Back Fusion Surgery: Preparation Before the Procedure
Back fusion surgery is performed if physical therapy and all kinds of treatment aren’t successful in relieving back pain. It’s particularly helpful if the pain is due to degenerative disk disease, fracture, scoliosis, tumors, or spine infection.
How does back fusion surgery work?
There are two types of back fusion surgery – thoracic (upper and middle back) and lumbar (lower back). Rods, screws, or small pieces of bone are used to connect one or more vertebrae to make one solid bone. Fusion aligns and stabilizes the spine. It stops the movement that causes pain and further damage.
Back Fusion Surgery Preparation
Prior to surgery, you can make some home preparations to make recovery easier and more convenient. Place your clothes, shoes, and toiletries where you can get them without the need to bend. The same goes for food and eating and cooking utensils. Get rid of any tripping hazards and find someone who can help you with chores.
If you’re a smoker, it’s crucial to stop smoking two weeks before the procedure. Studies have shown that nicotine highly affects back fusion surgery success rate. Tobacco products interfere with the bone’s ability to fuse and smoking before surgery increases the risk of failed fusion.
Make a list and inform your doctor of your routine medications or supplements. You also have to tell your doctor any allergies to food, medications, or latex.
Your doctor may advise you to stop taking medicines that can cause blood to thin at least two weeks before the surgery. This includes aspirin, ibuprofen, fish oil, and vitamin E. If you’re taking aspirin for a heart condition, the doctor will give you further instructions.
Before the procedure, you may have to undergo a preadmission evaluation. This includes the following:
- Physical examination
- Medical history and anesthesia interview
- Urine and blood tests
- Chest x-ray
Find out if you need to fast. Normally, you’ll be advised not to drink liquids after midnight and not to eat after 9 p.m.
Arrange for someone to drive you to and from the center. You won’t be able to drive after the surgery.
Before going to the surgery center, remove all jewelry, don’t wear makeup and remove acrylic nails or nail polish. If you’re staying overnight, pack toiletries, underwear, loose-fitting clothes, and slippers or walking shoes.
What to Expect After Back Fusion Surgery
Procedure and recovery differ for each patient. However, you should expect to stay at the center for about three days. You’ll be encouraged to walk the day after your surgery.
Your doctor will prescribe medicines to manage post-surgical pain. You may wear a brace for comfort but it’s usually not required.
You’ll be evaluated if you need rehabilitation or you’ll be discharged home. If you’re discharged, you should be able to walk a short distance, lie down or get out of bed without assistance and climb stairs.
Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery of Texas specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of different spinal disorders. To learn more about back fusion surgery and other services we offer, or if you want to schedule an appointment, call us at (972) 244-3491.