Rehabilitation is a vital part of your care and, most important, your recovery. Carefully following recommendations from your Norton Leatherman Spine doctor, nurses and therapists can help you get back to normal activities as soon as possible. Each person is different, and depending on your surgery, your individual rehabilitation program may be different. Some programs include ongoing rehabilitation after you leave the hospital.

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The physical therapy staff will begin working with you soon after your surgery to improve your ability to move. They will teach you an exercise program, how to move in bed, how to get in and out of bed, and how to walk safely. An occupational therapist may be involved in your care to teach you how to do everyday activities like dressing, bathing, using the toilet and getting around your house.

Rehabilitation Goals

  • Walk safely without help, including using stairs
  • Get in and out of bed using proper transfer techniques
  • Put on and take off your brace, if you have one
  • Understand spine precautions and your home exercise program

Exercises to Start Practicing Before Surgery and After

These exercises will help improve strength and flexibility before your surgery as well as prepare you for therapy after surgery. Do these exercises 10 times each, two or three times a day with each leg. You may hold onto a countertop so you do not lose your balance.


Keeping your back straight, slowly bend your knees, lowering your pelvis over your ankles about 6 inches, then return to a standing position (do not lean forward).

Hip abduction

While standing on one leg, slowly raise your other leg out to the side without moving your trunk. Keep your toes pointed forward.over your ankles about 6 inches, then return to a standing position (do not lean forward).

Knee flexion

Slowly bring one foot up behind you toward the buttocks, then slowly lower your foot back to the floor. Make sure you keep your knees side by side.

Calf muscle strengthening

While holding onto the counter, slowly raise yourself up onto your toes. Slowly lower your heels back to the floor and repeat.ankles about 6 inches, then return to a standing position (do not lean forward).

About Norton Leatherman Spine

Norton Leatherman Spine is a combined team of orthopedic spine surgeons, neurosurgeons and pain management specialists who provide care for adults and children from Louisville and Southern Indiana, as well as from across the region, nation and world.

  • A multidisciplinary team of 45 specialists offers a comprehensive array of treatment options that include medication, pain management, rehabilitation and surgery, including minimally invasive procedures and neurosurgical therapies.
  • Norton Leatherman Spine physicians are widely renowned and exceptionally experienced, performing more than 4,000 surgeries a year.
  • Our specialists are internationally recognized leaders in clinical research of spinal disease, injury and deformity, and have served in senior positions in the Scoliosis Research Society, the most prestigious organization for scoliosis surgeons around the world.
  • Norton Healthcare is the first health system in the nation to be recognized as an Advanced Orthopedic & Spine Center of Excellence by DNV.
  • We use the EOS Imaging system, which collects high-resolution images while exposing the patient to 50% to 85% less radiation than traditional X-rays and 95% less than basic CT scans. The system is especially beneficial to scoliosis patients who often need repeated imaging to monitor their progress.
  • We accept Medicare, Medicaid and most major commercial insurance plans.
  • Use Norton MyChart to communicate with your provider, manage appointments, refill prescriptions, get alerted if an earlier appointment becomes available and more, anytime from a mobile device or computer

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