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Spinal Surgery Frequently Asked Questions



Is there a lot of pain after surgery?

Because of the minimally invasive nature of the procedure, there is not a lot of pain following surgery. Your doctor will write you a prescription for pain medication to use as needed. If pain is excessive, you should contact your doctor.

Can I shower after surgery?

You will have a waterproof dressing on your back. You may shower quickly, but try not to soak the dressing. Do not use a hot tub.

What are my limitations after surgery?

You should take it easy. You can walk and lie down. Try to limit sitting to 10 to 15 minutes at a time the first four or five days since this position will tend to make you sore. After one to two weeks, you can slowly increase your activity.

Check with your physician prior to participation in strenuous sports or any activity that uses a lot of twisting motion. These activities can normally be resumed about six weeks after surgery.

Is this surgery experimental?

The METRxä System technique has been used successfully since 1995. It is a minimally invasive way to perform the same procedure that has been successfully used to treat disc herniations for more than 60 years.

Will I have a large scar?

The incision is less than one inch long and usually heals so that it is barely noticeable.

Will I need medication?

You will be given hydrocodone or a similar oral pain medication. Remember to use ice packs regularly and to lie down when you need to rest your back.

When can I drive?

After two days following surgery you can drive short distances when you are comfortable sitting in a car. Sitting tends to aggravate the pain more than any other position, so limiting sitting and driving for the first one to two weeks is a good idea.

Click here for a pre- and postoperative check list.