Back Surgery Recovery: 5 Helpful Tips to Use

Have you recently had back surgery? You’re not alone. 500,000 Americans undergo back surgery each year.

Your back was already to the point that you decided surgery would be the best option for you, and hopefully, you’ll begin to see an improvement of your original symptoms.

However, being proactive and recovering from back surgery correctly is also important.

Here are some of our best tips for ensuring that your back heals properly.

back surgery - Shot of a young male physiotherapist assisting a senior patient in recovery

 

1. Walk

This may seem counterintuitive, but walking is very important to help build your muscle strength after your surgery. Depending on your back issues before surgery, this may be easier than it was previously.

Don’t overdo it, but walking a little bit each day is an important part of recovery.

 

2. If You’ve Had Lumbar Fusion Surgery, Keep Your Spine Straight

It may seem a little bit awkward at first, but if you’ve had lumbar fusion surgery, you’ll need to keep your spine straight at all times during recovery. This will also include when you sleep.

Your surgeon or physical therapist will show you how to get into a sleeping position without bending your back. It may seem tricky at first, but once you’ve got the hang of it, it will be second nature.

 

3. No Bending or Lifting

For the majority of back surgeries, you’ll need to severely limit your activities as you recover. This includes not bending over or lifting items like groceries and other household things. If you take care of children on a daily basis, you’ll need to have someone help you, as you cannot lift them while you’re in recovery.

 

4. No Driving

If you’re still taking pain medication, you should not be driving or operating heavy machinery. It is incredibly important that you do not ignore this rule and decide to drive anyway, as this can have fatal, and very scary, consequences.

Have a friend or family member act as your personal chauffeur until you’ve healed enough to not take the medication.

 

5. Bathing After Back Surgery: Do So With Caution

Your doctor will likely tell you not to get the incision wet for the first several days after your surgery. This may mean that you can’t bathe at all, and will have to have sponge baths.

After a few days, your doctor may clear you for a shower, but he or she may include stipulations. You’ll want to avoid going swimming or submerging yourself in water until the site heals. Otherwise, you may risk harming the incision site even more.

 

Be Responsible After Back Surgery

Be responsible after back surgery and follow your doctor’s advice. If anything seems to be wrong, don’t hesitate to call them up and describe the situation. It is far better to be safe than to be sorry.

If you’re thinking of getting back surgery to correct an issue, contact us today. We can help you feel like your best self.

Florida Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Anthony P. Moreno received his Bachelor’s and Medical degrees from the University of Florida, where he graduated with honors. After that, he completed his orthopedic residency at Jackson Memorial Medical Center/University of Miami. Dr. Moreno has also completed a Spine Surgery Fellowship at Hahnemann/Penn. As a board-certified orthopedic spine surgeon, Dr. Moreno is also a member of the American College of Spine Surgery and speaker. For instance, he has done many presentations around the world on spinal surgical techniques. His knowledge and expertise can help with any of the most complex spinal cases. Read more about Dr. Moreno’s education, certification and credentials here.