Preparing for Spinal Fusion Surgery

What can you do to prepare for a back surgery?

You can do yourself a huge favor by exercising and being physically active before your surgery. Daily stretches, stomach crunches, and leg stretches are all examples of exercises that help you heal faster and recover more easily. Exercising is also a great way to relieve the stress that may be building up inside you.

In the months or weeks before your surgery, it is very important to maintain a positive attitude. Try not to dwell on what is ahead. Have as much fun as you can, safely. Stay active, keep busy, and most of all, don't feel sorry for yourself! Try to think of things to do that you may not be able to do right after your surgery. Some suggestions include swimming, horseback riding, water park slides, roller coaster rides, rollerblading, ice skating, dancing, golfing, and driving. The night before your procedure, you may want to spend some time by yourself. It will be awhile before anyone lets you do something by yourself again.

Donating Blood Before Your Surgery

It is nomal to lose blood during surgery. Sometimes a patient needs to receive donated blood after the surgery. There are different ways of doing this:
  • You may donate your own blood before your surgery (lots of kids and teens do this!).
  • Your family or friends can donate their blood for you.
  • You may get blood from the blood bank here at the hospital.
If you or a family member or friend wants to donate blood, here are some guidelines. Blood donors must be healthy and not have any infections when donating their blood. This protects blood recipients from contracting illness from blood. Those wanting to donate blood should eat a healthy meal 2 to 4 hours before donation, and should not perform strenuous exercise for 12 hours afterward. It is also a good idea to drink more fluids and eat more fruits and vegetables than usual if you have given blood.
Your doctor may recommend additional tests before your surgery.