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Preparing for Spine Surgery: 5 Key Considerations

Spine surgery is an important step and not at all to be taken lightly.  It’s a commonly held belief that the patient is a passive, silent party to surgeries of all kinds but the truth is that you need to do more than just show up.

This post, preparing for spine surgery: 5 key considerations, is intended to clarify your role in preparing for spine surgery.  These considerations should be taken seriously, as the recommendations they encompass offer more successful rates of recovery for those who do so.

Let’s read more.

1. Shedding Excess Weight

If you’re preparing for surgery due to pain, then losing weight may sound like a distant dream.  But you can also lose weight by controlling your calorie intake and changing your diet.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to take advice to lose weight prior to surgery to heart.  Excess weight can interfere with your recovery and expose you to more complications (like infection), post-procedure.

Even minor weight loss improves your chances and reduces your recovery time.  Talk to your doctor about healthy nutrition and, if you’re at all able, add some gentle activity to your daily routine to push the process along.

2. Stop Smoking Cigarettes

Let’s be honest – surgery isn’t the only reason you should be thinking about quitting but we’ll leave those alone for now.  But you should know that cigarette smoking interferes with your body’s ability to heal.

Smoking causes degeneration in bone density and may contribute to additional blood loss during surgery.  If you have a procedure and continue smoking, then your prognosis declines precipitously.  Take this opportunity to quit and make smoking a distant memory.  It’s bad for you.  We all know that.

3. Movement

We’ve already talked about how exercise can help you lose excess weight prior to surgery but did you know that it can also improve your surgical outcome?

It’s only in very few cases that movement isn’t indicated to improve your prognosis.  Gentle exercise is highly recommended for most people anticipating surgery.  Even a 30-minute walk every day can serve to pre-condition your body for the demands of physical therapy in recovery.  When your body’s been prepared in this way, physical therapy will seem much easier.

4. Keep Up Your Meds

If you need to stop taking your medications, your doctor will tell you.  Again, it’s a popular misconception that you need to stop all your medications.  Once your surgeon’s aware of any other health conditions being treated and the medications you’re on, she’ll make recommendations.

Don’t assume that going in for surgery changes your medication schedule.  Let your doctor make that decision.

5. Rest Up

Life is busy and there’s much to think about before you have your surgery.  But running yourself into the ground takes a toll and a body that’s tired doesn’t have as good a chance in surgery as a body that’s rested.

Reduce your stress levels as much as possible and take some “me” time.

CTSI treats all conditions of the spine. Contact us.