The type of spine surgery you have will determine how long you will need to stay in the hospital and how much help you will need in and out of the hospital after surgery. Many procedures for the spine only require one to three nights in the hospital.
From the moment your spine surgery is completed, the nursing staff will begin monitoring your condition. When the anesthesia begins to wear off, you will be taken to a hospital room until you are ready to go home.
The day after surgery is considered “Day 1.” Some spine surgeries require that you wear a brace for a period of time afterward. If so, keep your brace on until your surgeon specifically instructs you to remove it. You may be encouraged to stand and sit (with assistance if needed) within the first 24 hours after surgery. If so, with the supervision of a physical therapist (PT), you will sit on the edge of the bed and stand with support. Walking, however, will be approached gradually and carefully to avoid injury and complications. Try not to over do it the first few times you get up and walk.
By your second day in the hospital after spine surgery, you may expect the following:
Day 3 and Beyond
After spine surgery, people often report feeling better soon after they awake from the surgery. Although you may see and feel immediate benefits, you will get the maximum benefits of surgery by participating in a comprehensive rehabilitation program. When you are leaving the hospital, your doctor or PT may recommend some or all of the following to help you get better at home: