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POST-OPERATIVE INSTRUCTIONS SPINE SURGERY
After your surgery there are several points we would like you to keep in mind.
Most patients will be able to maintain a fairly normal level of activity following surgery. We do ask
that you adhere to the activity restrictions described, as well as note some of the other care instructions.
We value your health, well-being and comfort. If you do have any questions or issues related to your
recent lumbar spine surgery, please feel free to call our office at [240] 678-8341. Please leave a
message and one of our practitioners will return your call.
Activity Restrictions
▪ Refrain from lifting, pushing, stooping or straining for at least 6 weeks. For most patients, this means
lifting nothing heavier than 10 lbs for the first 4 weeks; and no lifting objects above shoulder level. ▪ Depending on the type of surgery you had, we may ask you not attempt any significant lifting or straining activities for up to 3 months.
Dressing Removal & Wound Care
▪ You may be discharged from the hospital with a dressing over the incision. We ask that you remove
the dressing within 1-2 days following your surgery. ▪ You may have tiny strips of tape over the incision, called steri-strips. These usually fall off after 5-7 days; usually with showering. We ask that you remove any steri-strips that remain within 7 days of your surgery. ▪ If you have staples/sutures, they need to be removed within 7- 10 days following surgery. Please call our office or your Primary Care doctor to setup an appointment for suture/staple removal. ▪ We ask that you monitor your incision for any significant swelling, redness or drainage and notify us
promptly if you notice any of the above.
Showering & Bathing
▪ You may shower within 48 hours of your procedure. We ask that you refrain from soaking in a
bathtub, hot tub or pool for the first four weeks.
▪ Do not scrub the incision
Eating & Drinking
▪ You may resume a normal diet following your procedure.
Medications
Blood Thinners
▪ You may resume your usual medications immediately after surgery, with the exception of any blood
thinning agents, anti-inflammatory agents and aspirin based products. Blood thinning agents such as
coumadin, plavix, heparin and aggrenox may usually be restarted within 5 days of surgery, so long as
there has been no recent incisional swelling or drainage. We will specify when it is okay to resume
these medications.
Anti-Inflammatory Medicine
▪ If you have had a lumbar fusion, we ask that you not take any non steroidal anti-inflammatory
medications for at least 6 weeks following surgery. These include aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen
sodium. These agents can delay the healing process as it relates to bony fusion. If you need to take
aspirin for heart disease or stroke risk, we ask that you resume this within 48 hours of surgery.
Smoking
▪ We ask that you refrain from smoking. Smoking delays the healing process and increases the risk that
a fusion will not take place.
Return to Work
▪ Dr. Amini will inform you when you can. It usually occurs between the 2nd and 4th week with
increasing work hours.
Office Follow Up
We recommend regular office follow-ups following your spine surgery. For patients undergoing spine
surgery we recommend follow-ups at 4 weeks, 3 months and 6 months after surgery. For patients
undergoing a fusion, we usually recommend with x-rays to be taken prior to your visits. If you develop
any new signs or symptoms before a scheduled follow up and need to be seen, please contact our
office.
Suture Removal: Date: _________ Time: _________
Follow-Up Visit: Date: _________ Time: _________
If you are not able to keep this appointment please call our office to reschedule.
Please call our office at 240-678-8341 if you notice any of the following signs or symptoms:
▪ Fever with a temperature greater than 101.5 degrees F.
▪ Worsening back or leg pain with or without new neurologic symptoms
▪ New neurologic symptoms including leg weakness, incontinence, inability to urinate or defecate.
▪ Swollen, painful calf with or without fever.
▪ Significant redness, swelling or drainage from the incision site.
▪ Significant clear fluid drainage from the incision site.
NOTE: If you are unable to reach our office and have noticed any of the above conditions, please
report to the nearest Emergency Room for prompt medical attention.

Source: http://www.neurosurgerymd.com/pdfs/Post_Op_Instructions_Spine.pdf

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