Jeffrey R. Carlson, MD
Federal, state and local mandates regarding postponing elective surgery during the Coronavirus outbreak have caused many patients quite a bit of concern and frustration. Managing the logistics of your life around a planned surgery take a lot of time and effort. There are work, family, and social considerations, as well as dealing with the pain and dysfunction from your spinal condition. When your surgery is postponed, all that planning goes out the window and will have to be redone once we’re able to reschedule the date of your spinal procedure. While I certainly understand your disappointment, let me offer some guidance on how you can improve your chances for a good outcome when we are able to do your surgery.
Quit Smoking – Smoking has been proven to make spine pain worse. It makes proper healing from spine surgery more difficult and it takes longer to recover if you smoke. I recommend that you be smoke free for at least six weeks before and after surgery for faster healing and less post-operative pain.
Start Walking – Did you know I recommend walking for my recovering spine surgery patients? Walking is free, simple and we all know how to do it. Use this waiting period to walk every day, even if you can only manage 10 or 15 minutes. Some of my patients take short walks multiple times a day, which adds up to a lot of activity. Your cardiovascular system will be improved, you may lose some weight and you’ll be building strength for your upcoming surgery.
Feed Your Body – Look at this waiting time as a chance to make important changes in your diet. During quarantine at home, everyone is tempted to eat junk food and drink sugary sodas while binge- watching Tiger King on Netflix. Try adding fresh fruits, vegetables and lean meats to your diet, and ditch the doughnuts, chips and sweets. Chop up fruits and vegetables to nosh on while enjoying your favorite show. Binge on TV, not junk food.
We’ll see an end to the COVID-19 quarantine in the next few months and your surgery will be rescheduled as soon as we’re given the go ahead. Make this time work for you and see a better surgical recovery as a result.
Make an appointment with Dr. Carlson or another OSC provider by clicking the “Request Appointment” button below or by calling (757) 596-1900.