Within a few hours after the operation, in most cases, the patient can get up and use the toilet on their own. The patient can also walk slowly around the room and around the hallways.
After the operation, while the patient is still in the hospital a physical therapist will come to explain some appropriate exercises and what actions are to be avoided. The patient must abstain from lifting heavy objects and bending over during the first weeks following surgery.
We recommend that the patient take short and frequent walks in order to promote blood circulation in the legs and avoid contractures or stiffness. After 24 hours, we will remove the surgical drain.
With regard to food, it’s possible that hard foods will be uncomfortable to swallow. We recommend a soft diet and drinking lots of liquids. Very hot food should be avoided.
We will recommend what medications the patient should take to control pain and inflammation during recovery. At the time of discharge from the hospital, the patient will be given an appointment for a few days later to see how the surgical wound is healing, and an appointment to begin physiotherapy.
We will recommend an early rehabilitation program that the patient can begin as soon as possible a few days after surgery. A team of professionals will be in charge of applying specific physical therapy techniques and teaching you the appropriate exercises at every stage of your recovery.
At first, you may notice discomfort when staying in the same position for 30-40 minutes, but tolerance will progressively increase. It is also normal to note some stiffness and limitation to neck mobility. However, with the rehabilitation exercises, you will be able to move more easily as the days pass by.
The patient can begin gentle, non-impact, exercise at about 6 weeks after surgery, depending on their level of comfort. Stationary bike can be a good exercise for the first stages of recovery. Later on, other sports like running can be added.
If the patient feels up to it, they can return to work such as office work about 3-4 weeks after surgery, as long as it is work that doesn’t require physical effort. For activities that require intense physical activity, the wait should be approximately 3 months.