Neck surgery

  • The morning after the operation you may get up and walk around
  • Sometimes there are swallowing problems which disappear after a few days
  • The wound is checked and the dressing or bandage is changed if necessary
  • Avoid sudden neck movements
  • If the doctor agrees, you can usually return home the day after the operation
  • Sometimes another X-ray is taken before you leave the hospital
  • There is usually no physiotherapy, unless your doctor considers it necessary.

Back surgery

Microendoscopic discectomy

  • The morning after the operation you may get up and walk around. Don't do this on your own for the first time; wait for the nurse to show you how best to get out of bed. Then the physiotherapist will help you to start walking and climbing stairs again.
  • Sometimes there is pain in your back and radiating into your leg, which will disappear after a few days.
  • The wound is checked and the dressing or bandage is changed if necessary.
  • Avoid sudden movements and certainly do not lift anything.
  • If the doctor agrees, you can usually return home the day after the operation.

Microdiscectomy

  • The morning after the operation you will stay in bed and your bandages will be changed You will be washed. In the course of the day the surgeon will come to help you sit up. Thereafter, you will be able to go to the toilet (with help) and walk around a little in your room.
  • On the second day the physiotherapist will go for a walk with you and you will be allowed to climb stairs
  • On the third day you will usually be able to go home.

Laminectomy or arthrodesis

  • On the first day you will stay in bed. The bandage will be changed and a nurse will show you how to roll over in bed. This bed rest is necessary to prevent post-operative bleeding and in order to allow your back muscles to relax.
  • During the operation you will have received an injection of a painkiller that is effective for 24 hours. Thus it is possible that you will not feel much discomfort at first, but that you will start experiencing pain as the day progresses. Tell the surgeon or the nurse when this starts happening.. Your infusion will remain in place for as long as it is necessary for relieving the pain.
  • If you are not feeling nauseous you may eat and drink on the day following surgery.
  • On the second day the surgeon or the physiotherapist will help you sit up and you will be able to take your first steps under supervision. Thereafter, an experienced physiotherapist will help you to start walking again.
  • The wound will be checked on a daily basis and the bandages will be changed as necessary.
  • Sometimes there will be a small tube implanted in your back to remove excess blood. It is usually removed on the second day.

Disc prosthesis

  • In this procedure, the approach is via the abdominal wall. Sometimes the incision will be horizontal, and sometimes vertical.
  • The day after the procedure, the physiotherapist will help you get out of bed and you will be able to walk around.
  • The bladder catheter and the infusion will be removed and the wound will be checked.
  • Patients can usually go home after three days.

Every back operation is followed by a specific physiotherapy programme, involving issues such as:

  • How to get out of bed correctly.
  • Rolling over "en bloc"; turning your shoulders and hips at the same time so that there is no rotation of the spine. Rolling over until lying on your side.
  • When lying on your side, getting up by pushing yourself up with your arms.
  • Sitting upright with a straight back.
  • Standing up from a sitting position.

When can you get out of bed?

  • After an MED: on the first day after surgery. The therapy programme is completed within one day.
  • After other types of back surgery: on the second day after surgery. The therapy programme is spread over several days.
  • Walking rehabilitation.
  • Evaluation of posture when standing, if necessary with correction of an antalgic posture (compensating by leaning away from the pain).
  • Questions about residual symptoms.
  • Climbing stairs.
  • Training in stair climbing techniques.
  • Ergonomic advice.
  • concerning sitting, lying down and other everyday activities.

Surgery of the skull

  • On the first day after the operation you will stay in the Intensive Care Unit until the doctors agree that you can go back to your room.
  • Once in your room:
  • Your doctor will tell you when you can get out of bed. Never on your own for the first time though!
  • After 24 hours the bandages will be taken off your head.
  • Your hair will be washed on a daily basis with a disinfectant shampoo which you will also be given to take home with you.
  • You may eat and drink.
  • You will remain on infusion for a few more days.

Sometimes you will be seen by a different neurosurgeon from the one who operated on you. Do not hesitate to ask him or her any questions you may have. He or she is fully familiar with your operation.

After your operation, the surgeon will come to see you on a daily basis together with your nurse. Do not hesitate to ask them any questions you may have. Write them down if necessary so as not to forget anything.

Every Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. major rounds take place in the ward. As well as your surgeon, the department secretary, your physiotherapist, the senior nurse and the social worker will come by to see you. This is the moment to discuss complex problems. Issues that can be discussed include not just medical questions, but also administrative, social, family and financial problems.