A 29-year-old member asked:
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what are the rules about sleep position after spinal surgery? will i need to sleep on my stomach after spinal surgery? i'm concerned since that's the only position i absolutely cannot sleep in because it aggravates my heart.

4 doctor answers
Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge
41 years experience Internal Medicine
No, : No, you will not have to sleep on your stomach. In fact, it is preferred that you do not sleep on your stomach after spine surgery. Pressure on the disk spaces and on the bone in your back is greater when you sleep face down, than on your back. In fact, pressure on the disks is the least when you are lying on your back compared to standing or sitting. You may find it painful to lie directly on your back after surgery if the incision is directly at midline. In this case, it is very easy to use a few pillows to prop you up on one side so that the pressure is not directly on your incision.
Answered on Oct 3, 2016
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3 thanks
Dr. Thomas Dowling
40 years experience Orthopedic Spine Surgery
Usually you want to: Avoid sleeping on your stomach after spine surgery so this should be fine for you
Answered on Aug 16, 2014
1
1 thank
Dr. Mark Weston
31 years experience Orthopedic Spine Surgery
Sleep: Sleeping on back is ok sleeping on side is best tolerated with pillow between knees you can sleep in any comfortable position stomach sleeping is poorly tolerated with sore back in general sllep on back with pillow under knees.
Answered on Aug 16, 2014
2
2 thanks
Dr. Edward Hellman
29 years experience Orthopedic Surgery
Back is fine: You would want to check with your surgeon, but i tell my patients to sleep either on their back or their side. It is unlikely you would be told that you have to sleep on your stomach. Thank you for your question.
Answered on Jun 20, 2015

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