Hi all - I am planning on having spinal fusion surgery in May - I meet again this Friday (February 1st) with the neurosurgeon - my husband thought it would be a good idea to have a list of questions to ask like "can I do stairs right away?", "what equipment do I need?", etc.
Just wondering if anyone who's had fusion surgery has any tips for me for when I get home and any questions to ask my surgeon that I'm not thinking of.
More than wanting to know the post recovery basics I would first ask you if you have consulted with more than one spine specialist? You want to be absolutely certain that fusion is necessary and that no other lesser procedure will resolve your issues.
Sometimes people enter into a spinal fusion without being fully aware of all it entails, what a big surgery it is, how long recovery takes and that once done, the results are not really reversible. Taking this into consideration, it is very important to be sure you have found the very best spine surgeon that is available to you. The selection of the surgeon is the most important decision you will face once you decide to go ahead with a fusion.
First of all I agree with above response. With surgery whenever possible at least I would always recommend getting another opinion.
I have been thru several surgeries and while I had confidence in the initial surgeons opinion & recommendations I still think it is a good idea to get another opinion from another specialist. One that is not affiliated with the 1st surgeon. I tend to prefer to see someone that is affiliated with another practice and another hospital. This tends to diminish any conflicts between the 2 opinions.
I agree in that who ever does your surgery they should be trained in spine related issues and they should also treat spine injuries routinely.
I think its important to know how much experience they have in doing the procedures that they are recommending.
What are the risk factors and what are the benefits? You should be aware of all possible outcomes from the surgery. What is the recovery time? Will you be required to go to a rehab facility after the surgery or go home then do Physical therapy as an out patient? How long do they think you will need phyical therapy? What are your restrictions after the surgery? Such as can you resume driving? etc.
Will you need some type of assistance while you are at home after surgery. Home health aide?
Surgery to the spine should not be taken lightly. And just remember that each person will recover at different speeds some will recover sooner then others. But the doctor should be able to give you some guidelines as to what to expect.
How long will you be required to be in the hospital? How long of a surgery is it?
Again what benefits are there and what are the risks as well?
I am sure taht there are other things to consider but those are what I was able to think of off hand. Good luck and keep us posted.