Spinal fusion surgery recovery

How painful is spinal fusion recovery?

After surgery, you can expect your back to feel stiff and sore . You may have trouble sitting or standing in one position for very long and may need pain medicine in the weeks after your surgery. It may take 4 to 6 weeks to get back to doing simple activities, such as light housework.

Is a spinal fusion major surgery?

What is Spinal Fusion Surgery ? Spinal fusion is a major surgery and medical procedure used to treat back injuries. The surgery includes using rods and screws, and bone grafts to stabilize the spine . This surgery is usually a last resort after other treatments have been tried and failed.

How long does a spinal fusion surgery take?

can take as little as 2 hours, and as long as 6 or 7 hours , occasionally even longer. How long it takes depends on the number of vertebrae being fused, how badly the vertebrae are diseased, whether spinal nerves are pinched and need to be decompressed, and whether there is scarring from prior surgeries.

Can you bend after spinal fusion surgery?

Once the surgeon confirms on x-ray imaging that the fusion has completely solidified into one bone, a full return to an active lifestyle—including bending , lifting, and twisting—is permitted. This approval typically occurs about 6 months after the surgery , but sometimes it may take closer to 12 months.

How should I sleep after lumbar fusion?

The best sleeping position to reduce your pain after surgery is either on your back with your knees bent and a pillow under your knees or on your side with your knees bent and a pillow between your legs.

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Can you live a normal life after spinal fusion?

Think about the fact that your bones will not fully fuse ( after spinal fusion surgery ) for 12 to 18 months. Yes, you ‘ll be back to some semblance of ” normal ” well before that. But limit those elevated expectations and be real. For quite a while, you ‘ll have good days and not-so-good days.

Will I need a walker after spinal fusion?

Walking and Moving After Spinal Fusion Surgery Even getting out of bed requires a special technique—known as log-rolling—to avoid twisting the spine . In some cases, the physical therapist may advise the patient to use a walker for stability.

How long do you wear a back brace after spinal fusion?

Depending on the surgery and your general condition, you may only have to wear your back brace for two weeks or until your first post-op visit. Lumbar fusion surgery patients will have to wear their brace for a longer period of time, up to three months , especially as they return to work and to normal activities.

What is the success rate of spinal fusion surgery?

Depending on the condition the surgery is treating, spinal fusion has a 70 to 90% success rate .

What can you not do after spinal fusion?

Remember to keep things close to your body if you do lift or carry anything, and use your knees if you bend instead of your back. Do not drive for at least two weeks because of your recent surgery . After the two weeks do not drive if you are taking prescription pain medications or a muscle relaxer.

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How long are you on pain meds after spinal fusion?

The daily dose should not exceed 4000 milligrams (8 extra strength Tylenol pills). Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs). Avoiding aspirin products and NSAIDs—such as ibuprofen (Advil), naproxen (Aleve), or COX-2 inhibitors (Celebrex)—for at least 3 months after lumbar fusion is usually recommended.

What are the long term effects of spinal fusion?

Damage to a spinal nerve, which can cause weakness, pain , and bowel or bladder problems. Additional stress on the bones adjacent to the fused vertebrae. Persistent pain at the bone graft site. Blood clots in the legs that can be life-threatening if they travel to the lungs.

Can you mess up a spinal fusion?

Implant Failure in Spine Surgery An instrumented fusion can fail if there is not enough support to hold the spine while it is fusing. Therefore, spinal hardware (e.g. pedicle screws) may be used as an internal splint to hold the spine while it fuses after spine surgery .

Do you lose weight after back surgery?

Perhaps the most common cause of increased weight loss after a spine surgery procedure, is loss of appetite due to prescription pain killers. Some pain management drugs can cause a loss of appetite in certain patients, which can make it difficult to keep your weight at healthy levels post -op.

Can you sit in a recliner after spinal fusion?

It is okay to sit while eating and for half an hour at a time. Recliners are better than soft-backed chairs. Do not lift more than 10 pounds for the first 4 weeks after surgery . It is okay to climb stairs.

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