4 Tips To Prepare for Your Recovery from Spine Surgery

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You’re undergoing spine surgery to relieve your back or neck pain, and you want to do what you can to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible during your recovery. Here are some great practices.

You’ve tried everything to relieve your back or neck pain — exercises, lifestyle adjustments, medications, and injections — and you have little to show for these efforts. So, you’ve decided that spine surgery is your best path forward, and you want this path to be as smooth as possible.

You can rest assured that we’ve got you covered. Dr. Ali H. Mesiwala is a board-certified neurosurgeon who’s made it his life’s work to help people regain pain-free movement through spine surgeries. Dr. Mesiwala has extensive experience in this arena and is a leading expert in artificial disc replacement surgery as well as fusion and decompression procedures.

Based on our experience, we know our patients can play an invaluable role in their recovery, especially if they spend some time preparing in advance with these recommendations.

1. Go into spine surgery strong

The prevalence of back and neck pain is extremely high in the United States — 80% of Americans experience neck pain at least once in their lives and close to 65 million Americans report recent back pain.

One of the frontline, conservative treatments for these issues is physical therapy (PT), which aims to strengthen the support in your spine. Even if your PT failed to bring you adequate relief, we want you to continue your spine-strengthening exercises right up until your surgery so you have a strong foundation to work with in recovery.

2. Get your checkup

In most cases, we want you to undergo a preoperative checkup before your spine surgery to make sure you’re healthy enough for the procedure. During this checkup, your provider goes over any medications you're taking and works with us if we need to make any changes.

3. Prepare your home

After your spine surgery, you may be moving around a little more cautiously than usual, which is a good thing as you can ill afford a fall. So, it’s a good idea to prep your homefront in advance, paying close attention to any potential hazards. To create a safe space, we recommend:

  • Removing loose throw rugs
  • Getting wires and cords out of the way
  • Placing anti-slip mats in your shower or bathtub
  • Putting bars in your bathroom to help stabilize you
  • Installing a toilet riser
  • Placing items you use routinely within reach

In addition to these steps, we also suggest that you finish as many chores as possible in advance. For example, you should do all your laundry and cook some meals in advance so you can take it easy for a week or two after your spine surgery.

4. Follow our instructions

Dr. Mesiwala is invested in your successful outcome, and our team is with you every step of the way — before, during, and after your spine surgery. So, please follow our detailed aftercare instructions to the letter, which outline everything from cleaning your incisions to moving around.

Of course, we’re just a phone call away if you have any questions, and we’d rather you call than do something you’re unsure of.

With a little prep on your end, there’s every reason to believe you’ll recover quickly and strongly. If you have more questions about how to prepare for your spine surgery, we invite you to contact one of our offices in Newport Beach, Marina del Rey, or Rancho Cucamonga, California.