In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are offering returning patients virtual visits, including telephone and video conferencing . Please call 571–732–0044 to schedule your appointment.

Postoperative Care and Recovery


Postoperative Care and Recovery

    1. Hospital Stay Depending upon the type of surgery you have, your stay in the hospital can vary from hours to days. While in the hospital, you can expect to be cared for by your surgical team, Dr Subach and Diana DeWolfe, PA-C as well as nursing staff, physical therapy and case management. Each team will work together to design the specific goals needed to reach for hospital discharge, including nutrition, pain control, activity and assess the need for in home care once discharged.
    2. Medications  Medications will be provided to you for postoperative pain. You will be provided instructions on how to take these medications. For your safety, we do ask that you take your medications only as prescribed, adhering to maximum allowable quantities and avoid exceeding those quantities. In addition to pain medications, you may also be prescribed antibiotics, muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatories. Your nurse will review these medications with you prior to discharge from the hospital and ensure your understanding of how to take them appropriately. 
    3. Diet You do not have a specific diet to follow after surgery; however, we do ask that you focus on healthy nutritional choices, low in sugar and high in protein. If you find that  your appetite is decreased, you may find it easiest to supplement your meals with protein drinks or shakes. Remember to drink plenty of water during your recovery. 
    4. Activity Your activity instructions will depend greatly on the type of surgery you have. Specific instructions will be given at your preoperative visit. In general, we recommend light activity which includes frequent short walks, avoid heavy lifting and those activities which increase your pain. 
    5. Wound Care Your incision should remain dry and covered for three days after surgery. Following those three days, you may remove the bandage and shower the incision. Avoid submerging the surgical area in water - no baths, no pools or hot tubs - until you are seen at your post operative visit. 
    6. Assistive Devices Prior to your departure from the hospital, the physical therapy team will complete an assessment to determine if any assistive devices are needed, such as a walker, cane, etc..
    7. Driving Due to anesthesia and pain medication use, it is recommended that you not drive for at least 2 weeks following your procedure. 
    8. Follow up Office Visits Your first postoperative visit with your surgical team will occur approximately 2 weeks after surgery. This visit will involve reviewing your progress, removing any stitches or staples, if applicable, discussing ongoing postoperative restrictions and limitations, medication refills, if needed as well as orders to begin physical therapy. You can expect to return to the office every 1-2 weeks for medication refills following this initial postoperative visit, followed by every 3-6 months, depending upon your needs. 
    9. Physical Therapy Plan to begin physical therapy following your two week postoperative visit. This may entail aquatic therapy (pool) vs traditional “land” therapy. It is usually recommended that you attend physical therapy 2-3 days per week for an initial 4-6 weeks, following which, you will have an evaluation with your physical therapy team to determine if further visits are necessary. 
    10. Work Status Your time off work will vary depending upon the type of surgery you have and your occupation. You may need to take off as little as a few days or as long as 12 weeks. This will be discussed with you further at your preoperative visit. 


  • When can I return to all my “normal” activities without restrictions? While your return to “normal” activity depends on the type of surgery you have, most can expect to be released to full activity without restrictions 6-12 weeks following surgery. You will be given specific activity instructions at your preoperative and postoperative office visits. 



Subach Spinal Solutions
1635 N. George Mason Drive, Suite 150
Arlington, VA 22205
Phone: 571-732-0044
Fax: 866-850-1049
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