LUMBAR DECOMPRESSION David G. Kennedy, MD Laminectomy/Microdiscectomy Todd J. Stewart, MD BOARD CERTIFIED NEUROLOGICAL SURGEONS 3009 North Ballas Road Suite 269 C St. Louis, MO 63131 (314) 743-0330 FAX (314) 743-0339 After Your Surgery
o Your incision should require very little care. o Have someone look at your incision every day. Notify the office if you have drainage, wound
separation, increasing redness or swel ing around the wound or develop a fever over 101.4°F.
o If you have glue on the incision, it should flake off over the next 2 to 4 weeks. o If you have steri-strips over the incision, keep them in place until they begin to fal off on their
own or you have reached 10 days after surgery (you may remove them after 10 days).
o If your incision is closed with staples, the staples wil need to be removed by us or your
o You do not need a dressing on your incision. If the incision is draining, you may place a 4” x
4” gauze with silk tape over the incision.
o Do not put any medicines, ointments, powders, or lotions on your incision.
o You should shower daily to reduce the number of bacteria on your skin. o Let water and soap run over the incision. Do not scrub the incision. o Pat the incision dry with a towel. Do not rub the incision. o Do not soak the incision or use a tub, Jacuzzi or pool for one month after surgery.
• Follow-up: When you return home after surgery, if a return appointment has not yet been
made, please cal our office at (314) 743-0330 for an appointment six weeks after your surgery. If you have questions or concerns prior to the fol ow-up appointment we would be happy to answer them by phone or arrange for an earlier appointment.
• Medication: Typical y Drs. Stewart and Kennedy may prescribe the fol owing for up to 3 months:
o Muscle relaxant medication (Flexeril, Soma, Zanaflex, etc.) o Narotic pain medication (Percocet, Vicodin, etc.) o You should need these medications less and less frequently over time. o Do not take the medication more often than it is prescribed. It wil not be refil ed early. o As an office policy, no medications wil be refil ed after office hours or on weekends. Plan
early if you are going to need refil s on medications. No exceptions wil be made.
o Most narcotic medications contain a form of Tylenol. Taking too much Tylenol without food
can cause liver damage, so do not take extra Tylenol and take pain medication as prescribed.
* No anti-inflammatory medications (Advil, Aleve, etc.) should be taken for 7 days after surgery.
o Resume your pre-surgery diet (e.g. diabetic, low sodium, regular) o If you have severe or worsening difficulty swal owing, let us know. o If you are constipated, you make take over-the-counter laxatives and/or a high fiber diet.
o The single thing that you can do to maximize the success of your surgery is to STOP SMOKING. Use of any nicotine products inhibits healing and fusion. It also increases the
chances for pneumonia and complications.
(Over – instructions continued on back) David G. Kennedy, MD Todd J. Stewart, MD After Your Surgery (continued)
• Activity Restrictions:
o Do not sit for longer than 30 to 45 minutes without getting up to walk around. o Light activities with no lifting overhead. o No lifting over 10 pounds (the weight of a gal on of milk) until seen back in the office. o No bending, heavy lifting or twisting. o You can lie down, sit, stand and walk on even surfaces. o Walking is al owed and encouraged (several short walks a day are ideal). o Sex is okay after 2 weeks if the soreness is in your back is improving. o No driving for at least the first two weeks. No driving within 4 hours of taking pain
medication. You may ride in a car as a passenger as much as you tolerate. It is good to take
breaks and walk around the car every 45 minutes while travel ing.
o You can walk around the house, go shopping, go out with friends, go to church, etc. … just
use common sense and take it slow listening to your body to know when to stop and rest.
o You need to walk every day, several times a day, even if you are having pain. o Any activities with pushing and pulling such as vacuuming, mowing the lawn, sweeping, and
shoveling wil aggravate spine pain and should be avoided.
o You may climb stairs as tolerated using the handrail for safety.
o Many patients experience lack of energy and mild depression after and even before surgery.
It is not unusual and can impede your recovery to an active lifestyle. If you are feeling so
depressed that you or your family members are concerned, please cal our office or your
primary care provider for evaluation of this.
• When to call the office:
o Temperature greater than 101.4 °F (38.6°C). o Increased pain, swel ing or redness of your incision. o Increased numbness or tingling in legs.
o Increased weakness in legs. o Increased drainage from the incision. o Difficulty swal owing or trouble breathing. o Difficulty control ing bowel or bladder functions that is unusual for you. o To set up a fol ow-up appointment if not already scheduled. o Any other questions or concerns.
Follow-up Date: _________________________ Time: ________________________ IF YOU HAVE ANY FURTHER QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS, PLEASE CALL OUR OFFICE AT (314) 743-0330.
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