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Doctor insights on: Minimally Invasive Spinal Fusion Surgery

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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

Dr. Thomas Dowling
1,106 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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What activities should I avoid after spinal fusion surgery?

What activities should I avoid after spinal fusion surgery?

Depends...: This really depends on where in the spine your fusion is (cervical, thoracic, lumbar), how many levels were done, how long ago your procedure was, and if you have fully fused based on imaging. ...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 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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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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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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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

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