Be sure to ask your surgical team about their specific post-operative instructions. Some important points you may want to discuss include:
- When you can leave the hospital and return home
- Any restrictions you may have and the length of time for these restrictions
- Pain medication regimens
- Care instructions for incision sites
- Bathing/showering specifications
- Respiratory exercises
- Acceptable physical activity (i.e., walking, sitting, standing, climbing stairs)
- Post-Operative diet/nutrition
- School or work notes
- Follow-up visits
Below you will find a timeline for recovery. The information provided is of a general nature and does not represent or constitute medical advice or recommendations and is for general education purposes only.
Each individual is unique and results and timelines will vary from case to case. Always consult your doctor for medical advice and before starting any activities.
You can find a list of qualified Tether surgeons by using our Surgeon Locator: https://www.myscoliosis.com/surgeon-locator.
Immediately After Surgery
Following surgery, patients are transferred to the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) for observation. It is here that the patient will wake from the anesthesia used during surgery. The PACU is staffed by specially trained medical professionals who monitor the condition of patients immediately following surgery. Patients are typically transferred to regular rooms within a few hours.
Length of Hospital Stay
The typical hospital stay for most patients is 3 to 5 days. During that time, hospital staff will work to effectively manage post-operative pain, provide physical therapy, such as deep-breathing exercises, and provide instructions on recovery. If you are traveling, you may be asked to stay in the area until your post-op check-up where they will evaluate your progress and potentially clear you to return home.
1 to 4 Weeks After Surgery
During the first four weeks after surgery, patients will have multiple follow-up appointments with their surgeon to monitor recovery. Patients will receive information on specific physical limitations prior to returning home from the hospital. It’s important to follow the activity guidelines provided by the surgeon or hospital staff. Specific instructions may vary on a case-by-case basis but patients should plan on taking it easy for the first four weeks after surgery. As pain lessens during this time, it is important to continue following the guidelines provided by the surgeon. Adhering to the guidelines will help your recovery.
4 to 6 Weeks After Surgery
Patients are typically cleared to return to normal daily activities within a four to six week timeframe but should continue to follow all doctor recommendations on activity and movement restrictions. Keep in mind, recovery may be longer depending on your specific needs after your procedure.
6 to 12 Weeks After Surgery
Once you are six to twelve weeks into your recovery, patients may be able to return to normal activities and may begin playing certain sports. You should always follow your doctor’s instructions on appropriate levels of physical activity.
12 Weeks After Surgery
After 12 weeks surgeons may advise that patients are cleared to resume all normal activities. It is always important to follow specific instructions from your surgeon, but most patients are not forced to sacrifice participating in regular daily activities at this point. The remainder of the treatment period should be life as usual. Certain forms of exercise and activity may be encouraged.
ZimVie does not practice medicine. This timeline only represents a general recovery timeline. Recovery and appropriate post-operative activities will differ from patient to patient. Only a medical professional can determine the appropriate recovery timeline for you. Please consult with your surgeon to understand your appropriate post-operative recovery, timeline, and activities.