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Post-Op Supplements

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:26 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
For those of you have have gone through fusion surgery, would you recommend any kind of supplements to help with the recovery?

I read on this forum that protein is needed for healing after the surgery and that protein powder shakes are a good idea. How about calcium? Vitamin D? Anything else?

I just wonder if I should stock up now, since I won't be driving to the store after surgery.



  • Always check with your doc before taking any supplements, especially immediately postop. Many supplements can cause increased bleeding and many are actually anti-inflammatories(you know the no NSAID rule after fusion.) It might be best to just take a multivitamin and get your extra nutrients from diet-like increasing fruits and veggies which will also help out your bowels a lot! :)

    Bruce the moderator took a B vitamin complex that is supposed to help with nerve healing. I can't remember what it is, but if he doesn't chime in here, send him a PM.
  • While supplements may be OK with your doctor's approval, nothing beats a good diet. Eat lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, and most importantly, protein. Go easy on caffeine, and as long as you are taking narcotics, and other meds, avoid all alcohol.

    Good luck with your recovery,


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  • The only items that I took was multivitamins, iron, and stool softners. Everything else was through diet.
  • So is calcium important, or no? I would have thought that calcium and vitamin D would be important for bone growth.
  • ernurse, wow you have a good memory! Yes, Vitamin B is supposed to help with nerve repair. My surgeon prescribed my Nevramin after my fusion surgery.

    Also, when I had Ramsay Hunt Syndrome (facial paralysis) due to nerve damage, my neurologist also prescribed me Vitamin B to speed up the nerve repair.

    If I remember correctly, the two B vits that help mostly are B1 & B12.

    Look at this link, and read about B12 http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/vitamin-b1.htm

    Keep positive!


    ...an old timer here and ex-moderator

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  • I take 2 600mg tablets of calcium a day since my surgery. My Dr said that it would help so I'm still taking them. I'm 46 and that might be the reason since younger people heal faster.

  • Yes, I forgot about the calcium. Like Keith, I have been taking 2 600 mg calcium tablets with vitamin D. I also eat sardines with bone in, and lots of spinach, just because it is good for me and because I like it.

  • Since my surgery, I've been taking a multi-vitamin, glucosamine/MSM with collagen, Fish Oil based omega-3, and Citrical with Bone Density Builder. The MSM and omega-3 are both good for connective tissues, and the other supplements provide a good amount of calcium, Vitamin D and other bone and tissue building nutrients.

    But like others said, I think a good diet is most important. Besides the supplements, I made sure I ate plenty of veggies, fruits and protein....I ate an apple, yogurt, skim milk, and spinach almost every day. I've read that animal based protein (especially red meat) can impede your body's ability to absorb calcium, so I tried to get a lot of soy-based protein. I also cut down on my caffeine intake.

    At my 8 week check-up, my x-rays were pretty impressive. The initial post-op rads taken the day of surgery showed the cadaver bone as very mottled, obviously separate bone. 8 week rads showed that the density and texture of the cadaver bone was almost exactly the same as the vertebrae above and below. There is only the slightest white line visible between C5 and the graft and C6 and the graft. My NS called it a "textbook perfect" fusion. I don't know how much of this rapid healing is due to my supplementation, but it sure didn't seem to hurt anything.

  • I am 2 weeks out from 2 level l4-l-5, l5=S1 and a 2 level descetomy and biopsy of sacral tumor, Surgery was 7 3/4 hours. Dietitian at hospital told me carnation instant breakfast with whole or 2 percent milk will give you lots f protein and essential vitamins. I have one every morning.
  • Calcium with Vit D, magnesium, glucosamine with chondroitin DHA fish oil and Iron.
    My Iron is still low after 7 months post op so I need to continue with this. I cant eat much animal protien as it effects my kidneys but I eat lot of veggies and juice veggies every day.

    Zach, who told you to take the arnica? If it was your Dr that is fine but I do know that it can cause changes to the consistency of the blood so if you are taking blood thinners post op be careful and make sure your Dr is aware of it.

    Blessings Sara O:)
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