Category: Spine Surgery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: October 12, 2016
Spine surgery can certainly help resolve pain and improve a patient’s quality of life, so while the procedure is beneficial, few people really want to undergo the actual operation. So it should come as no surprise that nobody, doctors included, wants to undergo or perform a revisional operation of a failed spinal surgery. Sometimes, even in the best of hands, this is unavoidable, but many times you can take an active role in preventing the need for a revisional procedure. Here are some tips to keep in mind if you want to put yourself in the best position to avoid a corrective spinal surgery.
Healthy Habits Before Surgery
A lot of the focus on preventing a surgery from failing focuses on your post-op behavior, but there’s plenty you can do before surgery to help give your body the best chance of undergoing a successful operation. Listen to your surgeon’s specific instructions, but also focus on eating a healthy diet composed of a variety of vitamins and minerals, and kick the unhealthy habits like smoking and drinking alcohol. This will ensure your body is at its healthiest during surgery. Avoiding alcohol and smoking 30 days prior to surgery decreases their complications from anesthesia. Staying away from smoking and drinking postoperatively decreases their chances of developing a nonunion of a fusion and increases their healing ability overall.
Find A Great Surgeon
Odds are you are simply relying on your primary care doctor’s surgeon referral or advice from a friend who has undergone surgery, so it’s tough to know if you’re truly picking a surgeon skilled in the exact procedure you need. Do some online research and see what former patients are saying about the surgeon – not just on their website where they control the message, but also on sites like Google Plus and Facebook where poor reviews can’t just be swept under the rug. Find a 5-star surgeon and your odds of a successful first operation will be higher.
Don’t Overdo It After The Operation
The most common questions we receive before an operation is when can I return to work/drive a car/play sports after my spine surgery. We understand that missing out on activities because of your first surgery can be difficult, but returning to activity too quickly after an operation can cause the hardware to fail or a re-injury to the weakened area of your spine. It’s best to take it slow and make sure you are fully recovered before returning to regular duties.
Follow Your Rehab
Listen to your doctors and therapists when it comes time to focus on your rehabilitation. Simply resting and waiting for the surgery to heal isn’t going to result in a full recovery. You need to actively build strength in the areas around your surgical site to take pressure off the hardware or surgically-addresses structures. Follow through on your rehab plan, and you’ll be less likely to need a second operation.