It’s been just a few days since your spinal fusion at Morristown Medical Center, but now it’s time to continue your recovery at home. You can finally get out of bed and go to the bathroom, but you can’t really do much else—but the thought of lying in bed for six weeks sounds unbearable. Is there anything you can do while you recover that won’t hinder the healing process?
5 Things to Do in the Weeks After Your Spinal Fusion Surgery
Many people hate having to “take it easy” after surgery. They want to get out of the house, go back to work, and return to their lives as usual. Unfortunately, rushing through your recovery is a sure way to relapse and you don’t have the money for a second surgery.
While you wait for your six-week check-up, make sure you are doing the following:
- Taking proper care of the wound. Back surgery patients are at a significant risk of infection if bacteria is allowed to enter the wound site. You should change the wound dressing daily, making sure it stays clean and dry. When you shower, have someone use medical tape to cover the wound with plastic wrap, and change the dressing afterward. You may also have a course of post-surgery antibiotics to help prevent infection.
- Accepting help. It is vital that you take enough time to rest after your surgery. You will likely be unable to drive, stand long enough to cook your own meals, or stay awake for more than a few hours. Eventually, you may be able to walk around the block, but you should not attempt housework, yard work, or lifting anything over five pounds. It will be necessary to have someone constantly nearby to do these things for you.
- Apply for Social Security Disability. You may be unable to work for some time, so it is important to get your application started early. You can get these benefits even if you are currently receiving workers’ compensation benefits in New Jersey.
- Track your medication needs. Patients will recover from surgery at different rates. Some are able to forgo prescription painkillers after two weeks; others are in considerable pain for months or longer. As your recovery progresses, keep a log of how much medication you are taking and how often, making sure you do not exceed the prescribed dosage.
- Speak to an attorney. If you are having trouble paying your medical bills or are permanently unable to do your former job after surgery, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. Your employer could be liable for payments to compensate you for lost future income.
Remember—you do not have to bear the financial burden of a painful recovery alone. Find out about different ways to get compensation for an on-the-job injury in our FREE book, What the Injured Worker Needs to Know: Your Workers’ Comp Guide.