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.

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 from Norton Neuroscience Institute 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.

  • The multidisciplinary team incorporates expertise from a variety of specialties to offer a comprehensive array of treatment options that include minimally invasive and nonsurgical therapies.
  • Our team approach to the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of spine conditions works cooperatively with primary care physicians and other specialists to develop a treatment plan as unique as each individual.
  • Because you may not need surgery, you may work with our pain management team, physical therapy specialists and others who can create a care plan with the right types of treatments for you.
  • If you need surgery, you’re in experienced hands. Norton Leatherman Spine physicians perform more than 4,000 surgeries a year.
  • Our team has more than 45 specialists at nearly 20 offices across Louisville and Southern Indiana. Many offer same-day appointments and Saturday hours, with no referral needed
  • 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 offer minimally invasive and robotic-assisted procedures that carry less risk and can speed your recovery.
  • 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.
  • Use MyNortonChart to communicate with your provider, manage appointments, refill prescriptions and more, anytime from a mobile device or computer

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