Postoperative FAQ’s

What Should I Do to Care for My Bandage?

Keep your bandage clean and dry. Change your bandage when it becomes wet or soiled (from bathing or drainage from your incision). If you have staples or outer sutures, contact our office for an appointment to have them removed 7-10 days following surgery. For carpal tunnel surgery, removal is 10-12 days post surgery. Contact the office nursing staff if you have any questions or concerns.

What Should My Incision Look Like?

The incision should be clean and dry without redness, swelling, or drainage. If you experience any of these symptoms or have a fever, please contact our office immediately.

Do I Need to Take Antibiotics Following Surgery?

A sufficient dose of antibiotics will be administered by your physician prior to surgery. Antibiotics may be taken post operatively, if necessary.

Is it Normal to Run a Fever Following Surgery?

It is common to run a low grade temperature 100° for a week or two post operatively. If your temperature is greater than 99.9° following your pain medication or Tylenol, notify your physician.

Is it Normal to Have Leg or Arm Pain Following Surgery?

It is not unusual to experience mild hip/leg or shoulder blade/arm pain. This is generally related to swelling or nerve root irritation. It may be helpful to use an over-the-counter medication for inflammation, i.e., Aleve, Motrin, Nuprin, etc. (If you had a fusion you may not take these medications for several months). It is important to take these medications with food. If your extremity pain worsens, notify your physician.

When Should I Come Back to See My Doctor Following My Surgery?

If you have staples or external stitches you need to come to the office and have them removed by the 10th post-op day.

How Do I Get a Refill On My Pain Medication?

If you need a refill of your medication, please contact our office Monday through Friday before 3:00 p.m. No refills will be given on weekends or holidays. Please allow 24 hours to process the information and notification to your pharmacy. To expedite the process, please provide the following information: patient name, phone number, date of birth, pharmacy name, pharmacy phone number, and the medication requested. You may be asked to leave this information on the Prescription Refill line. Please note that for some medications like Percocet, Fentinyl, Oxycontin, ect. a hard copy prescription signed by your physicians is required, and may take up to 72 hours to obtain.

How Long Will I Need Pain Medication After Surgery?

Most surgeries require some type of pain medication for the first 2-3 weeks. Medication management will be addressed by your physician prior to surgery.

Is it Normal to Suffer From Constipation?

It is not unusual to suffer from constipation following surgery. Pain medication and decreased activity diminish bowel motility. You may use over-the-counter laxatives or enemas. This should provide relief within 24-48 hours. If not, notify your physician. Ensure that you are drinking plenty of fluids and increase your activity (walking) daily.

Is it Normal to Have Numbness Following Surgery?

Numbness and tingling will be the last symptoms to resolve. It may take several weeks or months for it to subside.

What Should I Do if I Am Involved in a Motor Vehicle Accident?

If your accident is severe, you should go to the local ER. If it is a minor one, you will probably be stiff and sore for about 2 weeks. If symptoms progress or last longer than 2 weeks, you should notify your physician.

When Can I Drive After Surgery?

It is the policy of Neuroscience Specialists to advise patients that are taking narcotic medications to avoid driving during the period they are taking the medications.

When May I Resume Sexual Relations?

As soon as it is comfortable for you to do so. You may want to assume a passive position.

Will I Be Able to Move My Neck After Surgery?

You may gradually move your neck to comfort.

What Kind of Exercise or Activity Should I Be Doing?

Walking is encouraged daily: 5-10 minutes every hour or 20 minutes at least twice daily as tolerated. Do not begin any exercise regiment without consulting your physician.