Long Term Care For Your Back after Spinal Fusion

Lumbar Spinal Fusion

Table of Contents

Lumbar Spinal Fusion
Most Common Causes of Lumbar Back Pain
Your Visit With The Surgeon
Getting Yourself Ready For Surgery
Understanding Back Precautions
Making Arrangements For Surgery
Your Hospital Visit
Lumbar Spinal Fusion Surgery
Recovery At Home
When To Call Your Surgeon
Long Term Care For Your Back

More Information:

Lumbar Spine Structure and Function

Couple walkingYou should minimize any type of stress on your back. Therefore, it is important for you to maintain a normal body weight. Excess weight increases stress on the back. Avoid heavy lifting (more than 40 pounds) as this also puts excess weight on your back.

Good posture is a must whether sitting, standing, or lying down. Always bend at the knees and hips, never at the waist. Learn and use proper lifting mechanics. Lifting properly will prevent injuries during and after healing. Carrying objects close to the body reduces strain on the back. Avoid repetitive strenuous activities that combine lifting and twisting to minimize stress on areas around the fusion.

Even after your back heals, avoid exercises that involve jumping, bending over too far, or twisting of the back. Walking and swimming are among the best exercises for your back. You can ride a stationary bike. Remember, talk with your surgeon before you begin any new exercises or physical activities.

If your fusion has metal plates, pins, or screws, it is possible that you will set off security system metal detectors in office buildings and airports. This depends on the kind and the amount of metal used in your back. Your surgeon can tell you more about the metal used for you. Your surgeon can give you a note stating that you have metal in your back.

Also, if you have metal in your back, your surgeon may talk with you about using antibiotics whenever you have surgical procedures or routine dental care. Antibiotics will help prevent infection in your back. Antibiotics may also be recommended for certain diagnostic tests such as cardiac catheterization, sigmoidoscopy, or biopsy.

While your back is healing you can make yourself more comfortable if you:

• wear comfortable, low heeled shoes
• keep work surfaces at a comfortable level (between shoulders and hips)
• when sitting, rest your feet on the floor or a low stool
• place a pillow or rolled-up towel behind the small of you back while sitting
• try sleeping on your back with a pillow under your knees, or on your side with your knees bent, and a pillow between your knees
• when standing, rest one foot on a low stool

These are good tips to follow even after your back has healed.

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