Preparing for an orthopedic spine procedure

When you are experiencing severe spine pain due to conditions like arthritis, injury, nerve damage or another neck or back condition, an orthopedic specialist, like a spine surgeon, may be able to help you find relief from debilitating symptoms that negatively affect your quality of life. Surgery is usually seen as a last-resort treatment when weeks or months of conservative methods have not brought enough symptom relief for a return to normal activities.

An experienced and reputable orthopedic specialist should be able to effectively diagnose your neck or back pain and recommend the best procedure. He or she should also be able to answer the questions you have about the details of your spine orthopedic surgery. It can be just as important, however, to ask questions and get information about how to best prepare for your surgical procedure.

Preparing for treatment

Below is a list of preparations that your orthopedic spine surgeon may recommend:

  • Several months prior to your procedure — begin a healthy diet and a schedule of mild exercise. Not only can losing a few extra pounds take some of the weight off your spine during rehabilitation, but increased flexibility and muscle strength can also speed your recovery process.
  • Several weeks prior to your procedure — stop using medications with anticoagulant properties, such as aspirin. Also, try to eliminate all nicotine and alcohol from your diet—anything that interferes with heart, lung or liver function can complicate a surgical procedure.
  • The day before your procedure — your orthopedic physician will most likely ask that you do not eat or drink for about 12 hours before your procedure. You will also want to make sure to get plenty of rest the night before.
  • The day of your procedure — arrive at the orthopedic clinic on time and bring all necessary documents with you. Anxiety puts undue stress on the body, so taking steps to breathe and relax can be beneficial.

In general, it is important to remain active and keep a positive frame of mind prior to your orthopedic spine surgery. Anxiety and pain can often cause people to become more sedentary in the days and weeks leading up to their spinal procedure, but inactivity will only make post-surgical rehabilitation more difficult.

Laser Spine Institute

If one of your concerns is about the long recovery times and risk of complication that can come with a traditional open spine orthopedic procedure, reach out to Laser Spine Institute. Our minimally invasive spine surgery is an alternative to traditional open spine procedures, offering a shorter recovery time with less risk of infection.^

For a no-cost review of your MRI or CT scan* to see if you may be a candidate for our minimally invasive spine surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute today.