The Book for Patients

Imagine that you are at a dinner party and six people who have successfully recovered from major spine surgery are gathered at a large table. Then, three spine surgeons, two physical therapists, and a chiropractor sit down to join them in a discussion about how to optimize for spine surgery. To top it off, a PhD who is a Registered Dietician Nutritionist (RDN) shows up to share how food plays a major role in optimizing for and recovering from sur­gery. Now imagine that they are gathered in this room just to help you understand if surgery is right for you. Well, that’s exactly where you’re sitting and exactly what we hope to do.

In the time it takes to read this book, those patients, surgeons, and experts are going to share their experiences and knowledge to give you the infor­mation you need to make a confident and well-informed decision about whether or not spine surgery is right for you. And should you make that decision, you will have the best information possible to achieve what every spine patient wants: to be you again.

Even though the surgeons have a duty to keep you properly in­formed, they really don’t have the ability to spend hours to address all of the fears that patients considering or preparing for surgery may have. All of us gathered at this table tried to find facts on the Internet. Sadly, much of the information on the Internet is guaranteed to scare the pants off of you, to put it po­litely! (I have no doubt you will look anyway. I did and so did every­one else.) The optimized approach takes into account many factors that prepare you for a successful outcome. Key to that success, in the opinion of the surgeons, physical therapists and patients, is education and a positive mental attitude.

Education usually brings to mind a very dry and boring experience of reviewing charts and data. You won’t find that in The Optimized Patient book. The most important part of your education is grasping and understanding the details of what your journey is going to entail and how to have your mind in the right place to have the most positive experience possible. The first ques­tion to ask yourself before they roll you in the operating room is, “Is my head on straight and am I ready to do the hard work of getting better?


I want to live my life free of pain. Please show me how to optimize.