How to Prepare for Spinal Surgery

Spine Surgery Preparation Checklist

Being fully prepared for your spinal surgery can help you maintain a positive attitude and adopt to physical limitations likely to be associated with your recovery period. Preparations for spinal surgery can range from getting as much information on the procedure as possible to physically and mentally preparing for the surgery date.

Make Necessary Adjustments to Medications

You could be asked to stop taking certain medications prior to surgery to avoid interfering with the effects of the anesthesia. Even aspirin may cause excess bleeding. Some patients consider donating their own blood to reduce minor risks associated with receiving donated blood.

Make Arrangements for Home Recovery in Advance

Board-certified orthopedic surgeons often recommend that patients get some extra help when returning home following the initial post-operative hospital recovery – whether it’s having someone stop over occasionally or asking a family member to stay for a while. Additional advance arrangements to consider:

  • Stocking up on food and making some meals in advance (for the period immediately following the return home)
  • Arranging to have someone help with household chores (to avoid heavy lifting and back stress)
  • Placing commonly used items within easy reach (including clothes and medications)
  • Purchasing products like toilet risers and lightweight grabbing devices (to reach for items from shelves)
  • Getting a cane to help with walking
  • Using slip-on shoes to avoid bending

It helps to go into spinal surgery with realistic expectations, so ask questions to ensure that you understand your limitations during the recovery process. Be aware of what’s normal and what’s not when it comes to any pain you may experience following your spinal surgery. This makes it easier to know when it’s time to call your doctor or seek immediate medical attention. It’s also important to adhere to specific instructions such as rolling to get out of bed to avoid twisting the spine.

Whether it’s a minimally invasive spine procedure or a traditional spinal fusion, it’s important to learn about your condition and plan for the recovery process. For more information about spine surgery or to request a consultation for a second opinion about your spine condition, call 310-828-7757.