Spine Surgery Education Class

Spine Surgery Education Class

Our Back to School class prepares you for spine surgery at Rush Copley Medical Center, including providing pre-surgery testing to prevent infection.

Our Back to School class prepares you for spine surgery at Rush Copley Medical Center, including providing pre-surgery testing to prevent infection.

Our Back to School free spine surgery education class helps prepare you for your spine surgery at Rush Copley Medical Center.

What Our Back to School Spine Surgery Class Covers

Currently, our spine surgery education class is held virtually. Your surgeon’s office will sign you up for the class and provide you with the education packet that will be reviewed during class. The Rush Copley Medical Center spine coordinator will send you the link to join 1-2 days prior to the class. 

We provide the following:

  • Information on preparing for, and recovering from, spine surgery
  • How to reduce your risk of infection
  • Instructions for the special cloths to bathe with before surgery

Preventing Infection After Spine Surgery

  • Most patients do well after spine surgery. However, around 1 to 2% of patients may develop an infection after the operation. An infection in your spine may cause you to need antibiotics or more surgery, and increase the time it takes for you to recover.
  • All people carry bacteria on their skin, in their hair, and in their nose, mouth and stomach. The normal bacteria that we carry can cause infection after surgery. One such bacteria is called Staphylococcus aureus. About 20 to 25% of people carry it in their nose, where it usually does not cause a problem.
  • To decrease your risk of infection after spine surgery, we test you to find out if you carry Staphylococcus aureus in your nose.

Testing for Staphylococcus Aureus

  • We will check for two types of Staphylococcus aureus: methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA). 
  • This test will be done when you complete your COVID-19 swab before surgery. When you check-in at the outpatient lab to get your COVID-19 swab, you will need to tell them that you also need your MRSA and MSSA swab done.
  • We will rub a cotton swab gently on the inside of your nose. It may tickle, but it will not hurt. You do not need to fast for this test. You will receive a call from a Rush Copley staff member only if you test positive for MRSA or MSSA. You will not get a call if you are negative.
  • If you are positive for MRSA or MSSA in your nose, a prescription for a medication called mupirocin (Bactroban) will be called into your pharmacy. You will put a pea-sized amount of this ointment on a cotton swab in your nostril every morning and evening for five days. This medicine will kill the Staphylococcus aureus.
  • A positive test does not mean you have an infection, only that you tested positive for carrying this bacteria. Your surgery will not be canceled if you test positive for MRSA or MSSA.

Pre-surgery Bathing

  • Another way to decrease infection is to clean your skin with special cloths before your surgery.
  • We provide all spine surgery patients with cloths that have a special antibacterial soap (chlorhexidine gluconate) in them.
  • These cloths help reduce bacteria on your skin before surgery and need to be used whether you tested positive or negative for Staphylococcus aureus.
  • You will also be given complete instructions on how to use these cloths before your surgery.

Class Details

When: Thursdays at 11 a.m. The class lasts around 1 hour.

Where: Via video link or audio (phone access). The Rush Copley Medical Center spine coordinator will send you details to join the class.