Patient Resources
Herniated Disc Discharge Instructions

Click here for a printable version | Herniated Disc

Dr. Tharp has arranged for you to undergo a microdiscectomy operation on your back. After the surgery you will be allowed to get up and walk around. Most patients leave the hospital the same day.

  1. An appointment will be made to see Dr. Tharp approximately 4 weeks after surgery.
  2. You may shower seven (7) days after surgery with limited exposure of the wound to water. You may use soap and water with patting dry afterwards.
  3. Dr. Tharp asks that you walk three times a day, morning, afternoon and evening, increasing the distance on each day. Time your walking and start with three (3) to five (5) minutes for each walk. Progress that time each day.
  4. Your pain medications should be taken as prescribed by Dr. Tharp. Allow 48 hours for prescription refill. Keep track of the number of pills that you have left so that there is no difficulty with you being out of pain medication for any period of time.
  5. After your first postoperative visit, Dr. Tharp will progress your activity and institute an exercise program that may be assisted through a physical therapist at that time.
  6. If the dressing becomes saturated with blood you may remove and apply a new dressing to the wound.
  7. Signs of a wound infection are increase in swelling, pain or drainage of the wound. Dr. Tharp asks that you call him immediately through the answering service at (330) 379-0545.
  8. You may start driving when you are no long taking any of the pain medication.
  9. Use ice packs to the lower back to help relieve pain and swelling. Apply a barrier between the ice pack and your skin to prevent cold injury to the skin. Apply the ice pack for 15 minutes every two (2) hours as needed.
  10. You may remove your dressing and shower after seven (7) days.
Paper ‘steri strips’ are used to help support the dissolving sutures. They will fall off in time as you are allowed to shower. Stubborn steri-strips may be removed by applying hydrogen peroxide to loosen them from the skin.