Diet tips for Encouraging Bone Graft after Spine Fusion

Category: Spine Surgery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: July 2, 2015

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Bone grafts are common in spinal fusion surgery. During a typical spine fusion procedure, your spine surgeon will implement a bone graft in the affected areas of the spine in order to restrict movement and provide stability. To accomplish this, your surgeon will take a part of another bone (usually the hip) and affix it to the vertebrae using screws, rods, plates, and other hardware. Once that’s all in place, the bone grows over time into a stable bridge. It can take up to a year for a bone graft to fully form, and there are actions you can take to encourage the formation of bone. In this article, we will offer a few dietary tips to help encourage the bone grafting process after a spinal fusion surgery.

Calcium

You have no doubt heard it before – lots of calcium equals strong bones. While calcium is an essential part of any healthy diet, it is even more important after a bone grafting procedure. Here are a few common foods with a lot of calcium that should be a part of your post-op diet:

  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Lettuce
  • Fruit & Legumes
  • Seafood

Vitamin C & D

Vitamins C & D are also excellent for encouraging bone growth. These vitamins help the bones absorb iron and increase strength. Here are some common foods and drinks that contain these vitamins:

  • Oranges & orange juice
  • Fish
  • Eggs

You can also take these vitamins as supplements if you happen to be allergic to any of these particular foods.

As a final note, it is also a best practice to avoid excess sugar, junk food, and alcohol after your surgery (and all of the time). These can inhibit or slow down the bone growth necessary for a successful graft.

Discuss your bone graft with your surgeon before and after surgery. They will be able to provide you with a list of recommendations (including nutrition & dietary information) to boost the bone grafting process.

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