Category: Spine Surgery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi
Most elective spine surgeries are booked weeks or months in advance, which means you’ll typically have some time to kill before you undergo your operation. You need to make the most of this time! The more proactive you are prior to your operation, the greater the likelihood you’ll experience a successful operation and recovery. But what should you be doing in the lead up to your spinal operation? In today’s blog, we highlight five things we hope all our patients will pursue in the days and weeks prior to their spine surgery.
Making The Most Of Your Time Before Spine Surgery
Some people assume that since their operation will be critical in helping them overcome their spinal discomfort that there’s not much they can do until the surgery has been completed. That’s just simply not true. There are a number of things you can do prior to your operation that will help both during and after your surgery. Here are five things you’ll want to consider.
- Exercise/Weight Loss – The healthier you are prior to your operation, the healthier you’ll be following your operation, so don’t wait until surgery is complete to start eating right or getting regular exercise. Losing weight prior to a spinal procedure can go a long way in providing a great recovery environment for your spine, because your spine has to help disperse the stress of your weight. If you weigh less, it takes strain off your spine, which will be very beneficial after surgery when the area is in a weakened state.
- Become An Informed Patient – It’s also extremely helpful to become an informed patient during this time. Learn about your condition, your surgery and what your recovery timeline will be like. The more you understand before your operation, the less likely it is that you’ll run into any surprises along the way. If you have questions, this is also a great time to reach out to your surgeon for answers, as they’ll be a great resource for you.
- Set Goals – It’s easier for patients to have the right mindset during their recovery and really give it their all during physical therapy if they come in with some personal goals, and you don’t need to wait until after surgery to set some goals for yourself. Talk with your medical team about some realistic timelines for returning to certain activities that you love. Make a list of your physical goals prior to your operation and then use them as a constant reminder to fuel yourself during your rehabilitation period.
- Pursue A Prehab Program – Your spine is going to be injured and weakened in the wake of a spinal procedure, so working to strengthen your spine and its supportive structures prior to an operation will help limit the traumatic effects of surgery. You don’t need to wait until after surgery to start strengthening your spine, so start doing some light rehabilitation exercises prior to your operation. This will also help you form some healthy habits and get used to doing your rehab exercises on a regular basis.
- Plan For The Operation And Your Return – Finally, before your big day, make sure that you have a plan in place so that everything with the operation goes smoothly. Make sure that you have a ride to and from the surgery center, and prepare your home for your return. You can check out these tips for making a safe transition home after spine surgery.
If you do these five things in the lead up to your operation, we’re confident that you’ll be in a good place to have an excellent operation and recovery. For more information on how you can prepare for your spine surgery, or to talk to a specialist about any back pain you’ve been experiencing, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi and the team at The Midwest Spine & Brain Institute today at (651) 430-3800.