Category: Surgery Recovery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi
If relief from back pain cannot be found through conservative measures, your specialist may recommend spine surgery. Surgery typically does a great job at reducing symptoms or eliminating pain, but it doesn’t just happen by chance. Yes, you want a skillful and experienced surgeon performing the operation, but the patient also plays a significant role in their surgical outcome. Below, we take a look at a patient’s role in spine surgery success.
How To Make Your Spine Surgery Successful
Many people feel that the success of their spine surgery is solely in the hands of their surgeon, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. You play a key role in the success of your operation and your rehab, so it’s important that you play your part throughout the process. Here’s how you can best do that.
- Exercise and Diet – You want your body to be as healthy as possible by the time you hop on the operating table, so really focus on your exercise habits and your dietary intake in the days and weeks leading up to surgery. Exercise will improve muscle strength that will help aid in stability and life after surgery, and a healthy diet will ensure your body has all the nutrients it needs to fuel recovery. Also, these two pillars of health can also help you lose weight, which will take stress off your spine during a time when it’s weakened after surgery. Work on your health as your surgery day approaches.
- Pick Your Surgeon – At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that your spine surgeon works for you. Ask them questions, listen to their answers and really try to determine if they are a good fit for your operation. You may be a little uneasy about the prospect of surgery, but if you are unsure of the person performing the operation, don’t be afraid to walk away and consult with other specialists. After all, it is your body and the surgeon is working for you, so make sure it’s someone you’re confident in and comfortable with.
- Ask Questions – We touched on this in the above point, but it deserves it’s own point. A patient with a healthy mindset will always ask questions before surgery. Ask about your options, your recovery time, and what you can do to put yourself in the best position to thrive after surgery. Even if you’re comfortable with your surgeon, consider getting a second opinion, Two expert minds are better than one, and surgery is a major decision, so seeking a second opinion is always a good consideration. Most surgeons like patients who ask questions, because these involved patients are typically the ones who best stick to their rehab plan. And like we mentioned in the above point, if your surgeon seems to dodge or ignore questions, or they are offended that you want a second opinion, maybe it’s a sign that they aren’t the right surgeon for you.
- Stick To Your Rehab – The final thing a patient can do to help keep their spine surgery on track is to stick to the rehab plan prescribed by their spine surgeon. Commit 100 percent to the rehab plan, because you’re going to get out of it what you put into it. If you only half commit to your rehab and skip physical therapy sessions, you may still be left with lingering back pain or symptoms, and you didn’t go through this whole process to be stuck with problems that could have been rectified if you had just put in the work. If you’re confused or questioning any aspect of your rehab, don’t ignore it, ask questions to your doctor and stick with it. Trust us, it will be worth it.
For more tips, or for help with any of your spine pain needs, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi’s office today.