Cervical Spine Surgery: Home Care and Neck Health Maintenance

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Your first postoperative visit should be scheduled for two to six weeks after discharge from the hospital. You will receive instructions before you leave the hospital.
Doctor speaking with Male PatientYou will receive instructions before you leave the hospital.When to Call Your Doctor
Please call the doctor if you notice any of the following symptoms or you are worried or have questions.

  • Flu-like symptoms.
  • Body temperature above 101.5 degrees F for more than two days.
  • Increase in redness, swelling, warmth or tenderness of your incision, or drainage from your incision.
  • Numbness, tingling or changes in sensation of your anus/legs.

Maintaining Your Neck for Your Lifetime
After the orthopaedic team has guided you through surgery, it is up to you to maintain a healthy neck. The following suggestions may help alleviate and prevent neck pain.

Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
A healthy lifestyle reduces stress and tension that can lead to neck pain or disability. Control your weight, eat well-balanced meals, get enough calcium and do not smoke.

Exercise Regularly
In addition to specific neck-strengthening exercises, try to add overall conditioning activities. We recommend walking, swimming or biking to maintain a healthy neck.

Practice Good Body Mechanics
Using good posture and body mechanics protects your back and neck when you are sitting, standing and lifting.

Schedule Periodic Office Visits
Patients who undergo cervical spine surgery should see their surgeon periodically after surgery, depending on the individual situation. This follow-up helps diagnose any potential complications that may arise and allows us to monitor your progress.

Rothman Institute
Department of Home Healthcare
Department of Nursing
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine

Updated on: 01/09/18
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Cervical Spine Surgery: An Overview
Richard D. Guyer, MD
Patients should be aware that there may be individual variations according to the surgeon and the patient's particular situation. For example, time in hospital, choice of bone grafting techniques, internal fixation, post-operative activities. Otherwise, this information is very complete for his practice and is a an excellent overview for the average patient with the understanding of the above variations.
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Cervical Spine Surgery: An Overview

Cervical spine surgery is performed by removing a disc or a bone and fusing the vertebrae together with a bone graft either in front of or behind the spine.
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