Post-Operative Care Instructions

What Can I Expect After My Surgery?


  • It is not unusual to feel some pain, numbness, tightness, burning or other "funny" feelings for a while following your operation. Usually these sensations will lessen and mostly go away with time. Numbness can last for weeks to months.

  • It is normal for your surgical area to be sore after surgery. This should improve day to day. 

Do I have any post-op activity restrictions or requirements?

  • No driving for 10-12 days

  • Ice 15-20 minutes 4-5x daily for 48 hours 

  • No lifting greater than 10# (Gallon milk)

  • Squat. Avoid “BLT” Bending, Lifting, Twisting

  • Ambulation on flat even surfaces is encouraged several times daily

  • No sexual intercourse for 10-14 days. Mat resume after this time when comfortable. 

  • Using a pillow under knees or between knees if sleeping on your side may help with lumbar surgery 

  • Avoid tobacco and nicotine products for wound healing

How Do I Care For My Incision/Wound?

  • Dressing change is OK if it becomes wet or soiled. It is common for small amount of bleeding the first 24-48 hours but this should lessen each day. 

  • Shower is OK but change the dressing after the shower is complete. Make sure the wound is completely dry before replacing the dressing. Do not leave a wet dressing on the skin. 

  • No bathtubs, hot tubs, swimming pools, whirlpools, and the like, are not allowed. Do not let the shower water "beat" on your incision

  • No creams, lotions, potions, salve, ointment or Vitamin E on your incision during the first 2-4 weeks after surgery. 

What are my post-op medication instructions?

  • Aspirin 325 mg daily x 4 weeks unless otherwise directed. 

  • Pain medication/ muscle relaxants as directed. Do not drive with these medications 

  • Call for refills during office hours only. Refills will not be completed at night or weekends

  • Colace, Mirlax, or mag citrate as directed for constipation 

What are the Red Flags I should be aware of?

  • If you notice any problems with your incision, such as severe redness, drainage, swelling, etc., please call the office as soon as possible for instructions.

  • Fever greater than 101.5 which does not resolve quickly

  • Bowel or bladder incontinence 

  • Go to the Emergency Department/ call 911 for chest pain or shortness of breath