Spine Camp: A Guide to Spine Surgery

Spine Camp Education

MyMichigan Health offers an in-person and online Spine Camp educational class free of charge to all pre-operative spine surgery patients and their chosen support person. We have found that providing educational information prior to surgery in an environment where the patient can ask questions leads to more successful post-surgical outcomes, higher patient comfort and satisfaction. This class will provide you information about preparing for surgery, home safety, equipment needs, precautions and limitations after surgery as well as pain management, exercises, discharge planning and more.

In-person classes are held every Tuesday from 9 to 11 a.m. in conference rooms H1221 and H1224, near the hospital entrance at MyMichigan Medical Center Midland.

For patients and care givers who prefer virtual learning or are unable to attend in person, these online pages and videos will provide you the necessary education.

This information will guide you through the preoperative, operative and postoperative topics and give you a better idea of what to expect during your surgical experience.

Pre-Surgical Checklist

  1. Complete Spine Education online or in-person.
  2. Talk to a nurse from the MSSIC program and complete the baseline questionnaire.
  3. Talk to a Pre-Admissions nurse from “Polly” to review your health history for Anesthesia (If you have not already scheduled your Pre-Admission phone appointment, please call (989) 633-5252 and ask for "Polly.")
  4. Discuss your Advanced Medical Directives, Power of Attorney and Living Will with your family.
  5. Purchase or receive your 10-ounce serving of Ensure Pre-Surgery Clear Liquid Drink to have the morning of surgery. (As an alternative or for diabetic patients, 12-ounce 100% White Grape Juice, no added sugar can be used as a substitute.)
    • Finish drinking beverage no later than 2 hours before scheduled arrival time.
  6. If requested by your medical team, receive additional education, coaching or guidance for weight management, nutrition, smoking cessation, and/or diabetes management to improve your pre-surgical health.
  7. If requested by your medical team, complete all lab work and testing at least 2 days before your surgery.
  8. If requested by your medical team, have any medical and/or cardiac clearance appointment.

Pre-Surgical Readiness Plan

  1. Make sure you have a support person; someone who will help you with your recovery.
  2. Make sure you have a person to drive you home.
  3. Meal prep recommendations:
    • Purchase groceries (easy to prepare, healthy food options).
    • Pre-make and freeze meals before surgery.
  4. Make arrangements for:
    • Child care/assistance with children or other dependents.
    • Pet care/assistance with pets.
    • Driver for post-surgical follow-up appointments and errands.
    • Assistance with household responsibilities (laundry, changing linens, etc.)
    • Visiting nursing, if you do not have other help available.
    • Most patients do not qualify for after surgical inpatient rehab and will need to make arrangements for assistance in their home either from family, friends, or support services such as visiting nurses.
  5. Household preparations:
    • Remove any fall hazards around my home (rugs, cords, etc.)
    • Move items from high or low cupboards to places I can easily reach them (counter-height.)

If you are worried about leaving the hospital safely or your abilities to care for yourself after surgery, call MyMichigan Health Spine Care Program Specialist, Kara Haskins, B.S.N., R.N., M.P.H., at (989) 794-0340.

Have Questions?

Need help or have questions about your upcoming surgery or Spine Camp class? We can help answer all your questions.

Brittany Kuehnl, B.S.N., R.N.
MSSIC Clinical Data Abstractor
(989) 794-3002

Kara Haskins, B.S.N., R.N., M.P.H.
Spine Care Program Specialist
(989) 794-0340