Recovering From Lumbar Spinal Fusion Surgery
If you are going to be having a lumbar spinal fusion surgery in the near future, you will soon benefit from the process by having less pain than you are experiencing now. You may be wondering what to expect after the surgery is complete. There are several precautionary measures you will want to take so you heal properly. Here are some guidelines to follow when healing from a lumbar spinal fusion surgery.
Care For The Wound
When you have a lumbar spinal fusion done, staples are used to close the area where the doctor accessed your spine. These will be removed at your doctor's office when the incision has healed enough to take them out. Your doctor may have placed small pieces of tape over the incision to help secure it closed. These will fall off on their own as the incision heals. Keep the incision covered with gauze and change the dressing often. If the incision does not stop bleeding or if it has pus coming out of it, alert your doctor so you can have it checked.
Shower Over Taking A Bath
Taking a bath will need to be avoided for several months after a lumbar spinal fusion as the weight of your body pushing on your spine to get in and out of the tub can be damaging. Take showers to clean your body. Your doctor will let you know if you can shower right away or if you should wait a day or two before getting your incision wet. If you have a shower with a seating area, use this to minimize the risk of falling while you are healing.
Increase Your Protein Intake
When you are healing from a lumbar spinal fusion, you will need to consume food and drinks that have a high protein content. This is needed to help the bones grow to form a solid, fused mass. If you do not intake enough protein, it will be depleted from the muscles in your body instead. This will leave you feeling lethargic and weak. Make sure to eat plenty of fish, chicken, red meat and eggs while you are healing so your protein levels increase. Protein shakes can also be helpful.
Get Back Into Shape
Your doctor will most likely recommend you rest during the first few weeks after your surgery so your incision has time to heal. You will probably be given a grabbing tool to help you pick up things that fall on the floor, as bending at the waist should be avoided at this time. When your staples are removed, you will most likely be permitted to do some light exercising such as walking or floating around in the shallow end of a pool. You will need to do physical therapy after your incision has healed so you gain back the muscle tone that may have been lost due to inactivity.