Some patients are able to go home the same day as the X-STOP surgery, and some have a short (one to two day) hospital stay. Immediately following implantation of an X-STOP, most patients will be encouraged to get out of bed and walk on the same day as the surgery as this helps speed the healing and recovery process and typically reduces the chances of postoperative discomfort or complications.
Postoperative medication for pain control is not typically required, although there is typically some soreness after the procedure. Most surgeons will schedule a follow-up visit with the patient about six weeks after the surgery for lumbar stenosis.
For several weeks following the procedure, most patients will have some limitations placed on their activities. Prohibited activities typically include:
- Bending backward
- Heavy lifting (e.g. over 20 pounds)
- Stair climbing (e.g. more than a few stairs)
- Vigorous physical activity during which the lower back could be repeatedly twisted, jarred or stretched (e.g., swimming, golf, racquet sports, running or jogging)
In general, gentle movement such as walking is encouraged, as long as it is comfortable for the patient. Most patients can return to all normal activity with a doctor’s approval within two to six weeks after the procedure.
Physical therapy is often recommended by doctors following implantation. The physical therapy program is usually focused on gentle stretching and strengthening exercises, followed by low impact aerobic exercises (such as walking), to help the patient heal from the surgery and gain mobility.