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What to Expect From Lumbar Fusion Surgery Recovery

October 29, 2022

Lumbar fusion is a type of surgery used to treat conditions affecting the lumbar spine, such as degenerative disc disease, spondylolisthesis, and spinal stenosis. The surgery involves fusing vertebrae in the spine using bone grafts and metal hardware. If you’re considering lumbar fusion surgery or have already undergone the procedure, you’re probably wondering what the recovery process will be like. Lumbar fusion surgery is a major operation, and recovery time can vary depending on the individual. Here’s a brief overview of what you can expect during your lumbar fusion surgery recovery time.

Immediately Following Surgery

After your surgery, you will be taken to a recovery room, where you will be closely monitored. You will probably feel groggy and disoriented from the anesthesia. Once you are awake and alert, you will be transferred to your hospital room.

You can expect some pain and discomfort after your surgery. Your surgeon will prescribe pain medication to help manage your pain. It is essential to take your pain medication as prescribed. Doing so will help you heal properly and reduce your risk of developing complications during your lumbar fusion surgery recovery time.

You may also have drains near your incisions to help remove excess fluid from the surgical site. These drains are typically removed within a few days after surgery.

In the Hospital

Most people stay in the hospital for 3-5 days after lumbar fusion surgery. During this time, you will continue to take pain medication and rest as much as possible. A physical therapist will also teach you some exercises while in the hospital to help reduce swelling and prevent blood clots from forming in your legs.

Walking around as much as possible while in the hospital is essential so your muscles do not become too weak from inactivity. Walking also helps promote healing by increasing blood flow to the surgical site.

At Home

Once you are discharged from the hospital, you will need to continue taking it easy for several weeks as your body heals. You can expect some residual pain and discomfort during this time. Most people take 4-6 weeks before they feel well enough to return to work or their usual activities.

Your surgeon will probably give you a list of activities you should avoid during your recovery period, such as lifting heavy objects, bending or twisting at the waist, and participating in high-impact activities like running or playing tennis. In addition, you will likely have follow-up appointments scheduled with your surgeon during your recovery period so that they can monitor your healing progress and make sure that everything is going according to plan.

Recovery Times Vary

Lumbar fusion surgery recovery time can vary from person to person, but most people can expect to be back to their normal level of activity within two to three months. There will undoubtedly be some ups and downs during the recovery process, but if you take things slow and follow your doctor’s orders, you should fully recover without any significant complications.

If you are considering lumbar fusion surgery, speak with the spine surgery specialists at All Spine Care. Our entire team is dedicated to putting patients first and providing the best possible treatment experience. Rest assured, we will tell you what to expect during your recovery to better prepare yourself mentally and physically for what lies ahead.

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