Lumbar Surgery

Microdiscectomy

Your hospital stay will be approximately 3-4 days and then you will be discharged home.

Your lower back wound will be covered with a water proof dressing, meaning you can shower and bathe as usual. If water gets under the dressing, it should be removed and replaced. The dressing can be fully removed, and the wound left open to the air after 7 days post-surgery.

You will notice the wound is raised and slightly red initially. This is because the sutures are subcuticular (under the skin) and are dissolvable. Your immune system will slowly dissolve the sutures over 60-90 days and the scar will flatten, narrow and the redness will settle. If the wound is uncomfortable and irritated, you can apply any moisturizer to soothe the irritation.

For the first 4 weeks you should avoid driving. You should alter your position throughout the day to 30 minutes standing, 30 minutes sitting and 30 minutes lying down. You must avoid bending or twisting – your back should be kept straight.

Light exercise by way of walking, building up to three 30 minute sessions a day is all that is required for rehabilitation.

Mild discomfort and residual leg pain or numbness is common in the first few weeks. Please take pain relief if required.

An appointment for a one month review with Mr Malham will have been made for you prior to your discharge from hospital. At that appointment, further rehabilitation and return to work plans will be discussed. It is usual to resume light work duties from 4 weeks, moderate duties from 8 weeks and full duties from 12 weeks.

Lumbar Laminectomy or Fusion Surgery

Your hospital stay will be approximately 5 -7 days and then your will be transferred to a rehabilitation ward for a further 1-2 weeks. This is to optimise your recovery and improve your functioning prior to discharge home.

Your lower back wound will be covered with a water proof dressing, meaning you can shower and bathe as usual. If water gets under the dressing, it should be removed and replaced. The dressing can be fully removed, and the wound left open to the air after 7 days post-surgery.

You will notice the wound is raised and slightly red initially. This is because the sutures are subcuticular (under the skin) and are dissolvable. Your immune system will slowly dissolve the sutures over 60-90 days and the scar will flatten, narrow and the redness will settle. If the wound is uncomfortable and irritated, you can apply any moisturizer to soothe the irritation.

For the first 6 weeks you should avoid driving. You should alter your position throughout the day, building up to 30 minutes standing, 30 minutes sitting and resting as required. You should avoid bending and twisting. For some procedures you may have been fitted with a lumbar brace to keep your back straight.

Light exercise by way of walking, building up to three 30 minute sessions a day, is all that is required for rehabilitation. Mild discomfort and residual leg pain or numbness is common in the first few weeks. Please take pain relief if required.

An appointment for a six week review with Mr Malham will have been made for you prior to your discharge from hospital. At that appointment, further rehabilitation and return to work plans will be discussed. It is usual to resume light work duties from 6 weeks, moderate duties from 12 weeks and heavy duties from 6 months.

Further follow up appointments will be made for you according to the progress you are making. A CT scan will be ordered for you at 6 months to assess bone healing (fusion) and thus aid in making decisions with you about returning to full exercise, sport and heavy work.