What You Need to Know About the Side Effects of Spinal Fusion

What You Need to Know About the Side Effects of Spinal Fusion

What You Need to Know About the Side Effects of Spinal Fusion


Spinal fusion is a surgical procedure that often leads to significant improvements in a patient’s quality of life. It is typically recommended for those who suffer from conditions such as herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and scoliosis. However, as with any surgical procedure, spinal fusion can come with some side effects that patients should be aware of before undergoing the surgery. In this blog post, we will be discussing what patients can expect in terms of side effects following spinal fusion, in order to provide a better understanding of what to expect during their recovery.


1. Pain and discomfort

It is normal to experience some amount of pain after a spinal fusion surgery. The discomfort can be managed with prescribed pain medication, and patients may find they require less pain relief as the days go on. Although most patients experience relief from their pain after a spinal fusion, soreness in the back can continue for several weeks or even months after the procedure.

2. Difficulty moving

Patients may find that they have difficulty moving after spinal fusion surgery, particularly in the days and weeks immediately following the procedure. This can be due to the stiffness that often accompanies the healing process. Physical therapy can be an essential part of recovery to help patients rebuild their strength and range of motion.

3. Infection

While rare, there is always a risk of infection associated with any surgical procedure, including spinal fusion. Patients should monitor their incision sites carefully for signs of redness, swelling, or pain. If they notice any of these symptoms, they should contact their doctor immediately.

4. Numbness or tingling

Some patients may experience numbness or tingling in their legs or feet after a spinal fusion. This can be a result of irritation to the nerves during the surgical procedure. Patients should monitor these symptoms carefully and contact their doctor if they do not improve with time.

5. Psychological effects

Some patients may experience psychological side effects after spinal fusion surgery. This can include anxiety or depression, which can be caused by a combination of physical pain and the life changes that can result from the surgery. Patients should discuss their feelings with their doctor or therapist, as there are treatments available to help manage these emotions.



Although it has its risks, spinal fusion surgery can be a life-changing procedure for individuals who suffer from back pain and mobility issues. By understanding the potential side effects associated with the surgery, patients can better prepare for their recovery and make more informed decisions about whether this is the right choice for them. If you're considering spinal fusion surgery, be sure to speak to your doctor or orthopedic surgeon about the procedure's risks and benefits. At Central Florida Bone & Joint Institute, we have experienced orthopedic surgeons in Orange City, FL, contact us today to learn more about our services.