Back pain specialists near Miami may recommend spine surgery for patients who suffer from severe symptoms and do not respond well to non-surgical treatments. Going ahead with back surgery is not a decision to be taken lightly. It’s strongly advised that you work closely with your spine surgeon to learn exactly what the procedure entails and what you can expect during the recovery process. There are some general steps to follow to prepare for spine surgery; however, your surgeon can provide you with specific information that applies to your particular type of surgery and condition.
Before having spine surgery, you can expect to undergo a comprehensive physical exam and medical tests, such as blood tests and imaging scans. The spine surgeon will review the list of medications and supplements you take, if applicable, and may advise you to discontinue certain drugs two weeks before the surgery. This helps prevent some complications such as excessive bleeding. If you smoke, your spine surgeon may advise you to quit. Smoking increases the risk of post-surgical complications and it increases the risk of a failed back surgery.
Making some modifications to your home and purchasing assistive devices can make your recovery from surgery easier. For example, you may need to have a temporary ramp installed over your walkway, which can help you get in and out of your home. You may need to use a walker or a cane for a while. Additionally, talk to your spine surgeon about whether you might have problems standing up from a seated position after surgery. If so, you may wish to install a toilet riser. Recovering spinal surgery patients are often told to avoid bending the back, which can make it difficult to reach objects on the floor. A reacher or grabber can be quite helpful for patients.
Before having spine surgery, you may need to ask for some help from your family members. If you live by yourself, ask an adult family member or close friend to stay with you for a few weeks after your procedure. If you have young children and you are primarily responsible for their care, you may need to make alternative care arrangements during the first few weeks of your recovery.