Managing Pain and Discomfort After Lumbar Spinal Fusion Surgery

15 Nov, 2023

It’s par for the course to expect your back to feel sore and stiff after surgery. You may find it difficult to stand or sit in a single position for long periods of time, and it may take 4-6 weeks before you can even start doing simple household activities or driving for long periods. Sometimes it takes up to a year for your back to completely heal. While your back heals, your doctor may recommend physiotherapy for rehabilitation, and you may need to wear a back brace. For desk jobs that don’t require physical labor, you may be able to head back to work after 4 to 6 weeks. If you are required to do light physical labor at your job, it may take 3 to 6 months. If your job involves significant amounts of physical movement and heavy lifting, you will probably have to transition into doing something less physically strenuous. Read on to learn more about how to manage pain and discomfort after undergoing lumbar fusion surgery.

Caring For Yourself At Home

Here’s a basic list of tips for recuperating and caring for yourself in the home:

  • Sleep well. Your body heals through sleep
  • Try to walk every day, even if you’re tired. Don’t push yourself, but build up the habit, as walking assists with blood flow and healing.
  • You may need to avoid lifting anything that would result in excessive strain on your back, which includes heavy grocery bags, a child, or heavy backpacks. 
  • Don’t strain yourself, and go by your doctor’s guidelines when it comes to activities like weight lifting or aerobic exercise.
  • Don’t drive for 2 to 4 weeks post-surgery until your doctor tells you it’s okay
  • You can have sex when you feel up to it, but not in positions that stress your back, and stop and readjust if you are in pain.

What Should I Eat After Surgery

After surgery you should be able to stick to your normal diet. Stay hydrated with plenty of fluids (unless your doctor tells you otherwise) and avoid rich foods if you feel sick. Constipation is a common problem following surgery, so try to avoid straining and up your fiber intake; talk to your doctor about laxatives if the problem persists.

Incision Care And Medicines

How you care for the incision depends on what type of materials were used to close the incision, and your doctor will give you specific instructions that you should follow. When taking medicines, always take pain medicines exactly as prescribed, and ask your doctor about over-the-counter medications. 


Follow your doctor’s guidelines as regards to back exercises. You may be referred to a physiotherapist in order to improve the flexibility and strength of your back and ensure proper mobility as you heal. 

Contact Us Today

Remember that lumbar fusion surgery is a major surgery that requires a significant amount of downtime and rehabilitation to heal from. Rate and success of healing depends from person to person, and it is essential to consult with your doctor regarding any changes you experience. Call The Spine and Scoliosis Center to schedule an appointment with a spine specialist in Florida today.


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