Dr. Petersen can perform a comprehensive evaluation on your initial visit, which will include a discussion of any past treatments or procedures and review of X-Ray, CT, and MRI studies. A diagnosis will be made and an appropriate treatment plan will be formulated and explained.
There is a $5.00 search fee for all medical records requests, in addition to copy costs.
Copies of records are $1.00/page for the first 25 pages and then $0.50 per page after
Complete the below Medical Authorization Release and return to our office in-person or by fax to (251) 219-0746. If you have any additional questions regarding your medical records, please call our office at (251) 607-6117.
If you don’t see your insurance provider listed, please call our office for more information.
Once you have scheduled your surgery, preparing yourself physically and mentally are important for a healthy recovery. Use the link below to learn more.
Everyone heals from surgery at a different pace. It usually takes about three months to
gradually return to normal function without using any devices, however, it could take longer.
You should use a bandage for about one week, until your incision is closed and there is no fluid oozing from your wound. Starting five days after surgery, it should be changed daily to a new, dry, sterile gauze until there is no more drainage. You may continue to wear a bandage to protect the incision from the irritation of clothing.
These should be used for the first few weeks in order to help reduce swelling and improve circulation. You may wear them longer, especially if you find that your ankles swell without them. You may take them off at night. TEDS can be hand-washed or machine-washed, but do not place them in the dryer, as they may likely shrink.
Ice should be used for the first several days, particularly if you have a lot of swelling or discomfort. Ice should also be used after activity (such as walking). Once the initial swelling has gone down, you may use ice and/or heat. The staff will help you with this while you are in the hospital.
You may start showering with the incision covered 48 hours after surgery. Initially, try to keep the incision dry with a clear plastic dressing or plastic wrap. If it gets wet, pat it dry. It is usually advised that you wait to shower with the incision uncovered until the wound is closed and there has been no drainage for seven days. If no drainage is present at the incision, your surgeon may agree that you can shower earlier. Stay out of tubs and pools until you have clearance to do so from your surgeon’s office.
You may need some form of pain medicine for about two to three months. At first, you will take a strong medicine, such as a narcotic. Most people are able to stop narcotics within one month after surgery. You can then change to an over the counter pain medicine such as Tylenol.
Walking is the preferred exercise until you see your surgeon at follow up. You may be instructed by your physical therapist on appropriate exercises and given a list to follow. Be sure to talk with your surgeon and your therapist about when you can begin new activities.
For the most part, you can gradually resume sexual activity when you are comfortable.
You should not drive until you can manage your pain without narcotics.
This depends on the type of work you do. You may return to work as soon as one week if your work involves mostly sitting. If your work is more rigorous, you may require up to three months before you can return to full work. In some cases, more time may be needed. Check with your surgeon.
You may travel as soon as you feel comfortable, but avoid long-distance travel for four to six weeks or until after seeing your surgeon. We advise you to get up to stretch or walk at least once an hour when taking long trips. This is important to prevent blood clots.
The increasing sensitivity of security detectors at airports and public buildings may cause your implants to trigger an alert. We recommend you alert airport security that you have spinal implants. In some situations, security guards may also move a wand up and down your back to locate your fusion instrumentation. They may also pat you down on the area that triggers the wand.
Four weeks is usually enough time to build up blood after surgery.
It is very common to have constipation after surgery, especially when taking narcotic pain medication. A simple over the counter stool softener (such as Colace) taken with a laxative (such as Senokot) is the best way to prevent this problem. Increasing fruits and vegetables in your diet will also help. In some instances, you may require additional bowel medication (i.e., MiraLAX or Milk of Magnesia) and a suppository or enema.
It can be very dangerous to ingest narcotic pain medication with alcohol. Alcohol use is not advised until you have stopped your narcotic pain medication and are walking steadily.
It is common to have feelings of depression or trouble sleeping after your surgery. This may be due to a variety of factors such as difficulty getting around, discomfort or increased dependency on others. These feelings will typically fade as you begin to return to your regular activities. If they continue, consult your primary care doctor.
Follow up appointments are usually made at a week to 10 days.
If your stitches are absorbable, they do not need to be removed. The steri-strips can be kept in place until they fall off on their own. They will help keep the skin edges together. If they have not fallen off by three weeks post-op, it is okay to peel them off. If your stitches are not absorbable, they will need to be removed after 14 days. Non-absorbable stitches can be removed by a visiting nurse, PCP, or your surgeon’s office; instructions may be clarified in your discharge paperwork.