Spine Surgery & Spine Pain FAQ | Texas Health Resources

It’s normal to have questions about what to expect from your spinal surgery. Use these answers to commonly asked questions as a starting point for making your own list for your physician and nurses. Providing you with quality, compassionate care is always important to Texas Health.

  • What types of specialists can I expect to see?

    Our health care team includes board-certified spine surgeons, medical physicians, internists, physiatrists, pain specialists on the medical staff. Texas Health also offers nurses, clinical coordinators and physical therapists who are dedicated to helping patients get back to life.

  • How do I know whether I need neck or back surgery?

    When pain interferes with your ability to carry out daily activities or disturbs your sleep, it may be time to consider surgery. Conservative approaches are considered before surgery.

  • Are most patients satisfied after neck and back surgery?

    Long-term pain relief is the major advantage. Restoration of neck or back flexibility is a big factor as well. Talk with your doctor about what results you can expect and make sure you have a realistic idea of what you will be able to do after the surgery.

  • How can I prepare for surgery?

    There are several things you can do to enhance the results of your surgery and make your recovery safer and more comfortable:

    • Arrange for help after you get home.
    • If your doctor has suggested you lose weight, try changing your diet and be as active as you can. Be sure that any dieting involves maintaining good nutrition. Malnutrition is one of the factors that will adversely affect healing after surgery.
    • If you are a smoker, try to quit. According to the American Cancer Society, smoking can slow down your healing.
    • Ask your doctor about the available classes on strengthening exercises you can do before surgery to reduce healing time.
  • Can I take my usual medications before surgery?

    When you have your pre-operative physical, the doctor will address each of your medicines and their use before surgery. Some prescription and over-the-counter medicines, mainly NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) including aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen sodium, affect the blood’s ability to clot. Talk with your physician to receive specific instructions about how to adjust your regular medication schedule before and after surgery.

  • How long will I miss work?

    There are many factors that contribute to the suggested length of time away from work after surgery, including the type of procedure you’ve undergone, the physical demands of your job and your medical history. Your physician will determine how much time you should allow before returning to work. We offer several minimally invasive surgical options that allow patients to spend less time in the hospital and help them return to their normal daily activities more quickly.

  • Why do I have to take a blood-thinning drug after surgery?

    Any kind of invasive surgery increases your risk of developing blood clots. The blood thinners — or anticoagulants — reduce the risk of clots. We use different medicines based on each patient’s procedure and clotting risk.

  • What should I not do after neck or back surgery?

    Every patient’s condition and care options can vary greatly. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on what not to do after surgery. Use common sense, and if you are concerned about any specific activity, please contact your physician.

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