What to Expect When You Have Spine Surgery

What to Expect When You Have Spine Surgery

Boulder Neurosurgical and Spine AssociatesAre you going in for spine surgery soon? Congratulations on choosing to face your back problems and handle them head-on. At Boulder Neurosurgical and Spine Associates, we want to help you have the best possible experience as you go through surgery and emerge on the other side of it. Here’s what you can expect.

On the day of your spine surgery, get to the hospital on time. If you arrive late, then you risk delaying the entire process. Someone from your surgical team should let you know exactly when you need to get there. Once you arrive, you’ll be checked in. You will need your insurance card, a photo ID, and a method of payment that the hospital will accept. You may have to wait for someone to become available to check you in, so give yourself plenty of time for this step.

After that, you’ll prepare for surgery. You’ll meet your anesthesiologist and your surgeon, both of whom may have questions for you and they’ll be ready to take questions from you, too. Be sure to ask anything that’s been bugging you, no matter how silly you might feel. It’s always a good idea to make sure that everything is clear before spine surgery.

Once your surgery is over, you’ll be taken to the recovery area. Any family or friends who you’ve asked to have there with you will be brought in, and you will be given as much time as you need to recover from your anesthesia. Once you’ve recovered, you’ll be taken to your hospital room.

Depending on the spine surgery that you have had, you may spend a few nights in the hospital. You will work with a physical therapist from the beginning of your stay. This person should help you move around some, gradually leading you towards moving on your own. They can also show you some ideas for how to get comfortable in bed and how to change position without hurting yourself.

You will get pain medications while you are in the hospital and afterward, too. These should be strong enough to keep you from being in excruciating pain. If you ever feel like your pain is getting out of control, notify your nurse right away. Do your best to stay ahead of the pain so you don’t end up hurting too much.

When you are ready, you will get to go home. Plan to have someone around to help you out, at least for a few days but for up to a few weeks, depending on the spine surgery you just had. This will take a lot of the stress off of you so you can focus on healing and getting better.
If you have any questions before or after your spine surgery, never hesitate to call us. We are always happy to help our patients out or to reassure you that you are going to get through your surgery okay. No matter how silly you might feel, you can always ask us anything.