Spine Surgery Education

We’ll prepare you for spine surgery so you can have the best recovery possible.

If you need spine surgery, the doctor will go over what’s involved both during and after the procedure -- as well as what you can do beforehand. Preparing for surgery and recovery ahead of time can help both go safely and smoothly.

How should I prepare for my spine surgery?

The best way to prepare for spine surgery is to attend our spine surgery education class. We offer this class at Henry Ford Macomb Hospital and Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital. It’s free to all patients scheduled for spine surgery.

What can I expect during the spine surgery education class?

You’ll work with our team as you learn about each stage of the surgical experience:

  • Before surgery: We’ll go over what to bring to the hospital, when we’ll contact you, and instructions for the day before surgery
  • Day of surgery: We’ll discuss what your presurgical preparation will include and what to expect immediately after surgery, as well as instructions on what to do and not to do during the initial recovery period
  • Pain management: We’ll help you understand your customized pain management plan, pain medications and how to use them, and ways to reduce pain after surgery
  • Therapy: If you need physical therapy, occupational therapy, or both after the procedure, we’ll go over what you can expect from therapy
  • Going home: We’ll help you plan for any special medical equipment, medications, infection prevention, and other home care needs you may have after surgery

Your surgical plan is tailored to the surgery, so your needs for therapy services and equipment may vary depending on the specific procedure. Your surgeon will tailor treatment to the spinal condition and your particular needs.

Pre-surgery exercise plan

One of the most important ways to get ready for surgery is to build up your strength. Strengthening your core muscles and improving your aerobic activity levels before a spine surgery can:

  • Decrease pain after surgery
  • Improve mobility after surgery
  • Get you back to a normal routine faster

We’ll work with you on a personalized exercise plan to build your strength before surgery. Perform these exercises as often as the doctor recommends. This may include while you stay with us in the hospital and after you go home.

Stop smoking before spine surgery

Another important way to prepare is to stop smoking at least three to four weeks before surgery, including any nicotine-replacement treatments. Smoking before surgery can:

  • Cause your spine bones to fuse improperly
  • Delay the healing process
  • Increase the risk of complications after surgery
  • Increase the risk of infection

If you need to stop smoking, our tobacco treatment services can help.

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