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classes put on by hospital before spine surgery, yes or no and helpful?

one of the good things about this forum is the opportunity to make friends with people who are having surgeries that are the same and at the same time as you. i was wondering along this line if the hospital that you are going to have the surgery at has classes that are mandatory for patients before surgeries. about a month before my first fusion, i had mandatory classes put on by the hospital regarding items before and after spinal surgeries. there were about 10 of us and items for discussion were how to prepare oneself before spinal surgery. other items were medications and what and how much were given. how were the hospital going to maintain effective pain control with people who have been on pain meds. how to get up and down stairs. how to take care of oneself with respect to bodily functions. we were given tools to take care of wiping ones self after a bowl movement. wearing braces and how long before we could bend twist or pick up things and going back to work. i found it very useful and they also gave us a binder with all information needed. it was also a place to network with others and to make friends especially if people were going to be in the hospital at the same time as oneself. was anyone given the chance of attending such classes and if so did one find them useful and did one make friends with others to help out. it was great for me and i recommend these classes if you have to attend them. if one did not attend, then the doctor and or a nurse would contact you to see why one did not attend. i also think it was mandatory to attend before we could have the surgery.
I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.


  • Hey Jon.

    I didn't have classes before any of my three surgeries, but I wasn't allowed to leave the hospital until I met certain criteria. For example, for my first lumbar surgery, I was on the special spine floor. There they had a special room that had half of a car in it, a front porch with a door, railing, steps and a mailbox, a pretend grocery store with carts to push around and a simulated bathroom. Until I could get in and out of the car, go up the steps of the porch, go shopping and ambulate to every item in the bathroom, they wouldn't let me leave. I also had to walk around the floor before they considered me leaving. There were people in every day showing me how to use my brace, I was given before and after care paperwork before the surgery and the binder for just after care after my surgery.

    I think I would've preferred a class, frankly.
  • cath
    i think that the bigger hospitals in big cities have some sort of class more or less dealing with the issues that you brought up. like i said they were also good for networking with spinal patients. i also had to walk up and down stairs using a walker. i remember folding the walker and holding on the railing to go up and down stars. i had 3 fusions in that specific hospital and i remember for all 3 i had to take the classes.
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • my 1st two surgeries which were both microdiscetomies i did not get a class. maybe if i had, i'd have known better that pain meds cause severe constipation. might have avoided a couple of surgeries that way. for my cervical fusion, which was back surgery number 3, i had to take a class. got a great book of info that covered literally everything. of course by then i kind of knew it all having been through 2 prior. so was it helpful, no so much. it would have been better for my 1st surgery. for my 2nd fusion, the hospital didn't give me the class, but my surgery was cancelled and reinstated with 5 days to spare, so i was lucky i was able to get my presurgical testing done and actually get the surgery when it had been scheduled. by then i really didn't need the class, but i did pull out the book which i kept and looked over it.
    Microdisectomy / hemi-laminectomy 6/2010 and revision 10/2010
    Cervical fusion C4-5 and C5-6 9/2011
    Lumbar Fusion L5-S1 6/2012
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