If you are getting ready to undergo spinal surgery, it is crucial to understand that post-operative care is as important as the preoperative preparation and the surgery itself. Poor post-operative care following spinal surgery can bring about a poor outcome, even when the surgery went as planned.
Factors that Affect Recovery
There are several post-operative factors that can affect the outcome of spinal surgery, including:
• the specific type of spinal surgery performed
• whether the patient has been a smoker or continues to smoke or take nicotine products, since nicotine hinders
the growth of new bone cells, which is essential to post-operative spinal healing
• the patient’s overall health and nutrition
• whether the patient suffers from any diseases that could cause complications with healing, such as obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, depression, etc.
• the patient’s ability to follow post-operative instructions, especially orders to avoid certain activities during recovery, such as vigorous exercise
• the patient’s ability to properly care for the incision site
• prior spinal surgery
• cooperation with post-operative testing procedures, such as lung capacity and breathing tests
• a history of steroid or narcotics abuse
Excellent post-operative care can prevent or address any complications that might arise after spine surgery. Your surgeon will go over your post-operative instructions and options with you prior to your surgery.