed mobility.
- Dressing change will occur at home every other day.
- Post-op day 2 or 3 patient will be discharged either home or to a rehabilitation facility depending on level of safety and independence.
- Sponge bathing (to keep incision dry) is to be performed until removal of staples (2 weeks post-op).
- Incentive Spirometry 4 times daily.
- Neck brace to be worn at all times with no pillows when flat on back. May use wedge pillow.
- 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-operative appointment).
- Do ankle pumps on an hourly basis to promote circulation.
- Continue to take prescribed pain medication and use ice as needed for pain control.
- Bone stimulator may be used per M.D. discretion and will be fit and set up by representative (EBI/TERA).
- Therapeutic exercises include: walking to tolerance.
No lifting, pulling, or pushing greater than 10 lbs. No climbing. May drive at 2 weeks post-op with collar on.
If you develop fever, chills, malaise, shortness of breath, excessive drainage, redness, or extreme pain and tenderness in calf region contact physician (315) 824-1250
Subacute Phase: 4-12 weeks
- Follow-up x-rays may be taken at 2 weeks and 6 weeks to demonstrate the beginning of bone healing at fusion site.
- Lifting restrictions (10lbs).
- No power tools.
Remodeling Phase: 12 weeks
- Fusion may take 6 months to 1 year to fully heal.
- Brace removed at approximately 8-12 weeks, if indicated will begin physical therapy.
- After brace is removed cervical ROM is allowed to tolerance all planes of motion beginning mid range and working to end range as pain allows.
- Physical therapy will emphasize spine neutral, improving postural awareness, lower and upper extremity strengthening, flexibility and nerve root glides, and improving functional activities of daily living (walking, stair climbing, etc).
- Return to prior level of function and work related activities (pending M.D. orders and release).
- Return to full function without limits at 16 weeks post-operative.