PURPOSE: The aim of this pilot study was to investigate whether it was feasible and safe to mobilize patients shortly after lumbar disc surgery with the objective of reducing postoperative complications and allowing shorter hospitalization. DESIGN: Randomized controlled study. METHOD: The patients were randomized into two groups, intervention and control groups. Those in the intervention group used a walking frame to walk, with a porter and a nurse, from the postanesthesia care unit to the general ward. Patients in the control group were transported in their beds. The Bournemouth Questionnaire was used to define the various aspects of well-being of the patients. FINDINGS: A total of 22 patients were included, 11 in each group. Owing to the limited number of patients, statistical comparisons were not performed. However, patients in the walking group were mobilized earlier than the controls, and needed fewer painkillers and less oxygen supplement during the first postoperative day. The length of stay and the number of postoperative complications were similar in the two groups as tested during the three weeks after surgery. CONCLUSION: This pilot study suggests that it might be feasible and safe to mobilize patients shortly after lumbar disc surgery. There were no indications of an increased number of postoperative complications.
Journal of Perianesthesia Nursing, 2014, Vol 29, Issue 5, p. 377-384