Once you have decided to have spine surgery, there are a number of preparations that follow.

Pre-Operative Evaluation

During the physical exam before surgery you might expect a blood test, electrocardiogram (EKG), and chest X-ray. Your doctor will also discuss medications and supplements that thin the blood, which should be stopped prior to surgery. Follow the specific instructions from your spine surgeon.

Examples of drugs that thin the blood include:
  • Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Nuprin)
  • Blood thinners (Coumadin, Heparin)
  • Aspirin
  • Anti-inflammatories (Aleve, Naprosyn)
  • Antiplatelets (Plavix, Ticlid, Fragmin, Orgaran, Lovenox, Innohep)
  • Coenzyme Q-10
  • Fish oil
  • Vitamin E
  • Herbals (herbal snuff, ginger, turmeric, gingko, glucosamine,”angelica”)
Here are examples of questions you can ask at your medical clearance appointment:
  • Which medications should I take the day of my surgery?
  • If I take anticoagulants, when should I stop taking them?
  • When do I stop taking aspirin products and over the counter drugs such as Advil or Aleve before surgery?
  • Are there any other special instructions I should follow?

After Your Spine Surgery is Scheduled

Once your spine surgery has been scheduled, your doctor’s office may arrange a pre-admission visit. At the appointment, the doctor’s team will conduct an assessment and obtain any tests that may be needed prior to your surgery.

Bring This Information to Your Pre-Admission Visit:

  • Any questions about your surgery
  • A list of your allergies
  • A list of medications and doses you take on a regular basis, including vitamins, herbs, and other over-the-counter medications
  • Results of any recent tests at other hospitals
  • Names, addresses and phone numbers of your doctors, including specialists
  • Any prior reactions to anesthesia

The spine surgeon’s team will also give you any instructions you need in regard to eating, drinking, and taking medicine immediately before your surgery. You can always contact your doctor’s office for more information about the spine surgery or questions regarding instructions.

Durable Medical Equipment (DME)

Get ahold of all necessary equipment prior to your surgery (walkers, crutches, canes, commodes, or elevated toilet seats), along with any adaptive equipment (reachers, sock-aids, long-handled sponges, or long-handled shoe horns). Insurance coverage can vary. Your doctor’s office can guide you on what your options are and where to get your equipment.

Disclaimer – All information is for educational pursuit and information purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The viewer should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding their medical condition, diagnosis, procedures, treatment plan, or other health related topics.