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.
Speak to a nurse
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.
Get a second opinion
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.