You can go home when your pain is well controlled by tablets, you are mobile and you can look after yourself. This is normally 1 – 3 days after surgery.You will go home on pain killers. Take them as needed and then you can slowly come off them as your pain eases.
How much pain should you expect?
You should expect some aches and pain around the area of the surgery – and in the arms, if you have had neck surgery and legs if you have had back surgery. This should gradually ease over time.
Avoid sitting for too long. Gradually increase your walking distance each day. You can drive when it is safe for you – usually after a week. Avoid doing too much, too soon! Do a little bit more each day.
If you have had neck surgery your clips or stitches will be taken out after 8 days.If you have had low back surgery, they are usually removed between 10 and 12 days post-surgery.
When to return to work is very individual and depends on mainly on the type of work you do and the type of surgery you have had. You can usually return to work between 4 and 8 weeks after surgery. If you are well motivated and keen to resume work you may be able to return sooner. Try and plan a gradual return to work.
You need to train and build up your fitness gradually.You can start swimming at 4 weeks, as long as your stitches have been removed and the wound has healed. You can normally go back to the Gym after 6 – 12 weeks. Many post-operative patients have returned successfully to their favourite sports – running, skating and football.