If you’re having spine surgery in the upcoming weeks, you’re probably aware of the inherent risks associated with any type of surgery. While, statistically, the odds are in your favor with most types of spine surgery, there are certain steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of post-operative complications following your procedure.
Follow Post-Op Instructions
Simply not following post-op instructions may lead to unexpected complications following spinal surgery. This can include anything from not cleaning the surgery site to overdoing it beyond any recommended light movement or exercise.
Opt for the Most Minimally Invasive Procedure Possible
One way to reduce the odds of post-operative issues is to opt for the most minimally invasive spine surgery possible. This may require getting second and third opinions from different spine experts, including surgeons more experienced with newer techniques involving smaller incisions.
Report Anything That’s Not Expected
Before your surgery, take some time to clearly understand what you’re likely to experience following spine surgery. This will help you be able to identify issues, whether it be unusual pain or a noticeable lack of motion that wasn’t expected, that may indicate a potentially serious problem. Here are a few possible post-operative complications associated with spine surgery:
- Infection (occurs in less than 1% of all spine surgeries)
- Hardware fractures (possible issues with newly installed screws, plates or rods)
- Implant migration (when an implant moves from the original location and becomes attached to scar tissue)
- Persistent pain (beyond what’s expected following surgery)
- Sexual dysfunction (from damage to nearby nerves during spinal surgery)
Disclose Any OTC Medications Prior to Surgery
While your doctor is likely to know what prescription medications you’re taking prior to surgery, he or she may not be aware of OTC medications you may consider insignificant. However, certain herbal medications, some NSAIDS, and OTC anti-inflammatory drugs can interact with drugs administered during and after surgery, possibly resulting in post-op complications.
For more information about spine surgery or to learn about available options for minimally invasive, fusion, or non-fusion spine treatments, call (310) 828-7757 and speak with a representative at The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration and schedule your in-person consultation.