The purpose of the medications you’ll likely be prescribed following spine surgery is to reduce pain, minimize infection risk, and promote healing. Supplements aren’t meant to replace your post-surgery medications. However, if you want to reduce your reliance on such meds and encourage healing, there are some supplements that may be beneficial.
Zinc supplements can be taken prior to surgery to help reduce wound size and promote healing. Post-surgery, zinc has been linked to a reduction in infection risk. Such supplements can also help correct zinc deficiencies. Some studies suggest insufficient zinc levels may extend the recovery period following surgery.
Made from a single-cell green algae, Chlorella may help facilitate healing by boosting cell growth to repair damaged tissue, according to Japanese studies. It’s also been shown to play a role in promoting bone and muscle growth.
Vitamin C supplements may help skin healing at the surgery site since the vitamin plays an essential role in collagen production. Vitamin C also helps boost the immune system and may reduce post-surgery infection risk.
Used for centuries in India, China, and Indonesia, this supplement may reduce scarring and help with healing at the incision site. There’s also research suggesting that it may increase antioxidant levels to assist with tissue repair following surgery.
Coming from an enzyme in pineapple stems, bromelain supplements may help reduce post-surgery swelling. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and related benefits similar to what you’d get from over-the-counter Ibuprofen. Post-surgery, it may reduce pain, tenderness, and bruising around the operation site.
Omega-3 Fish Oil
Omega-3 fish oil in supplement form may reduce surgery-related inflammation at the operation site when taken in a sufficient amount. The general recommendation is about 2,000-3,000mg daily for 2 weeks after surgery followed by a reduced maintenance dose of 500-1000mg per day.
Check with a board-certified doctor in Los Angeles to determine if supplements you wish to take may interact with medications you’re taking for other conditions or any of the drugs you’ll need after surgery. Consider having this discussion in advance of your surgery so you can make a better choice of supplements.
If you’re considering spine surgery and would like more information or a second opinion, reach out to The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration. In addition to extensive experience with motion-preserving spine technologies, our physicians also specialize in traditional fusion procedures. Call (310) 828-7757 and schedule a consultation.