If you’re scheduled for spinal surgery, then no matter how much faith you have in your spine surgeon you’re probably nervous about your recovery.
It’s natural to want to get back to your normal level of activity as quickly as possible, and to do so with a minimum of pain. Today’s surgical techniques mean that you’re automatically going to be in much better shape after the procedure is over than was true of patients just five years ago, and your surgeon and his staff will provide you with specific instructions when they discharge you and send you home.
But in addition to those prescribed medical instructions, there are also practical steps that you can take to make sure that things go as smoothly and easily as possible.
- Purchase a toilet riser. One of the most challenging parts of recovering from back surgery is lowering yourself onto and raising yourself up from the toilet seat. A toilet riser will elevate the seat by approximately 8 inches, a small amount that can make a big difference to your comfort.
- Arrange your home for your convenience. About a week before your surgery, start paying attention to what you do regularly from the moment you wake up to the time you go to sleep, making note of whether the items that you use constantly will be accessible once you’re no longer moving with ease. Move anything that is up high, down low, or that you have to stretch to reach to more convenient locations. At the same time, stock your home with convenience items like paper plates to minimize the amount of time you need to spend washing dishes, etc.
- Lay out the clothes that will be most comfortable and easiest to take on and off. Also think about footwear: a pair of socks or slippers with nonskid bottoms are a wise investment.
- Purchase a “grabber,” a stick-like device with a pincer end that you can use to pick up items that are up high or down low.
- Stock up on meals ahead of time. Whether you cook for yourself or purchase prepared foods, stock up on comforting, nutritious, easy-to-reheat foods that you can grab easily.
- Ask your friends for help. You know that if your friends were having surgery you’d be there for them, so make sure that you let them know about your procedure. They’ll be there to help, to run to the market or on other errands, to prepare a meal, or whatever you need.
In addition to these common-sense steps, you’ll find that your recovery will be faster and easier if you cut out alcohol and smoking prior to your surgery and during your recovery.
Make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep and staying hydrated, and move as much as your physician permits.
If you are in need of a consultation with a spine specialist, we are here to provide you with a diagnosis and expert treatment.