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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Children’s Therapies

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Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS) surgery

Before surgery

You need to tell your school you are having surgery: the staff will need to understand your needs when you return.

Bring comfortable, stretchy clothes into hospital. Joggers/shorts and loose-fitting T-shirts are best. You may also want to bring something with buttons or a zip-up front so you don't need to lift your arms above your head.

You will also need some comfy footwear when in hospital, such as slippers or trainers, to wear during physiotherapy and occupational therapy sessions.

If you have long hair, ask someone to plait it before coming, so that it will stay out of your face and be more comfortable when lying down.

Practise the 'log roll' technique for getting in and out of bed before coming in: your Occupational Therapist will teach you this at the Pre-operative Assessment Clinic.

After surgery

After the operation you may feel slightly sick or dizzy: don't worry, this is very common. It is important for you to eat and drink plenty to ensure you remain hydrated and to reduce these symptoms.

Another common side-effect from the operation is constipation. Our ward nurses can give you medication to help with this. The sooner you begin to eat, drink and move, the better you will feel.

Many patients also find they experience neck and shoulder pain following surgery - you may take pain relief for this.

You will also find that you are very tired following your operation. It is important to pace any activities that you do. You will likely find that you have good and bad days during your recovery. Don't be disheartened if you are having a bad day. It may just be that you worked very hard the day before and your body is tired. It's ok to have an 'off day', just write it off and start again the next day!

Lots of patients are very anxious about managing to walk upstairs after the operation. Don't worry - our physiotherapists will practise this with you before you go home, if necessary. Most people find that this is actually one of the easiest thing to master following the surgery.

Female patients: this particular surgery can commonly bring on your period when you are not expecting it, so please bring your own sanitary products with you to hospital, to ensure you are comfortable.

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