For advanced spine conditions, spine fusion surgery is a viable option. It aims to relieve pain, restore stability, and correct deformities in the spine.
During spine fusion surgery, your surgeon may get a small portion of bone from another part of your body, like the pelvis, to make a bone graft. Once the bone graft is between the vertebrae, they will use metal plates, rods, and screws to keep it in place. Over time, the vertebrae will heal as one unit.
To maximize the results of your surgery, you should take the necessary steps to prepare. Here are some steps you can take before undergoing spine fusion surgery.
Visit Your Primary Care Physician
A month before the surgery, you should secure pre-operative clearance. This will involve you going to your primary care physician. They will perform a physical exam and review your medical history to check if you’re in good health. They may order additional tests, including:
- Chest x-ray
- Blood work
- Urine test
Review Your Medications
Some medications for blood pressure, diabetes, and osteoporosis may react adversely with anesthetics and increase the risk of complications during surgery. In addition, blood thinners like aspirin may increase bleeding during and after the procedure.
Thus, your surgeon will review your medication regimen. Make sure to disclose any and all medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements you’re taking. Don’t forget to include any pain relievers you’re taking for back pain. Depending on their assessment, your doctor may advise you to stop taking non-essential medications for a while.
Follow Diet Restrictions
Your doctor may put you on a clear liquid diet before the day of the surgery. You will only be allowed to consume water, coffee, tea, apple juice without pulp, and energy drinks.
They will also ask you to avoid eating or drinking anything after midnight on the day of your scheduled surgery. That’s because spinal fusion involves the use of general anesthesia. If your stomach is not empty during the surgery, its contents may rise to your throat and cause you to vomit. Food can also get into your lungs and cause problems during the procedure.
Eat Healthily and Exercise
You can shorten your recovery process by being healthier. Try to maintain a balanced diet and get enough sleep for several weeks prior to surgery. Stay active, so you’re in good shape for the procedure. However, don’t overwork yourself right before surgery.
Smoking increases the chances of complications during surgery. In addition, nicotine slows down recovery and increases the risk of wound infection and fusion failure.
If you’re a smoker, try to avoid smoking in the weeks leading up to the surgery. Refrain from nicotine products, such as patches and gums. Better yet, take this time to quit the habit once and for all.
Prepare Your Home Beforehand
After surgery, you will need to avoid any movements that put unnecessary pressure on the spine. These include bending, twisting, and lifting. Excessive strain on the spine can slow down healing, or worse, result in post-surgery problems.
To ensure your recovery won’t suffer from these issues, make the necessary adjustments to your home or workspace. Place your phone and medications on shelves that are waist and shoulder height, so you don’t have to bend or stretch. If you have a bedside cabinet, make sure to put all the essentials at the top.
It will also be helpful if you stock up on food and hygiene items beforehand. You might not be in the best condition to shop for these items after surgery. If you live alone, try having someone over to support you during the first few weeks of recovery.
Spine Surgery Near Me In Westlake or Avon, OH
The success of your spine surgery depends on several factors, including the amount of preparation you put into it. Diligently following your doctor’s instructions before the procedure can also improve your treatment outcomes.
If you’re looking for a spine surgeon near you in Ohio, visit Orthopaedic Associates. Our board-certified doctors will perform a comprehensive assessment and craft an appropriate treatment and recovery plan. We take pride in using state-of-the-art technology and advanced methods for spine surgery.
To schedule an appointment, contact us at (440) 892-1440 or (866) 362-7624. We have two locations in Westlake and Avon to serve you. Give us a call today, and let us help you lead a pain-free life!