Lower your risk of infection after spine surgery

Many factors contribute to your personal chance of developing an infection after surgery. While many people believe that you can only prevent an infection post-surgery while in recovery, you can actually take preventive measures to decrease your risk of infection months in advance.

Consider minimally invasive techniques

One of the key ways to reduce your chance of infection after spine surgery is to consider minimally invasive surgery techniques available at Laser Spine Institute. These outpatient procedures, alternatives to traditional open neck and back surgery, performed through a small incision, spare your muscles from being cut or torn.

The infection rate at Laser Spine Institute, where we specialize in minimally invasive procedures, is 0.49 percent. The national hospital infection rate is many times higher, at up to 19 percent. Hospitals house such a large number of patients, all with different illnesses and health problems, that the risk of infection is naturally higher in these inpatient facilities.

Outpatient surgical centers like Laser Spine Institute, on the other hand, usually are highly specialized in one area of care, such as orthopedic spine surgery, making the environment more “closed” and less susceptible to infectious germs. In addition, the small incision used during our minimally invasive procedures leaves less opportunity for an infection to enter the body than the large, invasive incision used in a traditional open back fusion.

Reduce your chances of infection

If you are experiencing neck or back pain, and have not found relief from conservative therapies like pain medication and physical therapy, you may be ready to undergo spine surgery. Before you finalize your decision, we encourage you to keep the following tips in mind:

  • Choose your procedure wisely — Minimally invasive spine surgery, a safer and more effective alternative to open neck and back surgery, generally poses a lower risk of infection than highly invasive procedures. Minimally invasive techniques use a small incision, result in less surgical blood loss, and offer muscle-sparing techniques.

  • Get healthy before your surgery — Once you choose your surgical procedure, immediately embark on a healthier lifestyle. Boost your immune system with exercise, a healthy diet, and vitamins. Your body will be far more prepared to fight infection.

  • Discuss your surgical options — Ask your surgeon to limit the number of people allowed in the operating room during your procedure. Also, a common misconception is that a cold operating room poses a lower risk of infection, but on the contrary, a warm patient with a regular body temperature is better equipped to resist infection.

  • Take care of yourself post-surgery — Avoid touching your incision. Always wash your hands. Follow the instructions of your doctor as far as how to clean the incision area. Stay faithful to antibiotic drugs prescribed by your doctor. Try to keep your incision as dry as possible, which means avoiding ointments and oils.

We want to make sure that you have all the information you need to make an informed decision about neck and back surgery. The first easy step toward determining if Laser Spine Institute is right for you is to contact a member of our Care Team. Our minimally invasive procedures eliminate hospital-associated costs, helping you get back to your daily routine.