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After Spine Surgery


Your Nursing Care Unit
After you leave the PACU, we will take you to one of our nursing floors. Typically, we admit our orthopedic and neurosurgical patients to 2 South. The nursing staff, which includes nurses and patient care technicians (PCTs), will frequently monitor your blood pressure, temperature and pulse. The staff also will check your circulation and neurological status. This is routine after surgery. You will continue to receive IV fluids and oxygen, and you will wear your compression stockings or foot pumps. In addition, we will encourage you to cough and breathe deeply to keep your lungs clear. As you become more alert, the nursing staff will show you how to use an incentive spirometer, a device that improves your ability to clear mucus from your lungs, expands your lung capacity and increases the amount of oxygen that goes deep into your lungs. It also helps reverse or decrease the chance of developing pulmonary problems.

We also send our patients to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) postoperatively if we feel they need more intense monitoring. This decision depends on your state of health preoperatively and the complexity of your surgery. Once medically stable, you will be transferred from the ICU to 2 South , where you will continue your recovery.

Spine Academy Staff
Physician Assistant (PA): Expect to see one of our PA’s postoperatively. Your PA will monitor your progress and attend to your medical needs until your discharge. In addition, your PA is responsible for communicating with your surgeon and informing him/her of your progress. Please be sure to let your PA know if he/she can assist you in any way.

Physical Therapy (PT) and Occupational Therapy (OT): The first morning after your surgery, the nursing staff will assist you in dressing. After breakfast, a therapist will instruct you on getting in and out of bed properly and how to use your walker. The therapist will then help you walk from your room. Your walking distance will increase with each session. It is necessary for your coach to attend the afternoon sessions so he/she can learn to assist you with exercise and mobility. An occupational therapist will see you to review using various devices that can assist you with daily living activities. The PT and OT will give you educational handouts. Please review these materials and continue to refer to them after your discharge.

Case Manager/Social Worker: As you progress, case managers, social workers and the rest of your medical team will continue to coordinate your discharge plans.


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