How long will I stay in the hospital/surgery center?
The time you spend in the hospital or surgery center will vary depending upon the type of surgery performed, the type of anesthesia that was given, and your individual needs. If surgery is performed at the outpatient surgery center, most patients are discharged within two to three hours after surgery. If surgery is performed at Christiana Hospital, the stay is typically overnight, with the exception of lumbar instrumented fusion which usually involves two nights and cranial procedures which may be several days.
When do I follow up in the office after surgery?
Approximately 4 weeks after surgery. Your appointment should be written in your surgery packet. If you underwent a spinal fusion you will be sent next door to Papastavros for x-rays of the spine prior to your appointment.
What if I need to go to a rehab center after my surgery?
In some situations, you may need to go to a rehab center after your surgery. You will be evaluated by a physical therapist and occupational therapist who will determine if you meet criteria.
When do I start physical therapy?
Most people start physical therapy 4 weeks after their operation. We will discuss physical therapy when you come in for your first follow-up visit.
How long do I have to wear my collar or brace?
Approximately 4 weeks. At your four week postoperative if your x-rays demonstrate signs of healing, you will be able to wean off the brace or collar.
How long does the pain and swelling last after surgery?
It can take around four to six weeks for postsurgical inflammation to decrease. It may take up to a year to see improvement in nerve related symptoms
Should I apply ice or heat over my area of pain?
Ice should be used approximately 24-48 hours after surgery or whenever there is swelling. Ice helps to reduce inflammation by decreasing blood flow to the area in which cold is applied. Heat increases blood flow and relaxes muscles and may promote pain relief after swelling subsides. It is best to alternate between the two.