Are you about to get spine surgery but have questions? Don’t worry, we’re here to help. Spine surgery is a major procedure necessary for spinal problems that do not respond to conservative treatment. While a major type of procedure, spine surgery has come a long way in technological and medical advancements.
Before you undergo any surgery, it’s beneficial to understand some critical information regarding the procedure. This includes details about pre-op preparations, risks associated with the procedure, and what the recovery will be like.
Here’s what you can expect from spine surgery:
Some surgeries, like laser spine surgery and spine fusion surgery, require you to fast for about eight hours before the procedure. Fasting is necessary because general anesthesia tends to relax your organs. So, any food or liquid that you consume during this 8-hour window may get into your lungs. Fasting helps prevent such complications from happening.
Most surgeries also require that you refrain from taking medications that can thin your blood. This prevents you from bleeding excessively during the procedure.
If you’re about to undergo spinal fusion surgery, your doctor might also recommend against using drugs for diabetes, blood pressure, and osteoporosis. These medications could cause adverse reactions to anesthetics.
With this in mind, it’s best to let your doctor know about any medications or supplements that you take. We understand that the medicine you take may be necessary for your health. Should that be the case, your doctor will help you find alternatives.
Also, consult your doctor regarding any risks involving your spine surgery. Depending on the procedure and your condition, spine surgery could present some risks. These risks vary for each patient, so check with your doctor about any concerns that you specifically have. Some potential problems are:
- Blood clots
- Lung problems
You can minimize risk and recovery time by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. In particular, make sure that you’re maintaining a nutritious diet and keeping active. If you smoke, we strongly recommend quitting.
Traditional open surgery involves your surgeon opening up your back to access your spine to work on it. However, at Orthopaedic Associates, we offer arthroscopic surgery, which reduces healthy tissue damage during the procedure. We also offer laser spine surgery. Laser surgery helps decrease damage to surrounding tissues while also reducing recovery time.
An arthroscope is a thin and tube-like instrument that surgeons use to minimize damage to your body during surgery. Instead of a large incision, your surgeon will cut a small, half-inch one, into which they can insert the arthroscope. At the end of the arthroscope are a camera and light that allow your doctor to see the surgical site. The arthroscope can also carry the tools necessary for surgery. However, for some procedures, such as hernias in the lumbar area, you may need open surgery.
When your surgery is about to begin, you will receive anesthesia. For invasive surgeries or those that take a long time, you will typically receive general anesthesia, rendering you asleep for the duration of the procedure. Minimally invasive surgery will usually only require local anesthesia.
Recovery time varies with each procedure. Minimally invasive spine surgeries typically have a shorter recovery period. For example, if you undergo laser spine surgery, you can expect to go home within a day, with full recovery after twelve weeks. On the other hand, patients who undergo traditional open surgery might stay in the hospital for up to five days and take months to recover.
Minimally invasive surgeries are also less painful because they aren’t as damaging to your tissues. You can expect some discomfort, but you and your doctor will discuss pain relief and management. Your doctor will prescribe medications to aid in your recovery, and you should follow their instructions to the letter. The medications they prescribe will be specific to your needs.
Physical therapy can also help speed up your recovery and strengthen both the surgical site and surrounding areas. Undergoing non-strenuous movement after surgery is vital as it also helps decrease your risk for complications. Your doctor will recommend specific exercises and therapies depending on your condition.
Spine Surgery in Northeast Ohio
We hope we’ve answered your questions regarding spine surgery. If you’re searching for an orthopedic center in Ohio, visit Orthopaedic Associates. Our healthcare professionals and state-of-the-art technology can address your orthopedic concerns. Aside from spine surgery, we also offer treatments for knee, shoulder, and hand pain in Westlake and Avon.
To know more about our services or to book an appointment, you can contact our friendly staff at (440) 892-1440 or (866) 362-7624. You can also fill out our convenient online appointment request form. We look forward to assisting you with your orthopedic needs!