5 Ways To Support Health Bone Growth After Spinal Fusion
Category: Spine Surgery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: December 16, 2021
A spinal fusion procedure involves the connection or “fusion” of two or more adjacent vertebrae to help prevent movement in a specific area of your spine. Although spinal fusion may involve the insertion of some artificial hardware, it’s your own bone growth that actually completes the fusion of the vertebrae. With that in mind, it’s imperative that you do what you can to improve spinal bone health in the weeks and months following your surgery. Doing just that is the focus of today’s blog.
Fostering Bone Growth After Spinal Fusion
There’s no miracle food you can eat or magic pill you can take to speed up bone growth following spinal fusion, but there are a number of small steps you can take to provide a healthy environment for bone growth to occur. Here’s what you can do:
- Prehab – Doing exercises before your spinal fusion operation will be extremely beneficial for your spine after the surgery. Not only will your spine be stronger because of these preoperative exercises, but it will help to develop healthy habits that can continue after your surgery. You’ll be more likely to continue to exercise and pursue your physical therapy exercises if you’ve already developed healthy movement habits. Ask your surgeon for some prehab exercises based on the location of your fusion.
- Eat Right – We said there is no miracle food that you can eat to supercharge your bone fusion, but that doesn’t mean your diet isn’t important. Not only does your body derive important vitamins and minerals like calcium and Vitamin D from your diet, but eating right can also avoid weight gain, which would put added stress on your spine during a time when it is weaker and recovering. Eat a healthy range of foods and keep an eye on your weight as you recover.
- Do Your PT Exercises – It seems simple, but far too many patients either skip their physical therapy sessions following a fusion, or more commonly, they don’t do their home-based regimen. PT will make the surgery site stronger, reduce the likelihood of inflammation and help to push healthy, oxygenated blood to the surgery site, all of which will be ideal for bone growth. Show up to your PT sessions and follow through on your home-based therapies to provide the best environment for your recovering spine.
- Prepare For Restrictions Ahead Of Time – There are some things that are going to be difficult or downright impossible in the days and weeks after your spinal fusion procedure, so talk to your doctor and plan ahead for what’s to come. If you’re not ready for the physical limitations, you may try to power through activities and put your spine health in jeopardy. Don’t cause a setback because you tried to do too much, too soon following your spinal fusion procedure.
- Have A Support System In Place – Finally, there is a strong correlation between your physical health and your mental health, so you can also take care of your spine by caring for your mental health as you recover. Have a support system to help when you run into challenges or when you need assistance with something. If you have friends or family that you can lean on, that’s great, but you can also rely on internet support groups and spinal fusion message boards to talk about what you’re going through. Also, don’t be afraid to reach out to your surgeon or your care team if you have questions or concerns. We’re here to help you throughout the entire process, so lean on us whenever you need to help with any physical or mental challenges you’re facing.
For more information, or for help with your spine issue, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi’s office today.