Crawford Spine Center
Preparing for Surgery

Preparing for Spine Surgery at the Crawford Spine Center

As you look ahead to your child's spine surgery, you will likely have many questions. We are ready to answer them for you.

Our Approach to Care

Here in the Crawford Spine Center, each patient is assigned a spine nurse. This partnership between you and your spine nurse is unique. It is one of the many advantages that sets the Crawford Spine Center at Cincinnati Children's apart from other hospitals. This personal approach to care gives you and your child the added emotional support and knowledge you need to feel at ease and confident.

Your nurse will work directly with you, your child and your surgeon to develop a care plan from the moment surgery is decided on until well after treatment is complete. This nurse will:

  • Be assigned to you six to eight weeks before surgery.
  • Work with you one-on-one throughout your journey, from pre-surgery planning through the final stages of recovery at home.
  • Answer any questions you may have.
  • Offer mental, emotional and physical support for the well-being of you and your child.

Getting Started

When you first begin getting ready for spine surgery, you will be given an educational binder. This has information about what to expect before, during and after surgery. It has details for both you and your child, so you know what will be taking place over the next several weeks and months.


Your nurse will work with you to schedule the following:

  • Consults with an anesthesiologist and other medical specialists.
  • Testing such as lab work, an EKG and a pulmonary function test.
  • An information session where you will be able to meet a former patient who had spine surgery, listen to their experience and ask questions.
  • Traction and bending films (radiology tests).

Before Spine Surgery

You will meet with your spine nurse to discuss what to expect before surgery, receive supplies you’ll need before and afterward, and complete any other final preparations.