Category: Spine Surgery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: April 2, 2019
At our clinic, we always want to ensure that our patients feel as prepared as possible for both their operation and their post-op rehabilitation. So before patients go under the knife, we always want to make sure they know some specific things. Below, we share five things we believe every patient should know before they undergo spinal surgery.
Back surgery is a last resort
We don’t say that to sound dramatic, but back surgery really should be a last resort. Unless it’s an emergency, patients should try 6-8 weeks of conservative care to try and fix the problem. Surgery is a major trauma on your body, and although it can help put your spine back together, it shouldn’t be viewed as just another treatment option. It should be the last resort when treatments such as physical therapy, aqua therapy, exercise and diet changes have been ineffective.
It’s okay to be nervous
Back surgery has gotten remarkably safer in the past few decades, so while we’re very confident that we can fix your pain with the least invasive procedure possible, we understand that you may be nervous. Oftentimes, learning more about the procedure and focusing on what you’ll be able to do following a successful surgery helps to push away any nerves you might have. We’ll work to help calm your anxiety, but it’s okay to be nervous.
You have to put in work
The patients who make the best recoveries are the ones who understand that the operation is only part of the equation, and that rehabilitation will be key in determining how strong of a recovery you make following an operation. You’re not just going to be able to stay in bed until the wound heals, you’re going to need to work during your therapy sessions. They may not be the most fun, but they can make all the difference in getting you back to a pre-injury level of health. Know that you’re going to have to work in therapy, and it will help push you forward when you’re thinking about stopping.
Spine surgery isn’t just for the old
If you’re having back pain, don’t skip a doctor’s visit because you think you’re too young to have significant back pain. We operate on a number of young men and women who were injured in sporting events, work accidents or car crashes, so spine surgery isn’t just for people over the age of 65. If you have debilitating back pain, come in for a consultation. Even if surgery isn’t on the table, we can set you up with a treatment plan tailored to your exact condition.
You’re not alone
Don’t try to get back surgery and go through rehabilitation on your own. Odds are you have a bigger support network than you imagine, and many friends or family members would be happy to lend a hand while you recover. Whether that’s in the form of rides to follow-up appointments or getting groceries once a week, please don’t be afraid to ask friends and family for help. You wouldn’t expect a loved one to go through an operation on their own, so don’t try to do it yourself. You are not a burden, you are loved. Ask for help when you need it.