Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion (XLIF)
Postoperative instructions

Most of your pain will last three to five days after surgery while inflammation subsides. Healing process takes two weeks for the wound and twelve weeks for bone. It may take up to a year for you to feel all benefits of surgery.

Here is the list of DOs and DON’Ts you should know for postoperative period:

DO:

  • Stay active, walk regularly to improve your muscle strength and balance and also to prevent blood clots and other complications of inactivity.
  • It is okay to take shower on day 5 after surgery. Avoid the spray hitting the incision.
  • While taking shower, cover incision with impermeable dressing and change it after the shower; keep incision open to air if no drainage.
  • Watch for signs of infection including body temperature higher than 101, local redness or drainage. Call our office if develop any of those signs.
  • Leave incision open to air if there is no drainage.
  • It is okay to take Tylenol for pain – do not exceed 3 grams a day to avoid liver damage.
  • Minimize use of narcotic medications (Hydrocodone, Oxycodone etc.) as soon as possible, since they lead to drowsiness, confusion, constipation and are addictive.

DON’T

  • Remember: “NO BLT!!” for 3 months (no bending, no lifting anything heavier than 5 Lb, no twisting)
  • Do not submerge incisions in water until 2 days after removal of staples or 2 weeks after surgery if internal sutures were used.
  • Absolutely NO tobacco products or nicotine-containing substitutes (chewing gums, patches etc.) for 3 months after surgery – it stops bone healing.
  • Do not take NSAID’s (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Motrin, Aleve etc.) for 3 months since they may slow down bone healing.
  • Do not drive or operate heavy machinery while on pain medications.

How to reach us:
During office hours (8am-5pm): 806-744-7223 (ext.1907)
After hours: calling center 806-744-7223, ask to talk to Dr.Nesterenko

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