Medical Equipment After Spinal Fusion

Your child will be groggy and sleep a lot during the first few days after surgery, and he/she might not remember much. Gradually, your child will be more alert and will begin to feel better. Improvement will be evident each day.
The following information is about some of the equipment you can expect to see after surgery.
  • A cardiac monitor gives information about your heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure via stickers placed on the chest. The monitor is used during the first 48 hours after surgery.
  • A pulse oximeter fits like a clip Band-Aid® or bandage on a fingertip and measures how much oxygen is in the blood. This is usually worn for the first two to three days post operation.
  • An IV is usually placed in the arm or hand and sometimes in the neck. This is how your child will receive fluids and medicines until he/she is drinking enough on his/her own. One IV will stay in place for most or all of the hospital stay.
  • Your child will have a PCA pump, this unit will be connected to your child’s IV. The PCA pump is the method through which your child will receive pain medication for the first two to three days after surgery. There is a button attached to the pump that your child can push to get medicine when he/she needs it. The PCA pump is programmed so your child cannot receive too much medicine. Make sure you contact the nursing staff immediately if your child does not seem comfortable enough with the current pain management plan. Your child’s nurse or doctor may have other options available.
  • A urinary or foley catheter is inserted in your child’s bladder during surgery. This will drain urine until your child is able to use the restroom on his/her own. The catheter is taped to the leg and will not fall out when your child moves. The catheter will be removed three days after surgery.
  • Patients will have a Jackson-Pratt, a drain placed in the incision during surgery, to help remove extra fluid from the back. This drain is normally removed the day after surgery. This does not hurt!!!
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