The single most important person in the process of spine surgery is you, the patient. Well-informed patients are more successful in following through on their rehabilitation and have better outcomes.
The first step to a successful procedure is in knowing what to expect. Following is some useful information as you pursue the next steps of your treatment.
- There will be a small drain in your neck and I will keep it in place for one day for safety reasons. I will also keep you overnight to monitor your status to make sure your breathing is fine. The nurses will take the drain out the neck day before you go home. Typically, that will be around lunch time.
- The incision will have a substance like super glue on it. It is water proof, so when the little drink hole seals up in a day or two, you can then shower and will not have to put anything on the incision. The super glue-like substance will flake off by itself in a couple of weeks.
- Your throat might be a little sore. Start off with soft foods and liquids. Breads can be a little difficult initially. Drink water. Occasionally, I will place you on steroids to reduce the inflammation. If you have any problems breathing or swallowing, please contact my office.
- You will wear a soft collar for two weeks. Wear it while sleeping, as it reminds you to be careful and cautious. It’s important to remain still with limited activity (no kids or dogs jumping around you) during this period. Under calm conditions, you can take it off intermittently.
- Limit the amount of driving for the first couple of weeks. You obviously don’t want to have a car accident and aggravate it.
Again, contact my office immediately if you are having any problems or concerns.
Dr. Stephen P. Courtney, M.D.
Stephen P. Courtney, M.D. is a board-certified, fellowship trained orthopedic spine surgeon by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery and the founder of the spine division at Plano Orthopedic Sports Medicine and Spine Center. He has been practicing medicine in Plano since 1995 and has developed his practice exclusively for neck and back disorders.
Dr. Courtney has been Chief of Orthopedic Surgery at the Medical Center of Plano and a member of the hospitals Executive and Operating Room Committees. Dr. Courtney has also founded a spine company known as Eminent Spine, which is a medical device company that manufactures spinal implants sold throughout the United States. He travels the country training other physicians on how to utilize these products.
Selected as one of Dallas’ Best Doctors by D Magazine, Dr. Courtney is known for his straight-forward, honest approach and operates only if clearly indicated with proven techniques which has earned him an excellent reputation among his professional colleagues, medical peers and patients.
Dr. Courtney is a member of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, North American Spine Society and the Texas Spine Society.