What To Expect 6 Months After Spinal Fusion

Curious about what to expect 6 months after spinal fusion? Discover the recovery process pain management strategies & returning to normal activities. Read more!

What To Expect 6 Months After Spinal Fusion
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 A spinal fusion surgery joins two or more vertebrae in the spine. The operation assists in stabilizing your spine, relieves discomfort, or treats spine disorders such as scoliosis.Spinal fusion surgery is a serious treatment that requires a lengthy recovery period.Most patients can only resume some of their everyday activities for at least 6 months, and some activities may need a year or more before they may be attempted.But a spinal fusion can significantly enhance people's quality of life. People who have undergone successful spinal fusions may usually return to their previous activity level after recovering.This blog will help you understand what to expect 6 months after spinal fusion.

What is Spinal Fusion?

Spinal fusion is a surgical procedure that permanently connects two or more vertebrae to form an entire solid bone with no gaps between them. The vertebrae are the spine's small, interconnecting bones.Extra bone is utilized in spinal fusion to cover the gap that normally occurs between the two distinct vertebrae. There will be no room between them after the bone heals.Spinal fusion is also referred to as:
  • Arthrodesis.
  • Fusion of the anterior spine.
  • Fusion of the lower spine.
  • Interbody fusion of the vertebrae.
Also Read: Spine Surgery FAQ

Why is spinal fusion surgery performed?

What To Expect 6 Months After Spinal FusionVertebral movement is a sign of various disorders which lead to back pain and neck pain. Listed below are some of the issues that spinal fusion may help with:
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Disc herniation.
  • Spondylolisthesis.
  • Scoliosis.
  • Stenosis of the spine.
  • Tumor.
  • Vertebrae break.
  • Infection.
Progressing from simple back problems to spinal fusion surgery may take some time. Except in the case of a fractured spine, surgery is usually not advised until other less invasive treatments have failed. Medications and physical therapy are the first-line treatments for back pain. The decision to do spinal surgery is based on the patient's medical history and tests such as an X-ray, an MRI Scans, and a physical exam.

What can you expect after the spinal fusion?

What To Expect 6 Months After Spinal FusionHere we have listed the spinal fusion recovery stage, so read thoroughly to know what you can expect after 6 months;

Few days after spinal fusion

After spinal fusion surgery, you will be hospitalized for 2 to 4 days. You may need to remain longer if you risk infection or other issues.Doctors will monitor you for discomfort and to confirm that the surgery was successful while you are in the hospital. Therapists will assist you in engaging in activities such as:
  • Getting in and out of bed.
  • Standing.
  • Getting dressed.
  • Walking.
  • Take care of your incision.
Your doctor may also prescribe a back brace. A back brace restricts your motion, allowing you to recuperate properly. A therapist can assist you in putting on and managing your back brace.

1 to 4 Weeks

Physical treatment and sessions may be required. You will continue to take drugs to help you control your pain.You can return to work at this point, depending on your employment. However, your options will be restricted. You should not do things, like
  • Bending
  • Twisting your back
  • lifting anything weighing more than 8 pounds.
  • Driving.

5 to 9 Weeks

Physical therapy sessions are essential at this point in the recovery process. By this stage, your spine has merged and grown together. Physical therapy might assist you in regaining your strength. You'll start with simple exercises like walking. You'll create simple daily jobs like driving and cleaning.Bending, lifting large things, and twisting activities must still be avoided. Your therapist will help you through the healing process. They can also provide suggestions to simplify tasks at home or work.Also Read: The Importance of Physiotherapy 

10 to 24 Weeks

The first three months following spinal fusion rehabilitation are spent resting and strengthening. After 10 weeks, physical activity and exercise will be the main focus of your healing.You should not bend and carry large things but can stretch and exercise.Your physical therapist can assist you in developing a training regimen, and you can also exercise independently.

6 to 12 Months

What to expect 6 months after spinal fusion may vary depending on your healing process, the specific details of your surgery, and your commitment to post-operative rehabilitation and recovery protocols. Most patients recover completely after 8 months of surgery. At this point, you will see your orthopedic expert to ensure the surgery went well with the fused vertebrae.After receiving clearance from your orthopedic specialist, you can resume typical activities like twisting, bending, and lifting! For the time being, it is advised that you avoid high-impact activities that include contact and extreme sports. These activities are often possible in the long run, but they influence the spine too much.

1-2 Year

After a year, you should be able to resume your normal activities.For up to 18 months after surgery, the vertebral bones in the spine continue to recover and fuse. If you had a nerve injury before or after surgery, the recovery period might be up to two years.Some things can impede your healing and cause you to take longer to recover. These are some examples:
  • Smoking use, as well as other nicotine-containing drugs
  • Obesity.
  • Osteoporosis.
  • Diabetes.
  • Nutritional deficiencies.
  • Medication containing steroids.
Also Read: 8 Easy Exercises To Help With Osteoporosis

How difficult is the recovery from a spinal fusion?

Following spinal fusion surgery, you may experience some pain and discomfort. Many people can benefit from pain medications.The most acute discomfort will occur in the days following surgery. It will lessen as you recuperate further. The physician will prescribe pain medicine to help you manage the discomfort in the first week or two.You should be in significantly less discomfort after your recovery than before the spinal fusion. This operation is intended to enhance your life quality and reduce discomfort.Call your surgeon immediately if you have extreme pain, discomfort, or swelling after your operation. This might be an indication of a problem, such as an infection. You may also check the research on Spinal Fusion for Chronic Low Back Pain: A 'Magic Bullet' or Wishful Thinking? Book an online appointment with the Best Blood Clot in India

What else do you need to know after spinal fusion?

Problems following a spinal fusion surgery are uncommon. When complications arise, one of the most common is that the spinal fusion fails to reduce pain.In this instance, you and your doctor may need to devise a new treatment strategy. This might be easy to tell once considerable healing has happened.Infections and blood clots are two major dangers to be aware of. If these uncommon but dangerous consequences occur, they generally occur within the first several weeks after surgery. You should immediately seek medical attention if you develop signs of any problem.Book an online appointment with the Best Physiotherapy And Rehabilitation Doctors in New-Delhi

Conclusion -

Recovery from spinal fusion surgery might be prolonged. Your body will require healing as your spine joins and your muscles strengthen. Staying moving and following your physical therapist's and surgeon's directions is critical during this period.You'll begin healing with rest and easy stretching, then progress to more vigorous activity.After 6 months, an Orthopedic professional will evaluate your spinal fusion. If everything is mended properly, they will clear you for most activities.Also Read: What is The Best Treatment For Spinal Stenosis