If you’re the one who’s going to be taking care of someone who just underwent spine surgery in Los Angeles, it’s important to realize what the “job requirements” are ahead of time. First of all, everyone recovers differently from spine surgery. While younger patients are likely to have fewer needs than someone older, there are tips that can apply to all levels of post-surgery care.
Be Supportive Without Getting Frustrated
The initial period of recovery following spine surgery can be frustrating for both the patient and the caregiver. It’s not uncommon to deal with unexpected mood swings and periods of outright anger and impatience. Realize that these emotions are perfectly normally and not directed at you personally.
Pay Attention During Follow-Up Visits
Your friend or loved one may not be in a condition where they can really pay close attention to everything their doctor is saying. Taking notes, or even asking if you can use your phone to record each visit, can make it easier to refer to specific instructions and minimize the risk of forgetting important post-operative care steps.
Establish Care Guidelines Pre-Surgery
Minimize the potential for caregiver frustration by clearly determining what you’ll be doing for your friend or loved one before surgery. Include their board-certified spine surgeon in on the discussion so you understand what type of care is likely to be required during the recovery period before you commit to anything.
Prepare Their Recovery Area
Before your friend or loved one is released from the hospital, take some time to prepare the room or parts of the home where they’re going to be recovering. Preparations typically include removing throw rugs, installing temporary grab bars in the bathroom, and getting handy devices like grabbers to help with reaching.
Minimize re-injury by providing gentle reminders, if you see your friend or loved one trying to do some things you know they shouldn’t be attempting yet. There’s also no shame in asking for assistance from other family members and friends. The really fun role you get to play, however, is that of cheerleader. As progress is made, offer encouragement, praise, and support.
If you’re considering spine surgery and would like to learn more or are interested in a second opinion, reach out to The Spine Institute Center. We’re a leader in minimally invasive spine surgery, fusion, and non-fusion techniques and our qualified team of physicians can provide you with all the information necessary to make an informed decision. Call (310) 828-7757 today and schedule an in-person consultation.