Couple checking for what they need to prepare for a spine surgery

Prepare For A Spine Surgery

When you prepare for a spine surgery, it is important to discuss the details of the procedure with your surgeon and to follow any pre-operative instructions, such as stopping certain medications or fasting for a certain period of time. It is also helpful to arrange for someone to drive you home after the surgery and to have any necessary medical equipment, such as a walker or crutches, ready at home to aid in your recovery.


Spine surgery is a major medical procedure that is used to treat a variety of conditions affecting the spine, including degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and spinal deformities. Here is a bullet list of what you can expect during a spine surgery:



What to expect.

  1. Pre-surgery preparation: Before the surgery, you will meet with your surgeon to discuss the details of the procedure and to review your medical history. You may also need to undergo pre-surgery testing, such as blood work and imaging tests, to ensure that you are healthy enough for the surgery.
  2. Anesthesia: During the surgery, you will be given general anesthesia, which will put you to sleep and prevent you from feeling any pain.
  3. Incision: The surgeon will make an incision in your skin to access the spine. The size and location of the incision will depend on the specific procedure being performed.
  4. Procedure: The surgeon will then perform the procedure, which may involve removing damaged or diseased tissue, stabilizing the spine with screws or rods, or realigning the spine.
  5. Recovery: After the surgery, you will be taken to a recovery room where you will be closely monitored. You may experience some pain and discomfort, which can be managed with pain medication. You will also need to follow certain guidelines for activity and rehabilitation to help your spine heal properly.
  6. Follow-up care: It is important to follow up with your surgeon and other healthcare providers after the surgery to ensure that your recovery is progressing as expected. You may need physical therapy or other rehabilitation services to help you regain strength and mobility.
Doctor running through the checklist of things to do one month before your spine surgery

One month before the surgery.

You will have a CT scan and an MRI. These are tests that show the structure and condition of your spine. Blood tests will be done to check your blood count, kidney function, liver function, and blood clotting ability. You may need to stop taking certain medicines before having these tests done. Your doctor may ask you to stop taking aspirin or anti-inflammatory drugs a week before while you prepare for a spine surgery.


A physical exam will be done by your surgeon’s assistants who will check for any problems like nerve damage or cancerous tumors in the area of surgery. They may also take X-rays of your chest and upper body to see if there are any problems with ribs or lungs that could affect what type of surgical approach is best for you.


A preoperative appointment with your surgeon is important because it gives them time to explain what needs to happen before surgery day so they can answer any questions you might have about how long recovery might take or how much pain medication will be needed after surgery (if any). It’s also when they’ll give instructions about things like diet restrictions before surgery as well as information about where family members/friends can stay during hospitalization if needed (usually 24 hours).



The day of the surgery.

  • Make sure you have all the necessary documents.
  • Bring a friend or family member with you.
  • Wear comfortable clothes that are easy to take off, such as sweatpants, loose shirts and slippers.
  • Take a shower before going to the hospital (you will have an IV put in your arm).
  • Bring your preferred pain medication (if they allow it). Some hospitals don’t allow non-prescription medications, so check this before going into surgery!
  • Bring your own pillow and blanket—if possible, bring something that smells like home to help comfort you during recovery.
  • Eat lightly before surgery; you may not be able to eat for several hours after surgery due to nausea or anesthesia effects on digestion.
Resting after your spine surgery

After the operation.

You will have some pain after the operation, but it should not be severe and can be controlled with medication. If you have nausea, we will give you medications for that as well. The length of time you stay in the hospital depends on your condition, but most people go home within one to five days of surgery.


When you go home.

When you go home after surgery, you will need to take it easy and get plenty of rest.

  • Do not lift anything heavy or do any strenuous activity for a few weeks.
  • Take the pain medication that your doctor prescribed for you. The pain is normal and can be controlled with medication. You may have some mild discomfort after surgery, but if it becomes severe, call your doctor right away.
  • If you are taking narcotic medications to relieve pain, take only as directed by your doctor and do not drive while under the influence of narcotics; otherwise, contact your physician immediately if these drugs cause any problems (such as constipation).
Doctor giving advice on how to prepare for a spine surgery

Advice for patients: prepare for a spine surgery.

It’s important to know what to expect before your surgery. Ask your doctor and surgeon plenty of questions, and be sure they give you a good idea of the recovery period. Make sure they explain the risks and complications that may occur during or after surgery, so you can plan ahead for them as much as possible.

You’ll want to make sure you have all the equipment you need before the operation—and possibly even practice using it beforehand!

Your family and friends will want to help out with care-taking duties while you’re recovering from spine surgery. They can do things like grocery shop, do laundry, prepare meals at home (or bring food over) and pick up prescriptions from the pharmacy for pain medication or other drugs that might be necessary during this time. This can help take some pressure off of both yourself and any caregivers who may be present in your home during recovery time. If there are no formal caregivers available at home, consider hiring an agency like Home Helpers or Elder Care Resources; these companies provide trained professionals who will come into your house once a week for an hour or two apiece throughout post-op recovery time (typically 6–8 weeks).

Do you need help with preparing for your spine surgery?

If you have any questions about your spine surgery or neurosurgery needs, please don’t hesitate to call Long Island Neuroscience Specialists and schedule your first consultation. Our team of experienced professionals will be happy to assist you and address any concerns you may have while you prepare for a spine surgery. We look forward to helping you on your journey to better health and well-being.