Our goal is to complete your recovery in the hospital in 3 days, though recovery time is different for every situation.
After surgery, your parents can visit you in the recovery room until you’re ready to be moved to your hospital room on the third floor for the rest of your recovery. In most cases, we are able to provide you a private room to give you privacy and comfort. Your parents can continue to stay with you in this room. Additional visitors are welcome to see you between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily. At the beginning of your stay, we recommend limiting your visitors so you can get your rest.
Scoliosis surgery is a painful procedure. We try to keep you as comfortable as possible, but we need your help. You must be very honest with your nurses and doctors and tell them how you’re feeling. For many patients, the third day of recovery is when you begin to feel better and have gotten through the worst.
Your pain medication at first will be administered through a PCA pump – this stands for Patient-Controlled Analgesia pump. You will be given a remote that gives you pain medicine at the push of a button. There are limits that prevent you from taking too much medicine. It’s important that only you administer this, not your parents. After several days with the PCA, you will be transitioned to oral pain medication. You may also be given pain medication through an ON-Q pump. This pump is a portable system that delivers numbing medicine to your surgery site.
Our child life specialists will be available to help you at any time, and they are skilled at helping you cope with pain using guided imagery, deep breathing and distraction. Download our coping kit for pain management techniques
A physical therapist will visit you two or three times a day, each time helping you move a little bit more. Moving around after surgery is very important to help your body heal, minimize pain and have bowel movements.
Your physical therapist will start by simply showing you how to roll over in bed, and slowly you will graduate to getting out of bed, walking to the door and walking down the hallway or up stairs.
Another normal side effect is constipation. Don’t feel anxious or embarrassed – this happens for everyone. In the days leading up to your surgery, try to avoid foods like breads and pastas that might add to the constipation, and eat as many fiber-rich foods like fruits and vegetables as you can. We can help you get your bowels moving by using a suppository, which is a small medication that is put in your bottom, or an enema, which is fluid that is squeezed in your bottom.
Food and Appetite
Due to the medicines you will be on, it’s very normal not to feel hungry or desire the foods you usually like. Our dietitians will help you get the nutrients you need and slowly get you back to your normal diet. Room service is conveniently available from your room. Guests may also order from the menu for a $5 fee.
You will be in the hospital for several days, and boredom can often make you more anxious or increase your pain. At CHOC, we have created an environment just for you, where you can enjoy pet therapy, a teen room, Seacrest Studio, gaming systems and laptops, and more. We also recommend that you bring your favorite books, games, movies and music to keep occupied.