Spinal fusion surgery can reduce back pain and restore limb function. Although your doctor can do spinal fusions anywhere along the spine, the neck (cervical spine) and lower back are the most often treated areas (lumbar spine). The risks of spinal fusion are generally minimal, and preparing beforehand can increase the likelihood of a successful procedure.
Here are tips to prepare for spinal fusion to improve your chances of a quick recovery after the procedure:
- Stop smoking
If you smoke, stop it before having spinal fusion surgery. The best approach to increase your chances of a successful fusion is to stop smoking. Numerous studies have shown that smoking significantly impairs the capacity of the bones to fuse following spine surgery. Smoking might result in additional postoperative issues, such as slow wound healing. Ask your physician for assistance if you need aid quitting smoking.
- Discuss your prescriptions and dietary supplements
Be sure to provide the surgeon with a thorough list of all the medication and over-the-counter drugs you take daily, as well as any minerals, vitamins, or herbal supplements you use, when you meet with them close to the surgery date. Your doctor will advise you on which medicines and products you may safely continue taking and which ones you should stop taking after having spinal fusion surgery because many of these medications (like aspirin, for instance) might hinder the healing process.
- Eat a healthy diet
You may increase your chances of a positive outcome by eating enough fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean meat. Also, ensure you consume enough fiber. Many vitamins and minerals assist in the healing process following a procedure like spinal fusion surgery. Since prescription painkillers frequently slow digestion, avoid fatty, processed meals that might result in constipation. To keep your bowels regular following surgery, talk to your physician about consuming a fiber supplement or stool softener.
- Move your bed downstairs
Inquire with your physician about whether you can ascend and descend stairs days after your procedure. If not, set up a sleeping place on the ground floor of your house. Stairs provide a fall risk that might compromise the success of your spinal fusion surgery, and ascending them may require more effort than your doctor has advised for the first few days and weeks after the procedure.
- Seek help from friends and family members
You might not be able to drive or move about very well during the first few days following surgery. Friends and family members should be aware in advance that you might require assistance with daily life activities, such as picking up medicines, cooking meals, or doing other tasks. This way, they can be prepared. As an option, make arrangements with an in-home care company to have a trained caregiver visit your house for a few days to help you. This assistance will let you relax and heal, enhancing the spinal fusion process.
Spinal fusion surgery can help to alleviate your back pain. However, you must prepare before surgery to increase your chances of a successful recovery. Before your surgery, stop smoking, eat a healthy diet and ask for assistance from friends and family.
Call University Pain Medicine Center to book your appointment for spinal fusion.