Planning Your Departure
The length of your hospital stay will depend on the type of procedure you had and your medical condition. Your care team begins planning your discharge and anticipates your recovery needs as soon as you arrive. A discharge planner or social worker will meet with you the day after your surgery. He or she will help you plan for your needs once you leave the hospital.
Rehabilitation After Discharge
Although most people go home after surgery, in some instances your surgeon may recommend inpatient rehabilitation. The Acute Rehabilitation Center at El Camino Hospital Los Gatos offers comprehensive care after spine surgery. Your surgeon will recommend the level of care that’s right for you, and your care team can help you make arrangements.
Before you leave the hospital, your surgeon will provide guidelines on the type and level of activity to maintain once you're home. He or she will also let you know when it’s safe to introduce other activities as you heal.
Walking is the therapy of choice following spine surgery, and your therapy will likely begin with regular walking once you return home. Rather than one long walk a day, you should walk several times throughout the day in your home or outside. If you walk outside, make sure someone is with you to ensure your safety. Your care team will provide you with specific guidelines.
Prior to your discharge, your nurse will provide you with written instructions and will review them with you and your family members. If you have any concerns during your recovery, be sure to call your surgeon.