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After surgery, patients are routinely admitted to the Intensive Care Unit where they have focused nursing care. Appropriate pain management is emphasized. Most patients will have a PCA pump post operatively for pain control. This treats pain where it exists and allows the patient to better control post operative pain.
The day after surgery, some patients may be able to sit in a chair and walk one or two steps. By the third day, patients can stand and walk and by the fourth day will often be walking the halls.
After discharge, which is routinely on the fifth day, patients begin the rehabilitation process. Patients may be transferred to a rehabilitation hospital to spend another week regaining the ability to perform normal activities of daily living. Discharge from rehabilitation usually occurs two to 2 1/2 weeks after surgery.
After surgery, some patients need to wear a light brace for about three months. Patients do not have to sleep or bathe in the brace.
How Long Does Recovery Take?Each case is evaluated on an individual basis as the recovery process takes place. Most adults can return to light duty work in eight to 12 weeks. Most pediatric patients are able to return to school within four to six weeks. We set long-term goals with each patient and review them at six-month and yearly intervals or for as long as the patient and physician deem necessary.
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