Postoperative Care for Cervical and Lumbar Surgery


  • You have been discharged from the hospital with medications that may include pain pills, muscle relaxants, and anti-inflammatories.
  • Please have your pharmacy call the doctor’s office to renew any medications, as necessary.


  • Best to ride home in a reclining passenger position.
  • You should refrain from riding or driving in a car once you are home from the hospital until your first postoperative visit with the doctor.
  • Walking activities are permitted inside and outside your home.
  • You should avoid steps, inclines and uneven rock surfaces if possible.
  • There should be no bending, stooping, or lifting.
  • After you have seen your doctor in three to four weeks, you will be instructed in further level of activities.
  • No swimming, soaking or hot tub activities for 3 weeks after surgery.


Keep the wound dry for the first two days after surgery. Shower with Saran wrap over the dressing. After that, you may remove the dressing and resume regular showering. The steri strips on the incision will gradually come off or may be removed in one week. Two weeks after surgery, you may begin putting vitamin E oil or aloe vera on your wound. If there is any swelling, redness or increased pain around your wound, call the doctor’s office.


Exercising other than a stationary bike or walking is not recommended in the first month postoperatively.In addition, you may use hot packs, cold packs, and warm moist heat for relief of discomfort.Following anterior cervical fusion, the cervical collar should be worn constantly for a minimum of two weeks. It may be removed for showering. Please contact the office with any questions: (805) 544-4455.

Phillip Kissel, M.D.

699 California Blvd., Suite A, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 | (805) 544-4455
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