Lumbar Spinal Fusion: What to Expect During Recovery
Following surgery, you can expect your back to be stiff and sore. You might have a problem sitting or standing in one position for long and might require pain medication in the weeks following your surgery. It might take four to six weeks to get back to accomplishing simple activities, like light housework. It may take six months to a year for your back to improve.
You might need to use a back brace while your back recovers. And your physician may have you go to physical therapy. If your career doesn't require physical labor, you will likely be able to return to work after a month or two. If your job involves little physical labor, it may take three to six months. Most people whose careers involve heavy labor do not return to their jobs.
The following care sheet from our orthopedic surgeon in Debary offers you a general theory of how long it will take for your recovery. But every person heals at a distinct pace. So follow the measures below to get better as fast as possible.
How to care for yourself following surgery
- Rest when you are tired. Getting adequate sleep will assist you in recovery.
- Attempt walking every day. Begin by walking a bit more than you walked the previous day. Little by little, raise the quantity you walk. Walking increases blood flow and helps deter pneumonia and constipation. Walking might also reduce your muscle soreness following surgery.
- If your doctor advises, you should bypass lifting anything that causes undue stress on your back. This can include a child, weighty groceries and milk jugs, a hefty briefcase or pack, cat litter and dog food bags, or a vacuum.
- Bypass strenuous movements, like bike riding, weight lifting, jogging, or aerobics, until your physician gives you the all-clear.
- No driving for two to four weeks following your surgery or until your physician clears you.
- Avoid riding in an automobile for more than half an hour at a time for two to four weeks following surgery. If you must ride in a vehicle for longer distances, frequently stop to walk around and stretch your legs.
- Attempt to modify your position around every half an hour while sitting or standing to help reduce your back pain while healing.
- You must take at least four to six weeks off of work. It leans on the kind of work you do and how you are feeling.
- You can have sex as soon as you feel capable, but bypass positions that place stress on your back or induce pain.
- You can consume your regular diet. If your belly is sore, try bland, low-fat meals like plain rice, toast, broiled chicken, and yogurt.
- Drink an abundance of fluids unless your physician tells you differently.
- You might notice that your bowel movements are irregular following your surgery. This is normal. Attempt to avoid constipation and pushing with bowel movements. You may need to take a fiber supplement daily. If you have not experienced a bowel movement after a few days, consult your physician about taking a gentle laxative.
We hope this helps you better understand what to expect from your recovery from spinal fusion surgery. Contact us today if you need an orthopedic surgeon in Debary. We are here to help.