Home Care after Scoliosis Surgery
You will come to the clinic for x-rays and follow-up at 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, and one year after surgery, and then yearly for 4-5 years.
First 6 weeks
- Incision care – We often use stitches that dissolve over time. You will also have steri strips (paper tape) across your incision. The steri strips may fall off at any time. This is ok. You may take them off after three weeks. You will change your dressing every other day. You will be shown how to do this. When the dressing is dry you no longer need a dressing. Your scar is very sensitive to sun, be sure to put extra sun screen on your scar if you are outside or it will burn
- Bathing – For the first two weeks, sponge baths only. At two weeks you may shower. At four weeks you may soak in a bathtub.
- Activity – Plan for lots of walking. You may go up and down stairs and slowly increase the distance you walk. Lift nothing more than a gallon of milk. Do not twist, turn or bend. Do not drive until 6 weeks after surgery, and you are no longer using narcotic pain pills.
6 weeks to 3 months
- Begin faster walking, stationary biking and a stair climber. We highly recommend light aerobics 3-5 times a week.
- You may lift up to 10 pounds.
- You may begin bending, twisting and turning within your comfort zone. Do not lift anything while doing this.
- You may float in a pool or lake, but no swimming or diving.
3 months to 6 months
- 3 months –Begin light straight ahead jogging on a flat surface and light swimming.
- 4 months –Increase the intensity of your jogging and swimming. Increase weight lifting to weights you can lift 15 times.
- 5 months to 6 months –Resume your normal routines. Slowly increase your time in a new activity so your body can adjust and you can adjust to how your body is able to move. We do not recommend activities that place a load on the back with the back bent (i.e. jet skiing, hopping waves, snow mobiling over jumps, etc.). The point where the fused and unfused spine meets can be damaged. If you have any questions please give us a call.
This handout is meant to act as a guide. Please talk with your doctor about your plan of care.
Important Phone Numbers
Clinic Secretary to Dr. Halanski and Dr. Noonan: 608-263-1344
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner: 608-263-6420
Clinic Nurse: 608-263-6420
If you live out of the area, please call 1-800-323-8942
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 05/19/2011
Copyright © 05/19/2011 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6091
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