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Patient Post-operative Care

You might have some questions about how to look after yourself following a surgical spinal procedure and how the process works. As well as the immediate aftercare you’ll receive in hospital, you’ll also need to follow a rehabilitation plan at home and work closely with a physiotherapist to ensure a successful recovery. Here’s what happens after your surgical procedure.

Hospital stay

If you have a spinal injection, you’ll be treated as a day case. Most patients stay in hospital for no more than four hours. For simple surgery like discectomies you may need to stay in hospital for no more than one night. For more complex surgery your stay may be longer.

You will be seen by Mr Blagg before and after your procedure or surgery. The hospital’s team of nurses and physiotherapists will assess how you are and make sure you’re ready to go home. You’ll only be discharged once the team are confident that you’re able to care for yourself. In some rare cases, you may need to have extended rehabilitation before you’re able to go home.

Physiotherapy and rehabilitation

Most patients need to undergo physiotherapy following a procedure or surgery. Mr Blagg has good relationships with many local physiotherapists and, if suitable, you can be referred back to your own physiotherapist. Alternatively, there is an excellent physiotherapy department at The Chiltern.

Following surgery, you’ll be given a rehabilitation plan including exercises to do at home. For example, you’ll need to get up and try to walk every day following most spinal surgeries, even if it’s uncomfortable. To make a full recovery, it’s vital you follow the programme, carry out all your exercises and listen to the guidance given to you by your physiotherapist.

Everyone’s journey is different, so your rehabilitation plan will be tailored for you depending on your age, condition and lifestyle. Mr Blagg will make recommendations to your physiotherapist who will put together your full rehabilitation plan. Throughout your recovery, your physiotherapist will communicate with Mr Blagg about your progress.

Post-operative follow ups

Once you’re at home, we’ll keep in contact with you.

If you’ve had a spinal injection, we’ll call you after two weeks to see how you are getting on. If you’re doing well you’ll be referred into the care of a physiotherapist and speak to Mr Blagg at the six-week point after your procedure. If you haven’t gained any benefit from the injection, Mr Blagg will see you in clinic earlier than this to discuss the next steps on your treatment journey.

Surgical patients will need to have a face-to-face review after six weeks to assess your progress. During the appointment, Mr Blagg will check any wounds from the operation to make sure they have healed, test your neurological function and take an xray if needed.

If you are recovering well, you may be discharged into the care of a physiotherapist after your first six-week appointment. If you’ve had a fusion procedure or metalwork, you’ll need further reviews for upto one year.

Mr Blagg will discuss all your aftercare with you before the surgery and during your follow-up appointments. We’ll also make sure you’re comfortable with your appointment schedule and that you have all the guidance you need before you go home.

Get in touch

If you have any questions about post-operative care or want to book a consultation for back pain or other spinal problems, get in touch with us. We’ll be happy to book you in and answer any questions you might have.