Your Role In Artificial Disc Replacement Surgery And Recovery

By spending the time necessary to prepare for and clearly understand what to expect before, during and after your cervical artificial disc replacement surgery, you'll not only make your treatment team's job easier but also help maximize your potential for a positive outcome.

Did you know that the role of the patient before, during and after spinal surgery is as important as the role of the surgeon and the surgical staff?

Some responsibilities are clear. For instance, you must arrive at the right place at the right time on the day of your surgery. You also must not eat after midnight on the day before surgery. This is a VERY firm rule, and it includes ALL food and drink — even water. (If you're on oral medication that has to be taken on a regular schedule with liquids or food, please discuss this with your doctor.) The number of people who show up on the day of the surgery only to have it delayed or cancelled because they had their usual cup of coffee in the morning would surprise you.

Other obligations might not be as obvious, such as making sure that you fully understand your diagnosis, the goals your surgical procedure, the process of rehabilitation and recovery, the potential benefits and risks of spine surgery and how you can work effectively with your surgeon to help ensure you achieve the best possible outcome.

Read some common instructions:

Before Your Artificial Disc Replacement Surgery

Prior to spine surgery, patients should focus on nutrition, as well as their physical and mental well-being. If you think of surgery as the "big game" and yourself — the patient — as the athlete, you'll realize there is a lot of training involved prior to kickoff! Statistically, the post-surgical outcomes of patients who smoke, are overweight or otherwise in poor health are not as good as those who are in better shape. Surgery puts an incredible strain on the entire body — if it is already in a weakened state before surgery, it will have a much harder time recovering after surgery.

The Day Of Your Artificial Disc Replacement Surgery

Patients who are prepared and who already understand how the day will proceed will have a much easier experience than those who do not. Find out ahead of time how early you need to arrive to complete your entry paperwork, and remember to bring any pertinent insurance information, such as your insurance card, with you. Ask your surgeon or the hospital staff about any preparations you may be facing before your surgery, and what the surgery itself will entail, including your anesthesia options. Talk to your surgeon about his or her realistic expectations for your outcome, including what to expect during the recovery process and any pain or physical limitations that may be involved.

Artificial disc replacement surgery can have a huge impact on your life. While it's very important that you trust your surgeon and feel confident in his or her abilities, you — the patient — also play a critical role. By spending the time necessary to prepare for and clearly understand what to expect before, during and after your disc replacement, you'll not only make your surgical team's job easier but also help maximize your potential for a positive outcome.

The materials on this Web site are for your general educational information only. Information you read on this Web site cannot replace the relationship that you have with your health care professional. We do not practice medicine or provide medical services or advice as a part of this Web site. You should always talk to your health care professional for diagnosis and treatment.