When will I go into hospital for my operation?
You will usually be admitted on the day of surgery, although sometimes the night before. The hospital admission office will tell you when to come to the hospital and when to stop eating and drinking.
How long will I be in hospital following my surgery?
This depends on the surgery.
- After minimally invasive or keyhole spine surgery, many patients go home the morning after the operation.
- Patients with severe symptoms, spinal cord or nerve root compression as well as elderly patients, may be in hospital for up to five days.
- Patients undergoing spine fusion operations may be in hospital for up to seven days.
Regardless of when you are discharged from hospital, it is important to rest for one to two weeks following spine and minimally invasive spine surgery.
The exact timing of your discharge will be determined by your individual circumstances and will be discussed with Dr Parkinson.
How long should the wound remain covered after surgery?
For the first five days, change the dressing every 24 – 48 hours and never leave a wet dressing on the wound.
If the dressing is soaked off in the shower, allow the wound to dry before applying a clean, dry dressing.
When can I drive after surgery?
We advise patients to avoid driving for two weeks after their operation.
When will I be seen for follow up?
The office will make a six week follow up appointment for you when your surgery is booked. Depending on your procedure, you may need to have an x-ray prior to the six week assessment. Dr Parkinson will discuss this with you.
What exercises should I do in the first six weeks?
You may be referred to a physiotherapist who will prescribe a suitable exercise program, however, for the first six weeks we recommend walking only, aiming to reach a distance of one to two kilometers a day.
Swimming, weight training, cycling and running should be avoided.
Two to six weeks after surgery you may use a stationary bike and hydrotherapy.
Once you have had your six week check up with Dr Parkinson, you may be able to resume your regular exercise program, although specific programs should be discussed with Dr Parkinson
Do I need to wear a brace or collar after surgery?
No, generally not.
What medication will I need after the operation?
You will likely experience localised pain at the wound site which may be treated with an analgesic.
What sort of anaesthetic will I have at the time of surgery?
Nearly all neurosurgery is performed under general anesthetic. Occasionally, peripheral nerve surgery is performed with sedation and local anesthetic.
What is the risk of developing a clot in the leg (DVT)?
The risk of developing a clot in the leg is very low after elective spine surgery. However, a prolonged period of immobilisation increases the risk of developing a DVT which is why early mobilisation after surgery with the aid of physiotherapists and nursing staff is encouraged.
Where patients have a history of DVT or a genetic predisposition to DVT (eg Factor Five Leiden), active prophylaxis DVTs with calf compressors or low molecular weight Heparin, Heparin or anti-thrombotic stockings may be used to minimise the chance of clotting.
Doppler ultrasound scans of lower legs are used for early detection of clot formation where patients have difficulty mobilising.
Where a clot forms, it may be monitored if it is small, or anticoagulants may be used (eg Clexane or Warfarin).
Do I need a referral to see Dr Parkinson?
Yes, please bring a referral from your GP.
What do I bring to my first appointment?
Please bring a referral from your doctor as well as any workers compensation or third party details and all x-rays you have.