Home Care after Scoliosis Surgery
You will come to the clinic for x-rays and
follow-up at 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months,
and one year after surgery, and then yearly
for 4-5 years.
First 6 weeks
ξ Incision care – We often use stitches
that dissolve over time. You will
also have steri strips (paper tape)
across your incision. The steri strips
may fall off at any time. This is ok.
You may take them off after three
weeks. You will change your
dressing every 3 days for 1 week
until incision is dry. You will be
shown how to do this. When the
dressing is dry you no longer need a
dressing. Your scar is very sensitive
to sun, be sure to put extra sun
screen on your scar if you are outside
or it will burn
ξ Bathing – For the first three weeks,
sponge baths only. At three weeks
you may shower. At four weeks you
may soak in a bathtub.
ξ Activity – Plan for lots of walking.
You may go up and down stairs and
slowly increase the distance you
walk. Lift nothing more than a
gallon of milk. Do not twist, turn or
bend. Do not drive until 6 weeks
after surgery, and you are no longer
using narcotic pain pills.
6 weeks to 3 months
ξ Begin faster walking, stationary
biking and a stair climber. We
highly recommend light aerobics 3-5
times a week.
ξ You may lift up to 10 pounds.
ξ You may begin bending, twisting
and turning within your comfort
zone. Do not lift anything while
ξ You may float in a pool or lake, but
no swimming or diving.
3 months to 6 months
ξ 3 months –Begin light straight ahead
jogging on a flat surface and light
ξ 4 months –Increase the intensity of
your jogging and swimming.
Increase weight lifting to weights
you can lift 15 times.
ξ 5 months to 6 months –Resume your
normal routines. Slowly increase
your time in a new activity so your
body can adjust and you can adjust
to how your body is able to move.
We do not recommend activities that
place a load on the back with the
back bent (i.e. jet skiing, hopping
waves, snow mobiling over jumps,
etc.). The point where the fused and
unfused spine meets can be
damaged. If you have any questions
please give us a call.
This handout is meant to act as a guide.
Please talk with your doctor about your plan
of care. For questions please call (608)-263-
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright 9/2017. University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing HF#6091