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You are here: Patients Post-Operative Care Advice following back surgery

Advice following back surgery

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Following back surgery you are encouraged to be up and mobile as soon as tolerated returning to light activities once you go home. Your consultant and physiotherapist will advise you re activities and exercise that are appropriate for you. If you have any queries or concerns once you are discharged from hospital, please seek advice from your consultant, physiotherapist, one of the nursing staff or your own doctor.

Listed below are guidelines to help you:-


  • Take your pain relief regularly as prescribed on discharge from hospital.
  • Continue to-take short periods of rest, lying flat on your bed if needed
  • Adequate continuous, uninterrupted sleep, aids the healing process.
  • Remember to get in and out of the bed as you have been shown.- see over
  • Change your position regularly to avoid stiffness.
  • Walk short distances as tolerated- distance will vary between individuals
  • Limit your sitting to short periods in an upright chair, taking care to maintain a good sitting posture.
  • Take care when bending; remember to bend your hips and knees : avoid twisting and bending
  • Continue with the exercises taught by the physiotherapist. These will help with your recovery. If you have any problem with these please contact us for advice.
  • Wear your 'FED stockings as advised by your consultant - usually for the first week


  • Avoid sitting in low chairs or settees where you may be slumped or slouched with a curled back.
  • Avoid carrying or lifting heavy weights (Shopping, children, chairs, suitcases, vacuum cleaner, etc.) In the long term generally you should consider a maximum of 20kg. Lifting close to theloody, versus at arms length reduces the load on your back.
  • Stand for prolonged periods, is likely to make your back ache- generally it is better to keep on thernove little and often.
  • Avoid activities / jobs which may involve excessive standing or twisting movements.
  • Do not drive until you have spoken to your consultant (1-6 weeks).
  • It is kinder on your back to shower than sit in the bath.
  • Try to avoid becoming constipated, as any straining may aggravate your back.
  • Avoid return to any sport, exercise or any other vigorous activities before discussing it with your consultant or physiotherapist (usually 6 weeks).
  • Avoid smoking as it is a known contributor to back pain, it is also recognised that nicotine can potentially decrease the surgical healing process.
  • Avoid drinking excess alcohol as it may interact unfavorably with your prescribed medication.
Remember, the first 12 weeks after surgery are very much a time for recuperation. It is important that you follow the advice you are given, as everything you do at this stage will have an effect on your long-term recovery.