If you are one of the millions of Americans who suffer from back pain,
your orthopaedic doctor may recommend spine surgery. The recovery from
spine surgery can be lengthy, and it is important to follow your doctor’s instructions
closely to avoid reinjuring your back as you heal. Here is a look at what
you can expect if you are scheduled for spine surgery.
Using a Walker
In the early stages of your recovery, when you move around, you will use
a walker. The walker will either have wheels or just four tips. If yours
does not have wheels, you will need to lift it to move it forward before
each step. Never move your walker more than an arm’s length in front
of you before each step, and be sure that the handles are not higher than
your waist. When you hold the walker, your arms should be only slightly
bent at the elbow, so adjust the height accordingly. If one leg feels
weaker than the other, step with that leg first. Moving around is important
after spine surgery, so try to meet the targets for steps set for you
by your orthopaedic doctor or physical therapist.
Getting Out of Bed
For many people, getting out of bed is one of the most challenging parts
of the initial recovery period after spine surgery. To get up, roll onto
your side, gently dangle your legs over the edge of the bed, and use your
elbows to help you move upright. Adjust your legs until your feet are
on the floor. To get back into bed, sit on the edge, lean down on your
side, and pull your legs back up.
Walking Without a Walker
The time it takes to begin walking without using a walker or other assistive
device varies greatly from patient to patient. Your physical therapist
and orthopaedic doctor will determine when you should make this transition.
Often, you will stop using the walker slowly, until you no longer need
it at all.
MK Orthopaedics in Joliet, our surgeons are focused on helping patients undergoing spine surgery,
hip replacement, or another orthopaedic procedure recover as quickly as
possible. Find out how we can help you say goodbye to pain and get back
to living your life by calling (815) 741-6900.