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Below you will find some frequently asked questions. We hope that these will provide some answers for you. However, it is always good to write your questions down and bring them with you so your doctor can address them for you during your visit.

Surgery Information

1. How Long Does It Take To Schedule Surgery If It Is Needed?

A: It is based on a combination of factors: authorization from your insurance carrier, availability of the facility operating room and the doctor’s schedule. Emergency cases are handled accordingly.

2. Can I Shower After Surgery?

A: You can shower after surgery, however- you must wear a tegaderm patch over the incision sight to keep it completely dry for the first 10 days following surgery.

3. Can I Exercise After Surgery?

A: Walking is the best exercise after surgery and you need to walk every day. You can walk as much as your pain level permits. You should not participate in any activities more vigorous than walking until cleared by your physician. Start small then gradually increase the distance you walk.

4. How Long Should I Expect To Be Out Of Work After Surgery?

A: Anywhere from 2 to 10 weeks. This will depend on the actual procedure. For example a laminectomy and decompression or cervical fusion may take 2 to 6 weeks to recover. A lumbar fusion may take 4 to 10 weeks. Of course each patient and their conditions are different.

5. How Much Should I Be Walking After Surgery?

A: Plan to rest for the first two to three days following your procedure. Walking as much as tolerated is encouraged. It is okay to climb stairs. Avoid sitting or standing for more than 30 minutes at a time for the first week. Pay special attention to body mechanics following surgery. If you need to pick something up from ground level, bend at the knees and keep your back straight. Avoid repetitive bending, twisting, pushing, pulling, or lifting anything more than 10 pounds for the first two weeks.

6. When will I be able to drive?

A: The day of your surgery you will not be allowed to drive yourself home, you will need to have a driver to take you home. You can resume driving when you’re no longer taking pain medications and feel comfortable sitting behind the wheel. It is illegal to drive while taking narcotic pain medications.

7. Will I Have To Wear A Brace?

A: Only if the doctor prescribes one for you.

8. Are There Any General Post-Op Restrictions I Need To Be Mindful Of?

A: Restrictions would be specific to the type of procedure that is performed.


Kellogg Brain and Spine
9200 SE 91st Avenue, Suite 340
Portland, OR 97086
Phone: 503-256-1462
Fax: 503-257-9523

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