Spinal fusion surgery is commonly performed to reduce compression on a group of nerve roots and prevent excessive motion between two or more vertebrae. The fusion is achieved by placing bone graft material between the affected vertebrae. Surgery may be necessary when pressure caused by a herniated disc or other abnormality is causing severe, debilitating pain. Patients who are candidates for decompression and fusion are usually interested in knowing what to expect. We can understand that back surgery typically brings up the perception of a lengthy recovery. Here, we discuss the details you need to know.
The prognosis of recovery after spinal fusion is different for every patient. Factors such as overall physical wellness, age, lifestyle habits, and weight all influence the body as it heals. Whatever the outlook, we seek to help patients’ road to recovery is as smooth as possible.
The overall time that it takes to recover from spinal fusion surgery is three to six months.
- A few days may be spent in the hospital after surgery to focus on managing pain, wound care, and learning to get in and out of bed safely.
- Recovery continues at home with wound care and reintroducing different movements. Physical therapy may begin approximately 4 weeks after surgery.
- Once physical therapy begins, it continues for approximately 3 months. Based on your rehabilitation progress, your doctor will allow you to resume your normal activities.
- Food has a tremendous effect on the body regardless of injury or illness. When recovering from surgery, it is especially important to eat foods that are rich in essential vitamins and minerals, calcium, and other nutrients. Smoking and nicotine should be strictly avoided to ensure the proper fusion of the bone graft and vertebrae.
Regaining Range of Motion
While the bone graft is healing, it is imperative to limit lifting and extended movements. Driving can typically be resumed after about two weeks, depending on the use of prescription medication and the spinal segment that has been fused. After a few months of rehabilitation in physical therapy, the surgeon may approve more strenuous activities and exercise.
Dr. Lipani performs many spine surgeries every year, helping patients free themselves from chronic pain. For more information, contact a New Jersey office near you.