+27 (0)14 592 8322 | +27 (0)79 699 5712 [email protected]
255A Beyers Naudé Dr,
Rustenburg, 0299
Tel: +27 (0)14 592 8322
P.O.Box 21533
Protea Park
Netcare Ferncrest/Life
Tel: +27 (0)14 592 8322

Cervical Surgery

(Decompression, Fusion, Prosthesis)





Number 1

Wear your lumbar brace as prescribed by your doctor, usually at all times for at least 6 weeks.


Number 2

No sitting for the first 2 weeks. There after you may sit for short periods of 5-10 min if no pain or discomfort is felt. If you had a prosthesis replacing a disc you may sit from day 2.


Number 3

Avoid lifting or carrying anything heavy. Avoid reaching for things overhead. Lifting and carrying put extra stress on your healing tissue and muscles and should therefore be avoided for at least 6 weeks.


Number 4

Only start driving when you can safely drive without any pain and your back is moveable enough to perform all the nessasary actions. You may be a passenger in a car for short periods at a time. It is advicable to lie down on the back seat with your knees pulled up as you may not sit.


Number 5

Keep the wound dry while the wound is dressed. Plasters can usually be removed after 14 days or as the doctor ordered. If your wounds are red,warm or have a yellow discharge contact the doctors rooms.


Number 6: Showering & Bathing

– For the first two days after discharge from the hospital preferably a sponge or washcloth type bath.
– After the third day you can take a shower if you securely tape something over the dressing so that it does not get wet. Be prepared to change the dressing immediately if it does get wet or becomes loose.
– It is important when you take a shower to have somebody around to assist you.
– If you don’t have a shower at home, you may sit on the edge of the bath or stand in the bath while someone assists you with washing.


Number 7

One of our physiotherapists will evaluate and treat you post operatively. Please do all the exercises given by the physiotherapist to improve your lung function, circulation, joint movement and general functional ability. You will need to follow up with physio visits, please phone the rooms for an appointment ASAP. Physiotherapy treatments will be approximately 2-3 times per week, depending on your progress.

Physiotherapy treatment post operatively is important for the following reasons:
– To reduce pain, muscle spasm, swelling and inflammation.
– To retain normal movement in the spine, hips knees and ankles.
– To retain good mobility of nerve tissue.
– To improve body posture.
– To ensure proper healing of the surgical scar.
– To regain proper strength of the back, stomach and leg muscles.
– To give advice on do’s and dont’s
– To show the correct ways to stretch your muscles.


Number 8

It is important to stand and walk in increasing amounts every day. Please make a determined effort to walk at least three times a day increasing your distance and speed daily. This improves fitness and blood circulation to prevent blood clotting.( If a burning pain is felt in the leg please report to the doctors rooms.)


Number 9

Remember to roll onto your side when getting out of or into bed. Remember that your hip and shoulder should always roll together. (See exercises for examples on how to get in and out of your bed)


Number 10

Always sleep with a firm pillow between your legs in side lying or a pillow under your knees when sleeping on your back.


Number 11

If you have received orthopaedic stockings use them as prescribed. They are used to control swelling and to prevent blood clotting.


Number 12

For swelling and pain ice and heat can be used (See exercises for time specific management).


Number 13

The exact date for returning to work and driving will be discussed with you doctor.


Number 14

 Do not do any gym exercises before 12 weeks post surgery. Consult your physio for a biokineticist referral if you want to start doing gym exercises.


Number 15

Do not lift any heavy objects or play sport before a biokineticist is satisfied that you have reached the final stages of your gym-rehab.


0-2 Weeks



1 - Breathing Exercises

a. Lie down comfortably.
b. Breath in through your nose.
c. Breath out through your mouth.
d. Keep your shoulders relaxed.
          1. Take a deep breath in and out.
          2. Take a deep breath in, hold for 3-5 sec and breath out.
          3. Take a deep breath in, then a bit more in, and breathe out.


2 - Circulation exercises to prevent blood clotting:

a. Footpumps
          1. Keep your knee still,
          2. Move your foot up and down, in and out, and in circles
b. Heelslides
          1. Keeping your heel on the bed.
          2. Move your heel to your buttock as far as possible.
          3. Straighten your knee again.
c. Move and use your arms during the day.


3 - Stomach Crunches

a. Lie down on your back.
b. Bend your knees to 45°.
c. Cross your arms across your chest.
d. Tuck your chin towards your breast bone.
e. Gently lift your head and shoulders off the bed.
f. Hold 3-5 seconds.


4 - Static Excercises

a. Quadriceps
          1. Lie down on your back with your knees straight.
          2. Push your knee as flat into the bed as possible.
          3. Hold 5-10 seconds.
b. Gluteus
          1. Lie down on your back with your knees straight.
          2. Squeeze your buttocks together.
          3. Hold 5-10 seconds.
c. Calves
          1. Lie down on your back with your knees straight.
          2. Point your toes.
          3. Hold 5-10 seconds.
d. Back muscles
          1. Lie down on your back with your knees straight.
          2. Squeeze your buttocks together.
          3. Press both your shoulder blades and calves gently down into the bed.
          4. Hold 5-10 seconds.
          5. Later when this is comfortable
                    a. Press the opposite shoulder blade and calf into the bed.
e. Adductors
          1. Lie down on your back.
          2. Bend your knees up to 45°.
          3. Squeeze a pillow/ball between your knees.
          4. Hold 5-10 seconds.


5 - Ice for swelling and pain

a. Cover the surgery site with a clean sheet of plastic or a towel in order the protect the wounds and dressings.
b. Put an ice pack over your swollen or painfull areas.
c. Keep it on for 10-15 minutes.
d. You can do this 3 times per day.


6 - In and out of bed:

a. Into bed
          1. Sit on the bed.
          2. Slowly lie down on your shoulders.
          3. Pick your legs up onto the bed.
          4. Roll onto your back moving your shoulder and hip together.
b. Out of bed
          1. Turn onto your side moving your shoulder and hip together.
          2. Lower your legs off the bed.
          3. Slowly push up on your arms.
          4. Push up until you are sitting.
          5. Slowly stand up.

(Download the complete hospital exercise guidelines document)


All lumbar surgery patients require physiotherapy after dicharge from the hospital, to prevent post-operative complications and failure of surgery.

  • You will need 2-3 sessions/ week. Please phone the practice for an appointment ASAP.