Locations in Reno and Carson City, NV
Phone (775) 323-6100 /  Fax (775) 323-6118

Lumbar Discectomy Post-Operative Instructions

Activity in General:

  • If sitting, use only a straight back chair to ensure proper support not to exceed a half hour at a time. You may increase your sitting time slowly.
  • Lie only on a firm mattress, no couches or recliner chairs.
  • You may lie on your back or side, but not on your abdomen.
  • Absolutely no bending, stooping, pushing, lifting or straining.
  • We encourage 2-3 naps daily, you will be tired post-operatively.
  • Avoid housework, especially vacuuming and sweeping.
  • OK to cook, as long as you are not lifting anything heavier than 10 pounds.
  • Learn proper body mechanics to maintain a neutral spine position.
  • Increasing pain is a red flag telling you to rest.
  • DO NOT: Engage in strenuous activity for at least 10 weeks after surgery.

1st Week Post-Operative:

  • May ride in a vehicle as a passenger, but no driving and no extended road trips. Keep the time in the car less than 20 minutes.
  • Walk around in your home on a smooth, flat surface. Try to be ambulating half of the day.
  • You may stair climb with assistance.
  • Do not lift anything heavier than 10 pounds.
  • Take pain medication as directed, don’t try to “tough it out.” You will heal quicker if you feel better.

2nd Week Post-Operative:

  • Make sure to make your first post-op visit.
  • An exercise program will be discussed at your first visit.
  • OK to drive less than 20 minutes at a time if tolerated as a passenger.
  • Increase your walking to 1 mile per day if tolerated well.
  • Light housework but still no vacuuming or sweeping.
  • Refrain from sexual activity.
    • 3rd Week Post-Operative:

      • You may resume sexual activity if relatively pain free.
      • Increase walking time and housework as tolerated.
      • If you need to lift anything, do not exceed 25 pounds and use proper body mechanics.
      • OK to use a hot tub or spa if you are “scab free.”

      4th Week Post-Operative:

      • Gradually increase walking to 1-2 miles daily or as tolerated.
      • Increase driving time as tolerated.
      • Increase housework as tolerated.
      • Return to work will be discussed with Dr. Song and will be patient specific.
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Last Modified: July 2, 2014 | Online Patient Portal