Making the proper preparations prior to cervical artificial disc surgery can help you both during and after your spinal procedure.
Your Role In Artificial Disc Replacement Surgery And Recovery
Did you know there are a variety of things you can do before your surgery that can help you both during and after your procedure? Here are a few suggestions:
Right now, many of the activities you've always enjoyed are probably pretty difficult for you. However, it's important to remain relatively active in the weeks leading up to surgery. Walking can be an ideal form of exercise for those with back pain, and if possible, you should try to walk for at least 30 minutes a day. If walking is too difficult, an exercise bike may be a good alternative. Consult with your doctor about which activities are best for you.
Developing healthy eating habits before surgery is important - try to eat a lot of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and other nutritious foods prior to your operation. Some of the medications you may be given before and after surgery, including anesthesia and pain relievers, may interfere with bowel function and lead to constipation. If you can eat fiber-rich foods that keep you "regular" before your surgery, it may help your bowel function return to normal more quickly after surgery.
Giving up cigarettes and other tobacco products is very difficult, but is also one of the most important things you can do to significantly increase your potential for a better surgical outcome. Smoking not only increases your potential for impaired heart and/or lung function during and after surgery, it also may affect your body's ability to heal. Because nicotine has been shown to delay wound healing regardless of its source, nicotine patches and gum are not advisable when you're preparing for surgery. Consult your doctor about smoking cessation alternatives; there are a variety of other products and strategies available to help curb nicotine cravings.
Before your surgery, arrange for a responsible adult to drive you to and from your surgery. Ideally, this person will be able to stay during the procedure and will be on hand to take notes regarding any post-operative instructions your doctor may have for you before you go home.
You also may not be able to drive for a certain time period after surgery. Make sure you have someone available during that time to help you get around and/or run errands for you, if needed.
For several weeks after your surgery, you may require pain and/or other medications in addition to the medications you normally take. Before your surgery:
- Ensure that you have a good supply of your regular medications.
- Know where you will have your new prescriptions filled and what hours the pharmacy is open.
- Identify a friend or relative who can get your prescriptions filled if you are not able to get to the pharmacy on your own.