I'm going to have a spinal fusion at the L4/5 level. I'd like to do everything possible to have a good result. Are there any tips you can offer?

A positive attitude and desire to get well are always helpful. Good nutrition is needed to help the body heal. Use of tobacco products is known to delay or reduce bone healing.

If you smoke or use any tobacco products, talk to your doctor about quitting before the operation. There are many programs to help you with this.

Studies also show the use of NSAIDs prevents bone fusion. NSAIDs are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen. They are used to reduce pain and swelling. If you have problems with pain after the operation, talk to your doctor about other ways to control this pain in order to promote healing.

Follow your doctor's guidelines about rest, physical activity, and exercise. This is an important part of the recovery process.