AFTER SURGERY Bone Grafting (Spine and Orthopaedic)

YOUR RECOVERY PROCESS

Once your surgery is over, ask your doctor about your specific recovery plan. It is important to follow your doctor's instructions carefully to recover from surgery as quickly as possible and increase your chances of a successful outcome, whether you received a bone graft during a spinal fusion surgery or a orthopaedic surgery.


WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER SPINAL FUSION SURGERY

Recovering from back pain and surgery is an ongoing process. How fast you recover depends on the type of surgery you had, your commitment to working closely with your physical therapist, and moving and exercising correctly, as recommended by your surgeon.

In most cases, immediately after surgery, your heart and lung function will continue to be monitored, a drainage tube may have been left in your wound and your doctor may prescribe medicines to control pain and nausea.

A nurse will show you how to care for your wound before you are sent home and your doctor will discuss a program to gradually increase your activity. You may be required to wear a back brace for at least one month after surgery and you may be told to avoid repetitive bending, lifting, stooping, twisting, and athletic activities until fusion has occurred. You may also be cautioned to avoid vibrations, like you might experience when driving a car, for a period of time after your surgery.

Contact your doctor immediately if:

  • You get a fever
  • The wound starts leaking fluids
  • You have trouble swallowing or breathing
  • You have trouble urinating
  • You have new or increased back or leg pain or numbness

Your doctor will schedule office visits to check on how you are doing and see if anything else needs to be done. After surgery, your surgeon may refer you to a physical therapist who will teach you exercises to improve your strength and increase your mobility. The goal of physical therapy is to help you become active as soon as possible, using safe body movements that protect your back. This often includes abdominal strengthening exercises. You may also be taught different ways of standing, sitting, or lifting to avoid reinjuring your back.


WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER ORTHOPAEDIC SURGERY

Recovering from your orthopaedic surgery is an ongoing process. How fast you recover depends on the type of surgery you had, your commitment to working closely with your physical therapist, and moving and exercising correctly, as recommended by your surgeon.

In most cases, immediately after surgery, your heart and lung function will continue to be monitored, a drainage tube may be left in your wound and your doctor may prescribe medicines to help with pain and nausea.

Prior to being sent home, you will be shown how to care for your wound and your doctor will discuss a program to gradually increase your activity. Depending on your type of orthopaedic surgery, you may need to walk with crutches, use a sling, or wear a brace and you may be told to avoid certain activities until cleared by your doctor. You should discuss any of these limitations with your doctor.

Contact your doctor immediately if:

  • You get a fever
  • You have trouble swallowing or breathing
  • You have trouble urinating
  • Your wound begins to leak fluids
  • You get a rash, redness or increased swelling in the area of the surgery

Your doctor will schedule office visits to check on how you are doing and is anything further needs to be done. After surgery, your doctor may refer you to a physical therapist who will teach you exercises to improve your strength and mobility.