You’re reading because you’re either contemplating spinal fusion therapy or you’re scheduled for it. You probably have more than a few questions but in this post, we’re addressing FAQs concerning recovery following the procedure.
Here, we’ll cover what you need to know about spinal fusion therapy, recovery duration and quality and your role in the healing process, as a patient.
Spinal fusion therapy deploys one of either a bone graft or synthetic bone to fuse two vertebrae together. The purpose of the procedure is expressly to limit the full range of motion. By doing so, further erosion of the implicated bone is prevented, protecting nerve roots.
For example, a herniated disc (when the nucleus of a disc bulges out of its protective coating) exerts pressure on adjacent nerves, producing serious pain. While the condition may be treated by other means if addressed quickly, delayed interventions may require spinal fusion for resulting pain.
It’s important to note, before we start discussing what you need to know about spinal fusion therapy and recovery, that mileage may vary. Recovery periods can be affected by numerous factors, complications being one. Other variables are state of general health, weight, age and physical fitness.
As a patient, your healthy recovery is supported by what you do to prepare and by what you do in recovery. Working with your doctor, it’s important to address possible roadblocks to recovery like cigarette smoking (and its negative impact on the healing process), weight and physical fitness.
We’ve already pointed out that recovery is impacted by numerous factors which vary from patient to patient. That said, most recoveries from spinal fusion therapy are accomplished in between 3 and 6 months.
Hospital recovery shouldn’t be more than several days, to care for surgical wounds, practice pain management and to demonstrate precautionary protocols will occur.
At home, you’ll start slowly moving about, as you begin to recover. About one month after going home, you’ll start working with a physical therapist to learn stretching exercises and other helpful, supportive movements. This usually continues for 3 months, gradually returning to various activities under your doctor’s guidance.
Take It Easy
As you recover, it’s important to remember that you’re only human. You’ve been through surgery. Resist the temptation to do too much, too soon.
No heavy lifting. Drive only when your doctor advises that it’s safe to.
There’s no better motivation than surgical recovery to improve the quality of your diet. Eating well is one of the building blocks of healthy healing. Choose foods rich in calcium, vitamins and minerals. Avoid fast food and remember to stay hydrated. Once you’re fully recovered, you’ll find that these habits will stick and become the norm.
With the support of medical professionals and your care givers at home, you’ll find that remaining positive about and engaged with your recovery is the key. Your active participation in the post-surgical period is of paramount importance. You’re part of the team!
Spine Consult NJ treats all conditions of the spine. Contact us.