Most patients go home the same day or next day after surgery. For the first 48 hours, you should engage in low-level activity without straining or driving.
You can start to shower the day after surgery.
You can engage in your activities of daily living the day after surgery. This included taking a shower, getting dressed and minor activity around the household.
You can start driving 48 hours after surgery unless otherwise specified by your surgeon.
If your symptoms resolve completely, then you will most likely not need physical therapy. If you have any difficulty such as soreness, weakness or loss of range of motion, then we will recommend physical therapy.
Most people go home after surgery and do not need to go to a rehabilitation facility.
Most patients use pain medication, if at all, for the first few days. Patients should convert to an over-the-counter medication such as Tylenol as soon as possible.
Most patients are off pain medications within a day or so.
You should be walking the day of surgery without any problem.
Not usually. You should be fine to take care of yourself unless you normally have someone with at all times.
Very difficult to damage hardware after surgery.
The incision is usually 1 ½ inches long, horizontally placed in a skin fold of the neck off to the left or right. The incision is closed with subcuticular sutures that dissolve and do not need to be removed. We place steri-strips over the incision and then cover with a 2 x 2 in gauze pad and adhesive. You can shower the day after surgery and every day thereafter, but the shower should be quick. You can remove the adhesive and 2 x 2 in gauze pad on Postoperative Day Two. Leave the steri-strips on and your surgeon will remove them when you come to the office for your first visit after surgery.
Unless you do not feel well, you can begin driving 48 hours after surgery. If your surgeon does not think you should drive, they will tell you before you leave the hospital.
You should discuss with your surgeon prior to surgery. Depending on your occupation, some patients are back to work with days after surgery. If your job requires physical labor, it may be 6 – 12 weeks before you can go back to work.
The day after surgery, you can shower. Try to shower as quickly as possible and do not worry if the dressing is exposed to water. We do recommend baths or hot tubs for the first 4 weeks after surgery.
You will see your surgeon after surgery in 7 days, one month, three months and then one year. You should have X-Rays at each visit.