Which Foods Stimulate Bone Fusion After Back Surgery?

Female doctor talking to female patient lying in hospital bed
A doctor talks with a patient after surgery. (Image: Thomas Northcut/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

A spinal fusion permanently connects two or more bones in your spine. Although no foods specifically stimulate bone fusion, some types of food may help to stimulate healing and promote bone growth. Consult your physician for specific postoperative care.

Back Surgery

Most types of back injuries do not require surgery. However, in a small percentage of cases, your doctor may recommend back surgery. Some injuries or conditions that may require surgery include bone fractures, deformities, herniated disks and degenerative disk diseases. The type of back surgery your doctor performs will depend on your injury. Different types of back surgery include diskectomy, laminectomy, vertebroplasty or fusion. Spinal fusion is the only back surgery after which you would want to stimulate bone fusion.

Protein

Pork chop
A porkchop with vegetables. (Image: Siraphol/iStock/Getty Images)

Protein may help your body heal more quickly after surgery. Your body uses protein to build tissue, including white and blood cells, skin and muscles. The website Dietetics states that your body needs more protein after a wound. Low protein intake may lead to delayed healing after back surgery and problems with bone fusion. Foods high in protein include beef, pork, chicken, fish, eggs and dairy. On average, most people need between .33 grams and .5 grams of protein per pound of body weight.

Calcium

Muesli with yogurt and fresh fruits
Yogurt with granola and fruit. (Image: Barbara Dudzińska/iStock/Getty Images)

Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body. Nearly all of the calcium in your body is found in your bones. Calcium helps to prevent bone loss and strengthen bones, according to Drugs.com. Your doctor may recommend that you eat a diet high in calcium. Calcium-rich foods include milk, yogurt, cheese, fish and dark green vegetables. The Food and Nutrition Board recommends that adults ages 19 to 50 consume 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day.

Silicon

Bowl of cereal with spoon and edge of plate with pastry on it, close-up
A bowl of whole grain cereal. (Image: Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Silicon affects bone growth formation, according to the article “Silicates and Bone Formation.” Although the role of silicon in bone formation is not understood, silicon appears to improve bone health. A study published in 2004 in the “Journal of Bone and Mineral Research” found that silicon intake correlated positively with bone mineral density in men and premenopausal women. Cereals, grains, fruits and vegetables contain silicon. The average intake in the typical Western diet is 20 milligrams to 50 milligrams per day.

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