Getting Ready for Spine Surgery

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1 Getting Ready for Spine Surgery

2 Getting Ready for Spine Surgery Table of Contents Preparing for Surgery Your Conditioning Program What to Expect After Surgery Rehabilitation and Discharge

3 Preparing for Surgery There are many things you can do to prepare for your surgery: Discuss your medication use with your physician. Stop smoking Plan ahead! You will probably need some help getting around or performing household tasks after surgery. Sometimes people go from the hospital to a nursing or rehabilitation facility before going home. Begin a conditioning program to improve your fitness before surgery. This will aid with your rehabilitation after the procedure. Walk as much as possible!

4 Preparing for Surgery Why is conditioning prior to my surgery so important for me? Conditioning will help you heal faster and can minimize complications after your surgery. Conditioning will strengthen your muscles, heart, and lungs which can make your recovery easier. Conditioning will make you be more independent and can help get you back home sooner. And remember- walk, walk, walk!

5 Your Conditioning Program: Discuss these with your doctor beforehand in case you have special precautions To Help with Circulation Ankle Pumps Ankle pumps can help prevent circulation problems, such as blood clots. Do ankle pumps by pointing and flexing your feet. To Help You Move Better Quadriceps Sets Lie on your back in bed, legs straight. Tighten the muscle at the front of the thigh as you press the back of your knee down toward the bed. Hold for a few seconds. Then relax the leg. Straight Leg Raises Lie in bed. Bend one leg. Keep your other leg straight on the bed. Lift your straight leg as high as you comfortable can, but not higher than 12 inches. Hold for a few seconds. Then slowly lower the leg.

6 Your Conditioning Program: Discuss these with your doctor beforehand in case you have special precautions Heel Slides Lie down or sit with your legs stretched out in front of you. Put a plastic bag or cookie sheet under one foot to help it slide. Slide the heel toward your buttocks while keeping it On the bed. Move it as far as you comfortable can. Hold for a few seconds, then slide your heel back. To Help with Using a Walker or Crutches These exercises build upper body strength. Bicep Curls Sit up straight. Keep your elbow close to your body and your wrist straight. Bend your arm, moving your hand up to your shoulder, then lower slowly Triceps Curls Sit, leaning slightly forward from the waist, if possible. Bend your elbow so that your forearm is parallel to the floor. Then straighten your elbow as you extend your arm behind you. Do a set with each arm.

7 What to Expect at the Hospital and After Surgery Before Surgery: Your doctors office will provide you with any special instructions for the day before surgery, tell you what time to arrive to the hospital, and where you should go. On the day of surgery: You will first go through the admission process. Once this is complete, staff will help you into a hospital gown and will insert an intravenous line (IV) into a vein to give you fluids during your surgery. When it is time for your surgery you will be taken to the operating room and given medications to go to sleep. Vital signs will be monitored constantly and medications will be administered to ensure your safety and comfort during your surgery. Your time in the operating room will depend on the type of surgery you are having.

8 What to Expect at the Hospital and After Surgery After Surgery: When you wake up you may feel groggy or nauseous and have a sore throat from the tube used to help you breathe during surgery. You may also have an IV, a catheter to drain your bladder, drains from your incision, and stockings/boots to prevent blood clots in your legs. If you are staying in the hospital you will be taken to a room where you can continue to be monitored and treated by your healthcare team: Surgeon Nurses Case manager Physical therapist Occupational therapist

9 After Surgery: Day 1 Depending on your surgery and ability you may be encouraged to get out of bed with the help of your nurse or physical therapist. Your pain will be controlled with medication either with pills or through the IV line. Though some pain is to be expected, good pain control is important so you can participate in rehabilitation. Once you can tolerate clear liquids your diet will be changed to regular food. You may be given an incentive spirometer (tube that you breath into) to help with deep breathing. It should be used hourly while in the hospital.

10 After Surgery: Day 1 You may have a brace that needs to be worn for activities out of the bed. Instructions will be given to you beforehand if that is the case. Your physical therapist (PT) will teach you techniques to safely move in bed, stand up and walk with assistance if needed.

11 Rehabilitation and Discharge Physical and Occupational therapy play a vital role in your recovery. Once you are cleared for activity Generally your first day after surgery you will be encouraged to get up and walk. Your PT will gradually progress you to sitting, then standing and walking. You may require the use of a walking aid (cane or walker) for a short time. Your PT will instruct you on the proper body mechanics while moving.

12 Rehabilitation and Discharge The Basics: Bed mobility- How to change positions and perform a log roll sit up from the bed. Transfers- How to safely transitioning from sitting to/from standing and walking. Walking- How to safely use a walking aid, if necessary, and self monitor your ability and endurance. Activities of Daily Living- How to safely do the things you need to do, like use the restroom, groom, and dress.

13 Rehabilitation and Discharge When it comes to preparing for recovery much of the work is up to YOU! It is important that you participate in therapy, do your deep breathing and exercises as instructed to help you heal faster and go home. You will have the opportunity to participate in physical therapy on a daily basis while you are in the hospital.

14 Rehabilitation and Discharge Why is therapy important for me? Therapy will help you heal faster and prevent complications from surgery. Therapy will keep your blood circulating, lungs free of fluid/ mucus and stimulate your bowels to keep moving. Therapy will help you focus on safety with mobility, and make you more independent.

15 Rehabilitation and Discharge Once you are medically stable, your doctor will recommend your discharge from the hospital. Depending on your abilities and support system, your doctor may also recommend that you transition to a rehabilitation or nursing facility prior to going home Even after you leave the hospital you are encouraged to continue walking and performing your conditioning program.

16 FAQs What are the major risks? Most surgeries go well, without any complications. Infection and blood clots are two serious complications. To avoid these complications, your surgeon may use antibiotics and blood thinners. Surgeons also take precautions in the operating room to reduce the risk of infections. Do I need to be put to sleep for this surgery? You will be given a general anesthetic, which most people call being put to sleep. How often will I need to be seen by my doctor following the surgery? The physician needs to see you in the office after surgery to monitor your progress. Your appointment will be made before you leave the hospital. We are always available to see you sooner if needed. Will the surgery be painful? You will have discomfort following the surgery, but we will try to keep you as comfortable as possible with the appropriate medication Will I need a walker or cane? Possibly. Some patients find that using a walker provides them the extra support that eases their recovery and allows for them to be more independent. Will I need help at home? Depending on your progress, you may need someone to assist you. Preparing ahead of time, before your surgery, can minimize the amount of help needed. Having the laundry done, house cleaned, yard work completed, clean linens put on the bed, and single portion frozen meals can reduce the need for extra help.

17 FAQs: Questions for your Doctor (print this page and bring it with you to your next appointment) How long will I be in the hospital? How long does surgery take? Will I need physical therapy when I go home? When will I be able to return to work? How long until I can drive? When can I resume sexual activity and will there be special considerations?

18 Helpful Tips for Home Home Tips Arrange things so you dont have to use the stairs more than once a day. Stock up on toiletries, easy-to prepare foods, and other items youll need during recovery. Install a rail along one side of the staircase. Add a firm pillow to a low chair. Keep items you use often within easy reach. Move electrical cords out of the way. Remove throw rugs. Wear rubber-soled shoes to prevent slipping. Watch for small pets or objects on the floor. Bathroom Tips Sit on a bath bench or shower chair while you bathe. Use a commode chair or elevated toilet seat to raise the height of your toilet. Install a hand-held shower head for easier bathing. Use a long-handled sponge to wash hard-to-reach areas. Use a rubber-backed bathroom mat to help keep the floor dry. Watch out for wet spots where you could slip and fall.

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