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How to Prepare for Artificial Disc Replacement

How to Prepare for Artificial Disc Replacement

While surgery isn’t always the first line of defense against back pain, there is a time and place for it. Artificial disc replacement, for example, can help treat back pain from degenerative diseases, like osteoarthritis or herniated discs, when other treatments don’t provide enough relief.

If Dr. John Regan has already suggested an artificial disc replacement here at Spine Group Beverly Hills in Beverly Hills, California, you might wonder what steps you can take to prepare for your surgery.

Here’s what you can do.

1. Schedule your diagnostic imaging tests

Even if you’re already thinking that you may benefit from an artificial disc replacement, your first step is to schedule your consultation. During this one-on-one appointment with Dr. Regan, you can discuss your medical history, current symptoms, and any concerns you may have. 

Dr. Regan may order diagnostic tests such as X-rays, MRIs, or CT scans to thoroughly assess the condition of your spinal discs. These imaging studies help determine the extent of damage and aid in planning the surgical approach for artificial disc replacement.

Understanding the potential benefits and risks of artificial disc replacement is a good way to prepare for surgery, especially if it helps you focus on the positives that your surgery will provide.

2. Prepare your body

Once you and Dr. Regan determine that disc replacement is the best path forward for you, you’ll need to prepare your body for surgery, which includes: 

Get cleared for surgery

Sometimes called “getting cleared for surgery,” you’ll complete your comprehensive preoperative evaluation, including blood tests and a physical examination, which helps ensure that you are in optimal health for surgery.

Follow all preoperative instructions

Follow any preoperative instructions provided by our team, such as fasting before the procedure, adjusting or stopping medication before surgery, or stopping smoking (if applicable). 

Smoking can affect the success of your disc replacement, so it’s important to be open about your smoking status. If you currently smoke and would like to use this opportunity to stop, let Dr. Regan know that you want to quit and/or try any of the smoking cessation programs provided by the state of California.

3. Prepare your mind

Preparing for surgery involves not only physical readiness but also mental and emotional preparedness. Learning about the process helps to prepare your mind and ease your nerves. 

For example, you may want to learn about the type of artificial disc that will be used, the surgical technique, and the expected recovery process. As a pioneer in minimally invasive surgery, Dr. Regan utilizes minimally invasive techniques when possible. 

This has a big impact on your recovery since minimally invasive surgery tends to produce less pain, less postoperative bleeding, and faster recovery times. 

If you’re feeling jittery before your surgery, you may find that deep breathing, meditation, and guided imagery help to reduce stress.

4. Prepare your home

Before your artificial disc replacement, it’s a good idea to prepare your home to make your recovery as easy as possible. This may include:

It’s important to take it easy in the days after your surgery, so be sure to give yourself the space and time to heal. This is a great time to catch up on your favorite shows, read a good book, or tune into your favorite podcast series.

5. Plan for post-op care

Know that you might have restrictions on lifting and movement. Plan for any necessary assistance with daily tasks during the initial weeks after surgery. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it, and don’t rush back to daily routines until you’re cleared to do so.

You can also expect some discomfort after your surgery. Our team provides all of the post-operative care that you need, which may include pain medication. If you have questions about your specific post-op care, don’t hesitate to ask!

Is an artificial disc replacement right for you?

Artificial disc replacement might be right for you if you have chronic back pain from a degenerative condition, you’ve already tried other treatments, and you don't have any contraindications for disc replacement. 

To get the answers you need, give us a call at 424-238-3281 or simply click here to get started.

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