General Guidelines for Patient Discharge Instructions:
- increasing redness at the incision;
- drainage from the incision;
- uncontrolled pain;
- loss of bowel or bladder control;
- or body temperatures equal or greater than 101.5.
- Keep incision clean and dry.
- Do not apply antibiotic ointment(s) to your wound.
- You may shower but DO NOT soak incision and DO NOT allow direct water pressure on the incision; blot dry your incision with a towel after showering.
- If a lower back brace is ordered, wear when up out of bed only; DO NOT sleep or lay in bed with your brace.
- If a neck brace is ordered you may need to wear it at all times except for shower, shaving and hygiene—follow specific instructions provided by your neurosurgeon.
- No lifting greater that 10 lbs.—similar to 2 gallons of milk.
- No excessive twisting or heavy impact activity until discussed in your post-surgical clinic follow-up appointment. This includes avoidance of vacuuming, sweeping, lawn care, shoveling, etc.
- Walk often, as much as is comfortable.
- Take your pain medications and muscle relaxants as prescribed.
- Light stretching and bending is appropriate –to comfort only; DO NOT strain your back.
- You may sleep in any position that is comfortable, but do not stay on back for prolonged periods of time—try to sleep on your side if possible.
- Keep pressure off your incision area.
- Confirm a follow-up clinic appointment 7-10 days after your surgery at (361) 883-4323.
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