Preparing for Spinal Surgery

Preparing for Spinal Surgery

Spine surgery isn’t something you should rush into — but when you need it, it’s good to know how to prepare. There are a lot of things to consider before scheduling your procedure, including what needs to be done beforehand. Getting your life in order before your surgery makes your recovery much easier.

At University of Toledo Physicians, our team is ready to help you figure out if spine surgery is the next step in your treatment. Dr. Nabil Ebraheim is an orthopedic surgeon leading our team. Dr. Ebraheim offers many options when you suffer from back problems, including spine surgery.

When do you need spinal surgery?

Spine surgery isn’t usually the first avenue of treatment when you’re dealing with back pain. Treatment often involves conservative measures first, which include physical therapy and over-the-counter pain relievers.

However, if you’ve gone through several nonsurgical therapies to relieve your pain without significant improvement, it might be time to consider a more invasive treatment option. Surgery comes with risks, which is why it’s not the first choice of treatment. However, if your condition warrants surgery, it’s usually due to problems such as:

If your mobility is impaired due to your back condition, Dr. Ebraheim also recommends surgery to improve your quality of life. A spinal infection is another reason you may need spinal surgery. This is a serious condition requiring surgical intervention to prevent the infection from spreading.

Types of spinal surgery

When you’re suffering from pain, numbness, or weakness from a back condition, there are a few surgical options for you to consider. Dr. Ebraheim determines the best surgery for you by evaluating your symptoms and your MRI, X-ray, or CAT scan.

Some of the main types of spinal surgery that correct common spine problems include:


A discectomy is performed when you have symptoms due to a herniated or bulging disc. For this procedure, the rear part of your vertebra is removed to allow Dr. Ebraheim to access the part of the disc that’s herniated. He’s then able to remove that portion of the disc to relieve symptoms related to nerve compression.


Dr. Ebraheim removes excess bone that’s protruding into the spinal canal, which causes compression of the nerves. This allows more room in the spinal canal for your nerves to live without being compressed due to spinal stenosis.

Spinal fusion

Fusion surgery involves permanently connecting two or more of your vertebrae to give more stability to your spine. This can be done to help with a spinal fracture or to help with pain related to degenerative disc disease and instability of the spine.

These are the main types of surgery that Dr. Ebraheim offers for back problems. However, there are other options as well, including disc replacement surgery and spinal cord stimulator implantation surgery.

How to prepare for your spine procedure

In order to ensure the best outcome possible from your spinal surgery, it’s important that you prepare yourself and your home beforehand. You’ll need to start planning for your surgery as far in advance as you can, to make sure you get good results.

For instance, if you smoke, it’s important that you quit a few months before your surgery. Smoking greatly increases your risk for serious complications during and after surgery.

Certain medications should also be stopped before your procedure. This includes non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, especially aspirin. These medications increase bleeding during the surgery, which leads to complications. Certain herbal remedies should also be stopped, and Dr. Ebraheim directs you on which ones.

You’ll need to rest for several days after your procedure, and there’ll be restrictions you need to follow. This is why it’s vital to prepare your home before you have spinal surgery. Several ways for you to prepare your home include:

You want to make sure you’ve planned for someone to take you home after surgery and stay with you for a few days. You’ll need assistance with dressing and showering, so it’s important to have help. 

Even with minor surgery, it’s important to prepare to make your life as easy as possible when you get home. Little things go a long way when you have spinal surgery.

If you’re tired of suffering from back pain, don’t hesitate to call our office at 419-383-3761, or book a consultation online today. There’s also more information about other procedures Dr. Ebraheim provides on our YouTube channel.

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