Dad had a spine fusion PLIF L5/S1 last week. He has been home for 3 days. He is doing ok.
Before having the spine surgery, dad had developed burning knee pain (mostly right knee) which was ruled out to be caused entirely by the back problem (bulging disc+DDD). The orthopaedic had an xray taken and it was determined that the muscles around the knees had probably gotten weaker due to inactivity (bones were fine).
Now, after surgery he is supposed to walk as much as possible. He can still manage walking but he can feel the knees giving out after about 5-10 minutes. The ortho suggested doing rehab exercises and hydrotherapy when possible. However, our Dr. has said to only start such things after about 4-6 weeks after surgery.
So, in your experience and opinion, what would be the best way to tackle this situation? He is doing some small exercises to strengthen his muscles around the knee whilst sitting/walking/standing/laying down. We are hoping that is enough but if not, we will be left in a predicament.
Should we call a physiotherapist at home to help with the knee+back? What about requesting to start hydrotherapy early? Alternatives such as a recumbent stationary bike to be considered instead of walking?
Thanks for reading.