How To Prepare For Spine Surgery That Has Been Delayed By COVID

Category: Spine Surgery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: August 6, 2020

Spinal Disc Replacement

If you’re like the millions of Americans whose access to healthcare has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, know that you shouldn’t just sit by and wait for everything to pass. This is especially true if it’s not just your ability to see your doctor that’s been impacted, but your ability to undergo an elective surgery procedure. Below, we share some ways to prepare for your upcoming spinal procedure if it was delayed or rescheduled because of COVID-19.

Preparing For A Rescheduled Spinal Procedure

Regardless of whether your spinal surgery was postponed because of the pandemic or you’re having to schedule your surgery much longer in advance than you would have prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, you may find that you’re waiting longer than expected to have your spinal procedure performed. However, you shouldn’t just take it easy and wait for that day to arrive, because if you keep doing the same things that led to the need to undergo an operation in the first place, your spine is only going to be in worse shape when the day of surgery finally arrives.

Instead, consider doing these things until you get specific instructions from your surgeon in the days before your operation.

  • Keep Exercising – Exercise may not be the most comfortable activity if you are dealing with back pain, but it’s still very important that you stay physically active. This will help keep supportive spinal muscles strong, which will be key as your body works to recover from the trauma of surgery. Movement won’t be as easy shortly after surgery, so take this time to really develop muscles and your spinal stability before you go under the knife.
  • Form Healthy Habits – Now is the time to start forming healthy habits that will come in handy after surgery. Exercise is one healthy habit, but so too is your diet. Eating right will help you lose weight or avoid putting on weight, and excess weight will put added stress on your spine both before and after surgery. It will be harder to start these habits after surgery, so start them now.
  • Focus On Your Goals – Don’t get discouraged by the fact that surgery isn’t happening as quickly as you’d like. If you find yourself getting down about the delay, it can have negative effects on your mental health, and that can actually lead to poorer physical outcomes. If you’re disappointed about your delayed surgery, try to turn your attention towards your goals and all you’ll be able to do assuming your surgery is a success. This should help keep you in a positive mindset.
  • Talk With Your Surgeon – Consider reaching out to your surgeon or your medical care team for individualized advice leading up to your operation. See if there are things you should be doing six months, three months or once month in advance. Odds are there are a number of little things you could be doing or activities you should be avoiding to help protect your spine, and they can give advice tailored to your specific situation or condition.
  • Prehab – Finally, did you know that rehabilitation isn’t just for patients after their operation? Rehab before your procedure, also known as prehab, is a great way to get your body ready for the movements you’ll be asked to perform after your operation. It also helps to strengthen key structures that will need it most before your operation. Don’t wait until after your procedure to start with a rehab or physical therapy routine. Talk to your care team about what rehab exercises might benefit you before your surgical procedure.

If you keep these tips in mind, we’re confident you’ll have a successful lead up to your surgery, and you’ll be right on track to have success after your operation. For more information, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi’s office today.

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