How to lower your risk of infection after spine surgery

Many factors contribute to your personal chance of developing an infection after spine 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. To learn about various methods to reduce the risk of infection after spine surgery, read the following article.

Consider minimally invasive techniques

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

The infection rate at Laser Spine Institute, where we specialize in minimally invasive procedures, is 0.41 percent,^ while other spine surgery providers carry an infection rate of 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 their areas of care, making the environment less susceptible to infectious germs. In addition, the less than 1-inch incision used during our minimally invasive procedures carries a lower risk for an infection^ to enter the body than the 6- to 8-inch 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 after several weeks or months, 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. The minimally invasive spine surgery performed by the board-certified surgeons+ at Laser Spine Institute generally poses a lower risk of infection than highly invasive procedures. Minimally invasive techniques use a small incision, offer muscle-sparing techniques and have less surgical blood loss than traditional open spine surgery.
  • 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. In addition, a common misconception is that a cold operating room poses a lower risk of infection. 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 and always wash your hands. Be sure to follow the instructions of your doctor as far as how to clean the incision area. Try to keep your incision as dry as possible, which means avoiding ointments and oils. Also, stay faithful to the antibiotic drugs prescribed by your doctor.

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 team. Our minimally invasive procedures reduce hospital-associated costs,^ helping you get back to your daily routine.

Laser Spine Institute is the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery and has helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from chronic neck or back pain. To find out if you are a potential candidate for our outpatient surgery, reach out to us today and ask for a free MRI review.* We can help you regain your quality of life and get back to your daily routine.