Pre-Spine Surgery Checklist: What Car Accident Doctors Want You to Know


About 31 million Americans experience lower back pain at any given time. In fact, back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide. 

Back pain is one of the more common side effects you are likely to experience after a car accident. Surgery could help relieve your pain symptoms. Your car accident doctors can help you learn what to expect before your surgery.

In the meantime, use this pre-spine surgery checklist. This guide will help you prepare for your surgery. Then, you can visit your car accident doctors in Central Florida with any other questions you have.

Gathering these answers ahead of time can give you peace of mind. You can head into your surgery knowing exactly what to expect.

Keep reading to discover what your car accident doctors in Tampa want you to know before surgery!

Questions to Ask Your Surgeon

It’s normal to have questions before a serious procedure. Here are a few questions you can review with your car accident doctors beforehand. 

What Caused My Back Problem?

Only 10% of people find out the root cause of their pain. In some cases, many different factors are contributing to your back pain.

Understanding the root cause of your pain can help you make significant life changes after your surgery. While a car accident might have caused your pain initially, other factors could make it worse. For example, maybe you have a desk job that requires you to sit for long periods.

You might want to consider switching to a standing desk or other ergonomic options after your surgery.

It’s essential to stop smoking before your surgery, too. Nicotine can increase the risk of complications. It can also impact your body’s ability to heal.

Smoking could even increase your risk of infection.

There’s also a chance you have a degenerative problem. Regardless, your car accident doctors in Tampa can help you make life changes following the procedure.

How Much Prior Experience Do You Have With This Procedure?

Make sure to choose car accident doctors in Central Florida that have years of experience. Choosing an experienced doctor can give you peace of mind. They could also ensure superior results.

What Does the Procedure Involve? 

Before your procedure, it helps to understand what will happen. For example, what type of anesthesia will you receive? Will the doctor complete laparoscopic surgery by making a small incision?

Will they have to make a large incision instead?

Are There Alternative Treatment Options?

In some cases, surgery isn’t the only option. Take the time to explore other options with your medical team.

They might suggest you pair surgery with other treatment options, such as chiropractic care. Physical therapy and pain management treatments could help as well. 

What if I Don’t Get surgery?

It’s important to understand the risks involved if you decide to avoid surgery. For example, you could live life in pain. You might develop a disability, impacting your ability to work and quality of life.

What Risks are Involved?

Take a moment to ask your car accident doctors in Central Florida about potential complications, too. 

Potential complications include:

  • Difficulty urinating
  • Issues with intestinal function
  • Stroke
  • Blood clots
  • Heart attack
  • Pain, numbness, or weakness (indicating nerve damage)
  • Spinal headaches

Talk to your doctor about the warning signs of a clot or infection. Knowing how to recognize these issues can ensure you get help right away.

Know what to expect and determine when you need to call for medical assistance.

What Happens During the Recovery Phase?

Ask your doctors how long the recovery phase will take. Determine if you’ll need assistance at home as well. 

Talk to your doctors about your post-surgical plan, too. For example, will you need physical therapy as part of your recovery? If so, how long will you need to schedule appointments?

You can also ask:

  • How much pain will I experience after the surgery?
  • How long will I need to stay in the hospital?
  • What pain medications will I be sent home with?
  • How will I manage my pain at home?
  • Will I need a back brace afterward?
  • How often will I see you after the surgery?
  • What symptoms warrant a call to your office or immediate medical attention?
  • What limitations do I need to follow?
  • How long will I be out of school/work?

Learn as much as you can about the procedure.

Preparing Your Home Beforehand

Your car accident doctors can also help you determine how to prepare your home before your procedure. 

For example, you’ll need to limit your movements after surgery. Try to put all critical items within reach. Consider what items you use daily, including:

  • Snacks
  • Cups, pots, pans, dishes
  • Writing instruments
  • Books
  • Phones
  • Remotes

You might want to consider getting a toilet riser as well. Risers will lift your toilet set up, allowing you to avoid unnecessary bending.

Ask your car accident doctors if you need to change your diet, too. Eating healthy foods can help your body heal after surgery. You can prepare several meals to store in your freezer and heat up after your procedure.

Preparing your meals ahead of time can help you avoid unnecessary movement.

Consider purchasing a grabber before your procedure as well. You can use it to pick up anything you drop. If you have items beyond reach throughout your home, you’ll have an easier time grabbing them. 

Otherwise, review the list of medications you’ll need to take with your doctors. Some medicines and supplements can interfere with the effects of anesthesia. Others can affect bleeding.

Review which medications you should avoid taking after your surgery. Ask your doctors about wound care as well.

Preparing for Spinal Surgery: What to Discuss With Your Car Accident Doctors

Make a list of any remaining questions you have before your procedure. Discussing these questions with your car accident doctors can give you peace of mind. You can schedule your surgery knowing it’s the best course of action.

Want to discuss your surgical plan with doctors you can trust? We’re here to help.

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