6 Tips for Preparing for Spine Surgery

Back pain can originate from a number of different conditions, many of which can decrease your mobility. It’s possible you’ve tried treatment after treatment with minimal or no relief and are now facing the real possibility of surgery. If you’re at that point, there are some things you need to know to prepare yourself.

Dr. Nabil Ebraheim at University of Toledo Physicians can help you decipher the road to spinal surgery. He’s a skilled orthopedic surgeon who can address your concerns and get you back to the life you had before back problems took over.

Why you may need spinal surgery

Spinal problems can occur over time for reasons such as wear-and-tear on the joints leading to osteoarthritis. You can also sustain a traumatic injury such as a car accident or a fall. Whatever the reason for the pain in your back, surgery is usually the treatment of last resort. But sometimes it’s necessary, whether for fractures, scoliosis, bone spurs, herniated discs, spinal stenosis, or nerve decompression.

The type of surgery required and the length of stay in the hospital both depend on the severity of your condition and the intricacy of the operation. Dr. Ebraheim will discuss surgical options for your specific condition with you at your consultation.

Preparing for your upcoming procedure

Getting ready for spinal surgery may have you feeling overwhelmed. Don't worry, though, as there are many things you can do ahead of time to make your surgery and recovery seamless. Here are six tips to help you gear up for before and after surgery.

1. Quit smoking.

Smoking can delay the bone and tissue healing which is essential following most surgical procedures. It can also increase your risk of serious complications both during and after surgery. The healthier you are, the better chance you have of a speedy recovery.

2. Stay active and healthy.

By keeping yourself moving before surgery, you'll increase blood flow, reducing your risk of blood clots or other circulatory concerns. Also, maintaining a healthy weight can help your recovery go more smoothly.

3. Consider donating your blood. 

Although this isn't a necessity, donating your own blood for use during your back surgery may be beneficial in case you need a transfusion. This is something you may want to discuss with Dr. Ebraheim in order to weigh the pros and cons of using your own blood instead of donated blood from the blood bank.

4. Keep yourself educated. 

Knowing what to expect before, during, and after the surgery, including potential outcomes of the procedure, is half of the battle. This can help you prepare mentally for your recovery.

5. Meal prep ahead of time. 

The first week or two after your procedure may require rest and limited movement. Preparing food ahead of time and stocking your cupboards will make mealtime so much easier on you.

6. Stop taking NSAIDS

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications include aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen. You should stop taking these at least a week before your procedure. These medications can thin your blood, which may cause complications during your procedure such as excessive bleeding. When discussing surgery, make sure to tell Dr. Ebreheim about all of the medications you take, including natural supplements.

No matter what type of spinal surgery you may be undergoing, preparation is key. Knowing what to expect every step of the way will physically and mentally prepare you for recovery.

To learn more about spinal surgery, check out our YouTube channel, call us at 419-383-3761, or make an appointment online today.

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