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How to Prepare for Spinal Surgery?

Most spinal problems resolve without surgery. However, some patients need surgery to prevent a progressive problem. They may opt for surgery to control weakness and pain. But surgery has its limitations and cannot reverse age related damage.

Reasons for surgery?

  • Persistent pain in legs, arms or neck which hampers ability to work
  • Weakness in legs, arms or neck.
  • To remove tumour in spine
  • To cure instability of spine
  • To cure difficulty in walking because of pressure exerted on spinal cord.
  • To avoid paralysis.

Preparing for Surgery:

Take Notes

It is impossible to retain all information you gather at the doctor’s appointment, so it is good to take notes. Consider bringing along a friend or family member to the doctor to help with notes and understand the information provided by the doctor. Try to take advice of the best spine specialist doctor in India.

Do Exercise

You must be in the best mental and physical health prior to operation. For this, do regular exercise and follow balanced diet. The doctor may suggest exercise for aerobic conditioning, stretching and strengthening. You are more likely to recover from surgery if your physical status before operation is better. At least, walk as much as possible.


Post-surgery, it is tough to control pain if patient has developed tolerance to narcotic pain medication. Thus, before surgery, patient will be weaned off narcotic pain medication as well as muscle relaxants.

It is recommended that you continue all prescription drugs as you prepare for operation including a dosage on the day of surgery. But doctor will stop several medicines before surgery like blood thinners, diabetic medication, anti-inflammatory drugs, aspirin and herbal drugs. Provide doctor with an accurate list of all your medication before surgery.

Medical team will decide on management of medication if you are consuming drugs like Warfarin or Clopidogral. You have to stop aspirin a week before surgery to avoid bleeding. Avoid Naproxen and Ibuprofen at least 5 days before surgery. Check labels of all medication to be sure. Tylenol is a safe pain control medicine.

Quit Smoking

If you are a smoker, you will be asked to stop prior to surgery. Those who smoke have a high risk of back and neck problems. This may be because of the vascular impact of nicotine. Nicotine can also interfere with disc metabolism and make your back prone to mechanical problems. Smokers also have a high surgical risk due to compromising of lungs and heart. They also have risk of fusion failure.

Weight Reduction

Obesity or excess weight exerts mechanical pressure on the back and make it tough to conduct and recover from surgery. Doctors will recommend a weight reduction program before surgery. But doctors warn against crash diets which weaken the body and diminish nutrients required for recovering after surgery.

Pre-Operative Clearance

As per your general health and age, your surgeon will ask you to get medical clearance from a GP or physician and anestholgist, before surgery. In case you have other serious health problems, your medical team may have to include other specialists. For instance, as per your need you may be advised to consult apsychiatrist or cardiologist or rehab doctor before surgery.

These are some of the preparatory tasks you have to complete before surgery. These will be recommended by top spine specialist in India.

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