The physicians and staff at OASIS Hospital know that every patient is going to feel more comfortable if they are better informed about their surgery. Having spine surgery is a major decision and you’ll likely have a lot of questions leading up to and following the procedure. Below you’ll find some of the most frequently asked questions regarding spine surgery.
Who should get back surgery?
Spine surgery is meant to address chronic back pain. This pain could be the result of any number of things such as: a degenerative disc, scoliosis, some type of injury, or other anatomical disorder. Surgery is never the first step in treating back pain, but when physical therapy, rest, and medications don’t help, surgery can be a very successful treatment.
What will I need to do before the surgery?
Each patient needs to do their part before the surgery to help ensure the best outcome. Your doctor will give you clear instructions in the months, weeks, and days leading up to the surgery. Patients will undergo a physical before the surgery which will likely include an X-ray, EKG, and urinalysis. If you smoke, you are strongly encouraged to quit smoking as far in advance as possible leading up to your surgery.
What medications should I stop taking before the surgery?
Your physician will advise you which medications are safe to take leading up to the surgery and which ones you should stop taking and when. Medications that patients are typically asked to stop taking 7 to 10 days prior to spine surgery include: Aspirin, Clopidogrel, Warfarin, Dabigatran (Pradaxa), Rivaroxaban (Xarelto), Heparin, and Methotrexate.
How long is the surgery?
The length of your spine surgery can vary based on the complexity of the procedure. Minimally invasive operations typically last 1 to 2 hours, while more complex spine surgeries that involve bone fusions can last between 4 and 8 hours. Your physician will be able to give you a better time frame regarding how long your particular surgery should take.
How long will I have to stay in the hospital?
How long you need to stay in the hospital and recommended rehabilitation varies from patient to patient and depends on the type of surgery. Most patients are in the hospital for 1 to 7 days after spine surgery. Some patients may need some time in rehabilitation before they go home to help with mobility.
What are the potential risks?
Spine surgery has been performed safely for decades and the physicians at OASIS Hospital have thousands of successful surgeries under their belts. As with many surgeries, however, there are certain risks involved with spine surgery. These include: infection, bleeding, spinal fluid leak, or neurological injury.
Will I be in pain after my surgery?
Immediately following your surgery, you will be given pain medications to help alleviate any pain. Surgeons use minimally invasive techniques to help with minimizing pain and many patients experience relative levels of comfort just a few hours after surgery.
How long does it take to recover from spinal surgery?
How long it takes to recover after spine surgery can be different for everyone and depends on the procedure. It typically takes the body anywhere from 6 to 16 weeks to recover from spine surgery, but in some cases, the body may continue to heal for up to a year. Younger and more fit patients may find that they are able to return to work after 4 to 6 weeks, while older patients may take considerably longer.
If you are considering spine surgery, don’t hesitate to reach out to the team at OASIS Hospital. Our physicians and surgeons focus on personalized care and are some of the best in the business. Contact us today to learn more.