In this section
28 days after
Your child should be getting close to his/her normal schedule and routine.
- Child should be performing all his/her normal daily activities
- Showering, getting dressed
- Preparing snacks/meals
- Light chores such as dusting areas that don’t require reaching/bending, loading/unloading top rack of dishwasher, folding clothes
- Seeing friends
- Going for walks
- Plan for your return to school:
- Consider beginning with partial days. Increase time at school as tolerated over 2 weeks
- Avoid heavy backpacks. Plan to go to locker between each class, only carry necessary supplies
- Allow extra time for passing. Consider using an elevator and transition between classes either early or late to avoid crowded hallways.
- If textbooks are used, have 2 sets – 1 to keep at home, and 1 to keep at school.
- No Gym class when first return. At follow-up visits you can discuss restrictions for sports and gym class
- Do NOT drive until:
- Off all pain medicine
- Full arm, shoulder, neck and back motion
- The Doctor says it is OK
- Continue with a healthy diet.
- High fiber, high protein, iron-rich diet is often important
- Drink more than 64 ounces water per day if average teenage/adult size
- Some patients, especially girls, need a multivitamin with iron
- The scar will continue to heal for a year. It starts pink, and slowly fades to a color that is closer to his/her natural skin tone.
- Protect the scar from sun. Use bandage, shirt, or high SPF sunscreen (30+) over scar when outdoors.
- Some people like to use cocoa butter or scar creams. Wait until at least 6 weeks after surgery to use these products.
- Dental precautions are necessary after surgery.
- Avoid routine dental work for 2-3 months after surgery if possible.
- We will prescribe an antibiotic to take 1hour before dental visits. This is done for several years.
- Avoid tattoos and body piercings for at least 1 year after surgery. There is increased risk of infection due to the spine implants.
- Tobacco and nicotine can prevent healing and cause the spine not to fuse.
- Smoking is never recommend. This includes use of cigarettes, e-cigarettes, vaping, JUUL, and other products.
- Avoid being around smokers whenever possible
- Sports and activity will be restricted following surgery
- We do not recommend use of trampoline after spine fusion
- Rollercoasters and water slides should be avoided until the fusion is solid; we will let you know when it is OK to do these activities.
- We will discuss return to sports at the next Orthopedic appointment.
About our orthopedic care
Meet Dr. Thometz and learn about our Orthopedic Program.
Our nurse triage team is available Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. to assist with appointments and referrals.
It's important to know what your options are. We can provide expert opinions to verify or give more information about an initial diagnosis. Contact the Spine program today.