Questions/Concerns After Surgery

Follow up appointment information as well as thorough discharge instructions will be provided and reviewed with you and your support person prior to returning home. These instructions will include information regarding activity restrictions, incision care, brace specifications, and additional medication information as needed. Be sure to ask for clarification if you have any questions with these instructions or reach out to your neurosurgeon’s office for support.

Your Plan for Action

Use this guide to help tell your surgeon about changes in your symptoms. When you notice your symptoms early and take action, you are less likely to go to the hospital for treatment.

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You Are In Control and Doing Well

I am staying ahead of my pain, so it does not get severe.

I am having bowel movements every 1-3 days, and taking an over the counter stool softener if on a narcotic/opioid pain medication.

My incision is clean and dry.

My incision may have some bruising or swelling, which is normal.

I take short frequent walks, increasing in length of time each day after surgery.

I am increasing my dietary fiber with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and making sure I drink adequate amounts of water each day.

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Take Action Soon (Call your Surgeon within 24 hours)

If unable to contact your surgeon, please call your primary care provider or visit the nearest urgent care. MyMichigan Urgent Care Locations

I have new difficulty walking or increased weakness in my leg(s) or arm(s).

I had a fall.

I have severe pain and medicine does not help.

I have a new difficulty swallowing.

I have severe abdominal pain, or a bloated or firm belly (abdominal distention).

I can’t urinate, or I have new difficulty holding my urine.

I have not had a bowel movement in 4 to 5 days.

My bandage is filled with blood or blood is leaking out (if I have a bandage).

My incision is swelling more, is breaking open, smells bad, or has green or pus-like discharge.

I have a consistent fever over 101°F.

I have unusual pain in my calf when I touch or squeeze it, or when I stand or move.

I have redness, warmth, pain, swelling, or extreme numbness in my leg(s) or arm(s) that is new or different from before surgery.

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Take Action Now! (Call 9-1-1 or go to the Emergency Department)

I have chest pain or pressure that does not go away.

I feel like I can’t breathe.

I can’t move my leg(s) or arm(s).

I am experiencing blurred vision, dizziness, or fainting spells.

Ask Your Doctor

If you are experiencing back or neck symptoms such as pain, weakness, numbness or limited range of motion that do not resolve with rest and modification of your activities, ask your doctor for a referral to MyMichigan's WellSpine program.