What to Expect from Your Spine Surgery
If you’re scheduled to undergo spine surgery near Los Angeles , knowing what to expect from the procedure can help you prepare for a smooth recovery. Be sure to discuss your surgery prep and recovery in detail with your spine surgeon beforehand, so you understand your procedure and know what is coming. Although the details of different spine procedures vary, there are some general things that happen with all spine surgeries. Continue reading to learn what you can expect before, during, and after your procedure.
Before the Surgery
Before your procedure, your surgeon may ask you to undergo medical tests to determine if you’re healthy enough for the surgery and recovery. It’s important to have your tests done early with plenty of time left before your procedure, as failing to have results in time may delay your surgery. Your surgeon may also ask you to change your medication schedule, including stopping aspirin use a week or more before the surgery to control bleeding.
During the Surgery
Some spine surgeries are done under general anesthesia, while others are done with a spinal block. The type of anesthesia that is right for you depends on which procedure you’re having and your general health. General anesthesia is required for open surgeries, but a spinal block can make recovery easier.
After the Surgery
After your surgery, you may need to stay in the hospital for a few days as you recover from the anesthesia and regain enough ability to go home. You will need help around the house for a few weeks as your spine heals. Your surgeon will prescribe pain medications and, in some cases, antibiotics to help you avoid discomfort and infection. Follow your spine surgeon’s guidelines regarding physical therapy and returning to normal activities. Ask your surgeon what symptoms you should look out for and report any signs of trouble right away.
Is Surgery Your Best Back Pain Solution? [INFOGRAPHIC]
Back pain is an extremely common condition, but because there are so many causes, there isn’t one treatment strategy that works for everyone. While some patients may get adequate relief from non-invasive treatment methods, others require spine surgery to tackle their back pain symptoms. How do you know if spinal surgery is right for you? Your spine surgeon will consider a range of factors, including whether you have accompanying symptoms in your extremities and what the cause of your pain is. He or she may also recommend trying more conservative methods before recommending surgery. In this infographic, Marina Spine Center, a provider of spine surgery near Los Angeles , lays out the signs that spinal surgery could be an option for you. Make an appointment with your healthcare provider to discuss your symptoms and share this infographic to help the many other back pain sufferers in search of a solution.
Benefits of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
Undergoing spine surgery used to always mean having an extensive, open surgery, but thanks to technological advances, that is no longer the case. Now, depending on the type of surgery you need, you may be able to opt for a minimally invasive procedure. Talk to your spine surgeon in Los Angeles to find out if the minimally invasive approach is possible for you.
Patients like minimally invasive surgery for many different reasons. Because your spine surgeon has to make fewer cuts, there is much less tissue damage. This means that after surgery, you will experience less pain and have less scarring. Fewer cuts, plus less blood loss, means a shorter recovery time for most patients as well. In the long run, patients who have minimally invasive spine surgery tend to have better spinal function. Your doctor can help you decide if this kind of surgery will address your back or neck problems.
HealthCast Video – Dr. Robert Watkins IV – Sports Injuries
Dr. Watkins IV talks about back injuries and spine injuries in both athletes and everyday people.
HealthCast Video – Dr. David Chang Discusses Non Surgical Spine Treatments
Dr. David Chang of the Marina Spine Center at Marina Del Rey Hospital discusses various non-surgical spine treatment options.
Get to Know the Anatomy of Your Spine
Most people don’t think about their spines until something goes wrong with them and they find themselves facing spine surgery . Understanding the anatomy of your spine may help you better protect it from injury. Your spine surgeon serving Los Angeles can be a great source of information about your spine health, so ask him or her to explain where your spine issue originates and how it impacts the rest of your spinal structure. Here’s an overview of your spine to help you understand how it functions:
The spinal column is what most people picture when they think of the spine. It is a long, bony structure that protects the spinal cord. The spinal cord is a collection of nerves that runs from your brain, down your back, and out into your body. There are 34 bones in total in the spinal column, but when your spine surgeon talks about your spine to you, he or she will usually be referring to the 24 vertebrae. Together, the vertebrae run down the center of the back and form a double-S shape.
Vertebral Bones and Discs
Your vertebral bones have cylindrically shaped heads and an arch. They are different shapes and sizes, with larger vertebrae positioned at the bottom of the spine. The spinal cord runs between the head and the arch. Spine surgery is sometimes needed when the area between the head and arch narrows, squeezing the cord. The vertebrae are separated by spongy discs that act as cushions. Sometimes, the discs protrude from their location and push against nerves in the spine. This is called a herniated disc and can be corrected with spine surgery.
The part of the spine that runs through your neck is called the cervical spine. From there, the spine curves inward through the upper portion of the backâcalled the thoracic spineâand then curves outward again in the lower back, or the lumbar spine. Injuries are rare in the thoracic spine. Most spine surgeries are focused on the cervical or lumbar regions.
Dr. Watkins Recognized by The Hollywood Reporter’s Exclusive Survey
This article was published in the The Hollywood Reporter. To view a copy of the article click here .
Hollywood’s Top Doctors Revealed: Exclusive Survey
From the OB/GYN who delivered Kim Kardashian and her baby to the sikh who treats Morgan Freeman to the man who removed Dr. Oz’s colon polyp, the 484 most beloved M.D.s from stars and executives as vetted by leading medical-database authority Castle Connolly
A version of this story first appeared in the Sept. 19 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
Hollywood is a town obsessed with its health â and its vanity. So itâs no surprise that everyone has an opinion on who the best doctors in Los Angeles are, from who can keep aging at bay for those all-important close-ups to whom to count on to cure life-threatening illnesses.
To identify the 484 elite physicians who qualified for The Hollywood Reporter âs inaugural list of the top docs in L.A., THR âs editors went two routes. First, THR partnered with the physician-led research team of Castle Connolly, the U.S.’ preeminent medical-database authority, to identify the highest-rated practitioners in their specialties, all of whom are nominated by their peers in an extensive survey process of thousands of U.S. doctors each year. Castle Connolly screens these doctorsâ medical educations, training, hospital appointments, disciplinary histories and much more. Doctors do not and cannot pay to be included.
THR then went further and surveyed 800 professionals in the film, television, movie and media fields to find out who among these doctors are the most beloved, trusted and go-to physicians in L.A. These 43 industry favorites include Morgan Freeman ‘s holistic internist Dr. Soram Khalsa , Dr. Mehmet Oz ‘s gastroenterologist Dr. Jonathan LaPook , Naomi Watts ‘ NYC dermatologist David Colbert , KISS’ Paul Stanley ‘s ear, nose and throat doctor Joe Sugerman , Steve Tisch ‘s favorite neurosurgeon and Dr. Neal ElAttrache , the orthopedist who healed Charlize Theron ‘s herniated disc and Dr. Robert Kay , the surgeon who fixed Starz CEO Chris Albrecht ‘s daughter Tess after a car accident.
Here’s the complete list.
- Lumbar Spine Surgery
- Spine Surgery
- Marina Spine Center
- Degenerative Disc Disease
- Back Pain
- Herniated Discs
- Non-Operative Options
- Lower Back Pain
- Cervical Spine Surgery
- Thoracic Back Pain
- Spinal Stenosis
- Minimally Invasive Surgery
- Epidural Injection
- Sports Injuries
- Stress Fractures
- Pinched Nerve
- Spine Fusion
- Microscopic Foraminotomy
- Neck Pain
- Back Injuries
- Spinal Injuries
- Spinal Injections
- Athletic Spinal Injuries
- Conservative Care
- Torn Ligaments