As your surgeon discussed with you, there is a potential for complications after your spine surgery. We will do what we can to prevent any such complications.
Deep-breathing exercises are performed to prevent pneumonia. Your nurse will show you how to use a device called an incentive spirometer. The spirometer helps open your airways after surgery, bringing in as much oxygen as possible. This exercise involves breathing in slowly and deeply, holding it for approximately 10 seconds, and then exhaling. Perform this exercise 10 times every one to two hours while you are awake.
The following devices and exercises help to prevent blood clots in your legs. Such clots are also known as Deep Vein Thrombosis.
TED hose are heavy white stockings worn on your legs to help with circulation. You'll wear these from the time you have spine surgery until you're walking the length of the hallway two or three times a day.
SCDs are devices that wrap around your legs from your ankle to your thigh. They periodically fill up with air to gently squeeze your legs and help with the circulation in your legs. You'll wear SCDs from the time you have your spine surgery until you are walking the length of the hallway two or three times a day.
PlexiPulse is a device that wraps around each foot. They periodically fill up with air to gently compress your foot. You'll wear the PlexiPulse from the time you have your spine surgery until you are walking the length of the hallway two to three times a day.
To keep circulation flowing adequately through your legs and to prevent blood clots, your nurse will show you how to perform foot pumping exercises, which simulate walking.
These exercises will begin immediately after spine surgery and will continue until you are discharged.
Source: Piedmont Spine Surgery Patient Education Guide