Spinal Fusion Surgery is the process of connecting two or more vertebrae of a spine. It is carried out to stabilize your spine or treat back issues like scoliosis. Since it’s major surgery, it has a lengthy recovery period that requires the patient to follow strict guidelines for complete rehabilitation. In what follows, we will walk you through the complete process of recovery from Spinal Fusion Surgery.
Learn about how Spinal Fusion is Carried out: All You Need to Know About Spinal Fusion
Complete recovery from spinal fusion surgery means that the bone graft placed has fused into the spine and has become a part of it. It takes between 4 to 6 months to fully recover. The process can be divided into three stages based on the time following the surgery.
When the patient wakes up after the surgery, he/she experiences pain and drowsiness that lasts for a couple of days. You will also find it hard to sit and adjust your posture due to pain. The doctor encourages patients to walk after a couple of hours of surgery so they can see the signs of any complications.
The doctor will administer pain medication regularly to manage the pain. These medications are normally given with an injection into the arm or leg. Sometimes, patients are also given a PCA pump with which they can control the quantity of pain medication going into their bodies. Blood samples are also taken after regular intervals to make sure that the oxygen level in the blood is well-maintained. You can expect to be discharged from the hospital within 2-4 days of your surgery.
Once you are discharged from the hospital, you will be required to see a physiotherapist immediately to learn how you can perform routine activities like getting dressed, getting in and out of the bed, sleeping, sitting, etc. These activities must be performed according to the guidelines given by the physical therapist so as not to put any amount of stress on your spine while it heals.
Patients are not given anything to eat for the first 24 hours of the surgery. This period can be prolonged to 48 hours if needed. You will slowly switch from liquids to solid food when your stomach is ready.
The pain during the first few days is extremely intense and therefore the doctor will have you take high potency painkillers and sleeping pills.
The initial period of recovery from Spinal Fusion entails the most care and precaution. A couple of weeks following your surgery, your doctor will allow you to walk without any aid but will restrict you from bending, lifting weights, and standing for a long time. For a smooth second stage of recovery from spinal fusion, you are recommended to take the following measures;
After 3 months of the surgery, you can safely say that the incision site is healed. Now you can engage in exercises to regain your back strength. It is important at this stage that you do not overdo anything that can put stress on your back. Go by the following guidelines for a smooth recovery from spinal fusion surgery;
Things need to go smoothly for the recovery from Spinal Fusion Surgery. Regular checkups with the doctors help ensure that you are making progress. However, there are a few things that can impede your recovery;
Here at Southern California Brain & Spine Surgery, we provide top-quality healthcare services to patients suffering from spine and brain diseases. You can get in touch with our Neurosurgeon Dr. Moksha Ranasinghe who is a well-known spine surgeon in Los Angeles with years of experience. You can read her patients’ reviews on Yelp and Healthgrades. Book an appointment right away by filling out the contact form or calling (213) 369-4583.