Unfortunately, there is no “right” answer to this question. There are way too many variables that impact recovery time. Your recovery time will vary based on the severity of the surgery, the location of the surgery, and the physical condition of the patient. If you are considering surgery, you will need to ask your doctor about the specific procedure that you are undergoing. Even though technology is far better than it used to be, even less invasive surgeries can leave you in bed and in pain for some time.
Fusion surgery often requires longer recovery time than other procedures. The healing process varies and your surgeon will want to monitor your progress before you return to a more active lifestyle. Many people will require anywhere from 4 weeks to several months to recover from a spinal fusion procedure. Most of the time, a patients activity will be limited for the first few weeks after surgery, as that is how long it takes to make sure proper healing is taking place.
What to Expect When Recovering from Surgery
As with most surgeries, the worst pain and discomfort occurs during the first few days after the procedure. As the body begins to heal and the inflammation and soreness fades, you should start to feel a little better. Most patients are given pain medication to help with the more painful days. If you feel like you are not getting some relief as time passes, please let your doctor no right away.
After you have healed, your physician may prescribe a rehabilitation program to make sure you maintain as much mobility as possible after the procedure.
If you have had surgery and are still experiencing pain, you should also consult your physician. It is possible that the procedure only corrected one of the pain causing variables that you are experiencing. For example, you can have a herniated disc operated on and corrected, and still have high levels of inflammation in your body. The surgery may have corrected the structural issue but the pain causing inflammation still remains.
Be sure to read about the other common causes of pain, as well as the most effective ways of treating pain, by visiting the treatments section of our website.