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Doctor insights on: How Long Does Spinal Fusion Surgery Take

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How long does it usually take to recover from spinal fusion surgery?

How long does it usually take to recover from spinal fusion surgery?

How extensive?: Full bone healing can take up to a year, depending on the technique and materials used. Recovery from surgery can be in a few months for smaller, less extensive operations. However, long segment fusions can take much longer to recover from. ...Read more

Dr. Thomas Dowling
1,119 Doctors shared insights

Spinal Fusion (Definition)

Surgery to cause two or more spine segments to be joined together through a growth of bone initiated by the placement of bone tissue or graft taken from the patient or from a donor source or even a manufactured source which could include: bone growth proteins and particulate structures that act as scaffolds for bone to grow on and may include implants or instrumentation ...Read more


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How long does it generally take to recover from spinal fusion surgery?

Weeks to months: Recovery from a spinal fusion can be considered in two phases. The first would be a recovery from the pain of the procedure, which varies based upon the surgical approach used, the number of levels fused, and the associated pathologies treated. This takes about 2 to 4 weeks. The second phase, which is the actual bone healing, takes about a minimum of 5 months to occur clinically. ...Read more

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I had major back surgery on january 6 the replace three disc and spinal fusion I'm doing pt how long will it take for me to get my energy back?

I had major back surgery on january 6 the replace three disc and spinal fusion I'm doing pt how long will it take for me to get my energy back?

Back surgery: This answer depends on many factors. Your doctor is the one that knows your exact situation and can answer your questions. ...Read more

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How long will I be off work from having spinal fusion surgery?

Depends: It depends on what is required at surgery and what type of work you do. Most people can return to most activities within 6 to 12 weeks. ...Read more

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For how long is it normal to be in pain after spinal fusion surgery?

For how long is it normal to be in pain after spinal fusion surgery?

Varies greatly: Healing can take up to six months, and sometimes people will continue to have pain. Acute, post surgical pain should subside by three to six weeks, but many have lasting nerve pain afterwards. The important thing to remember is that the surgery was to prevent functional loss. Treating the pain is the next step to get back normalcy. Best of luck! ...Read more

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How do I take care of myself after spinal fusion surgery if I live alone?

How do I take care of myself after spinal fusion surgery if I live alone?

Assistance: When I have patients who live alone and are preparing to have spinal fusion surgery, it is wise to consider the aftercare situation. If there is a poor support system available to be able to go home, options such as in-patient rehab or nursing may need to be arranged (preferably before the surgery). Depending upon the surgery, home care assistance may suffice. ...Read more

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What are the long term effects of spinal fusion surgery?

Degeneration: One of the most common issues young patients that have spinal fusion is the development of "adjacent level degeneration" which is the breakdown of the segment above your spine that was fused leading to more back pain or nerve issues. This occurs at around 3%/year so in 30 years you wound have an average of 90% chance of having another problem. You should discuss with your spinal surgeon. ...Read more

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How long is rehab after spinal fusion? How long after my spinal fusion surgery can I expect to be in rehab? .

It varies.: Because every individual recovers at a different rate, it is difficult to give an exact length of rehabilitation time. Generally speaking, most patients can expect a couple of weeks for rehabilitation after a single level spinal fusion surgery. ...Read more

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Can I take 2 xanax morning of spinal fusion surgery?

Can I take 2 xanax morning of spinal fusion surgery?

Instructions?: Follow the pre-surgical instructions from the surgeons/anesthesiologists. ...Read more

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How long can I expect to be off the job after a spinal fusion surgery?

Depends on job: 6weeks got sedentary jobs 3 months or longer for demanding jobs. ...Read more

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How long after decompression/spinal fusion surgery should nerve pain normally continue?

How long after decompression/spinal fusion surgery should nerve pain normally continue?

It varies: It varies from person to person, perhaps depending on the severity of the pressure, the time the nerve has been compressed, the amount of inflammation, and other variables. Some are blessed with immediate relief. For others, it take take a month or so for the pain to subside. Sometimes anti-inflammatory medicine may help speed the healing, but ask your doctor before taking or if no relief. ...Read more

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What spinal fusion surgery?

What spinal fusion surgery?

Joining bone togethe: A spinal fusion is a procedure used to join two spinal motion units together. It is designed to stop all motion of the motion segment. It may be performed with or without the usages of screws and rods. It is performed for spinal instability. It is like welding 2 pieces of metal together. ...Read more

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How harmful is a spinal fusion surgery?

How harmful is a spinal fusion surgery?

Depends if it: Is necessary. If you are having motor weakness or instability of the spine, then it is beneficial. If you are not, then follow up on other options as these surgeries, when not indicated, more often then not trade pain at one level for pain at the next level from the fusion. These surgeries can lead to pain if not needed, so make sure it is absolute necessary before moving ahead. ...Read more

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What happens after a spinal fusion surgery?

What happens after a spinal fusion surgery?

Depends: There are many types of spinal fusion procedures, with different anatomical approaches, locations, implants, and techniques. The most important aspect of the surgery is the actual bone growth that occurs over months (yrs) that causes the bones treated to fuse (connect) with a solid bone connection. For more specific information, talk to your surgeon. ...Read more

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What to do if I have spinal fusion surgery?

What to do if I have spinal fusion surgery?

Go slow: Avoid lifting over 10 lbs, or excessive bending or twisting. Where was the location of the operation? Lumbar or cervical spine? (lower back or neck?)
walking is usually good. Ask your surgeon to be sure.
Would continue to use a brace. ...Read more

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Can you give me more info on spinal fusion surgery?

Many types: There are many types of spinal fusions. For more information, check out spine-health. Com. ...Read more

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What are the indications for spinal fusion surgery?

Spinal Instability: Spine fusion is indicated when spinal stability and/or alignment has been compromised, resulting in risk for further spinal collapse, deformity, or neurological compression/injury. Surgical fusion restores immediate stability and alignment and creates an environment where the vertebra can fuse in a functionally acceptable position. Conditions include fracture, deformity, and spondylolisthesis. ...Read more

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What would the pros and cons of spinal fusion surgery be?

What would the pros and cons of spinal fusion surgery be?

More pro than cons: The surgery is indicated to save a nerve that has been pressure by a herniated disc, otherwise the patient will end up with permanent nerve damage.not for pain.
the pros for fusion is to stabilize the level above and below the herniated disc level, to prevent recurrence or other level collapsing, preferably with a bone graft.
the cons may be limit of motion depending how many level has to be fused.
...Read more

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What activities should I avoid after spinal fusion surgery?

Assuming that you: Are fully healed and rehabilitated you should try to avoid any activities that involve combined repetitive flexion and rotation like racquet sports and golf. Heavy contact sports are not advisable like rugby or tackle football. If asking in post op period, this is dependent on type and extent of fusion as well as your health/ conditioning including your diagnosis----your surgeon will guide you. ...Read more

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How should I feel after I wake up from spinal fusion surgery?

How should I feel after I wake up from spinal fusion surgery?

Different pain.: After a fusion surgery you will have pain. However this should be more incisional type pain. The pain you had prior should be different and you will notice that right away. ...Read more

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How much weight should you loose before spinal fusion surgery?

Best shape possible: It is important to be in the best pre-operative health possible to give yourself the best chance of getting a good result. This includes losing weight. It is sometimes difficult to exercise and diet when one has spine related pain. Talk to your surgeon to layout a plan to help get you to lose weight and get in the best shape possible. ...Read more

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How much pain should I expect to be in after getting spinal fusion surgery?

Varies: Varies on the type of fusion & approach, number of levels, whether you are a smoker, your overall fitness & condition as well as health & you age. The size of your surgical incision plays a role especially if minimally invasive or not & the underlying reason for your surgery in the first place as to it's success rate in relieving pain if that was one of the reasons for the surgery to begin with. ...Read more

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Why is spinal fusion pain still excruciating even after surgery 5 months ago?

Pain: Sometimes people can have pain because the screws have loosened or an infection has developed. Sometimes it just takes a long time for the pain to diminish. Either way be sure to follow up with your surgeon to evaluate your back to ensure everything is healing appropriately. ...Read more

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I am getting spinal fusion surgery, what can I expect the days after the surgery?

I am getting spinal fusion surgery, what can I expect the days after the surgery?

Surgery teaching: Common practice prior to any fusion surgery is to go through surgery teaching. This typically entails going through videos of what is going to happen during the procedure, discusses realistic expectations to result from the surgery, and what to expect after the surgery. ...Read more

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How much can I expect to be suffering from the pain after getting spinal fusion surgery?

Spine fusion: Surgery is painful whether open or minimally invasive. I tell my patients expect the pain they came to have surgery for whether back or legs to be improved, but that they will have new surgical back pain that is roughest in first few days. Pain meds are key and by 6 weeks to 6 months with physical therapy things should be better and back to normal. ...Read more

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I wish I would have been given more specific rcovery plans and expectations coming home from spinal fusion surgery 2 weeks ago. How much can I do?

I wish I would have been given more specific rcovery plans and expectations coming home from spinal fusion surgery 2 weeks ago. How much can I do?

This depends on: Several variables: age, health, weight & nutritional status, how in shape you are, smoking history, reason for surgery, fusion type with # of levels involved & approach, the experience of your surgeon, to name a few. If a smoker, 3-8x failure rate of non smoker & overweight higher risk of complications especially if diabetic. Need to discuss with surgeon! It can take up to 1 year to heal. ...Read more

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I wish I would have been given more specific rcovery plans and expectations upon coming home from spinal fusion surgery 2 weeks ago. What can I do?

Spine fusion: It's all about creating realistic expectations. I tell my fusion patients whether minimally invasive or open that they are going to hurt and have a rough road the first week and every day after should be a little better with a few hiccups along the way. At 6 to 10 weeks they should be feeling pretty good, some need a little longer. ...Read more

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I had a spinal fusion done 3 years ago, I have more pain n problems then before I had the surgery I had a whole spinal fusion. What can I do for this.

Tertiary care center: Spinal fusion at age 16 is a special situation and you will not get answers through internet forums. You need to circle back with your spine specialist, ideally at a university spine center. Hope this helps. ...Read more

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What concerns should I have about spinal fusion surgery? I'm very apprehensive about my upcoming spinal fusion surgery. What should I expect from this procedure and the recovery afterward?

What concerns should I have about spinal fusion surgery? I'm very apprehensive about my upcoming spinal fusion surgery. What should I expect from this procedure and the recovery afterward?

This depends on: Several variables: your age, your health, your weight status & nutritional status, how in shape you are, smoking history, reason for surgery, type of surgery with number of levels involved as well as approach, the experience of your surgeon, to name a few. If a smoker, 3-8x failure rate of non smoker & overweight higher risk of complications especially if diabetic. Need to discuss with surgeon! ...Read more

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Could a spinal fusion surgery stunt your growth?

Could a spinal fusion surgery stunt your growth?

Perhaps: It depends on the age of the person having the fusion (the younger you are, the more growth that may be lost), the number of bones involved (the more fused, the more potential loss). On the other hand, correcting some deformities can modestly increase height. For some young children, some pediatric deformity surgeons will use "growing rods, " delaying fusion as long as possible. Ask your surgeon. ...Read more

Fusion (Definition)

A fusion gets rid of a joint or disk between to bones, getting the bones to join together with bone between them. If successful, it eliminates almost all the motion between the bones. Sometimes fusion simply occur as a result of disease, rarely from aging. Most of the time ...Read more