Recovery After Spinal surgery: Achieving Normalcy Again

12 Mar, 2024

Spinal surgery is a major operation, and it may feel overwhelming if you find out you may be a candidate for it. In order to make the right decision for your individual health and happiness, it’s essential to educate yourself and understand the reasons behind getting the surgery, the procedures involved, the recovery process, and how you can expect to feel when healed. The Spine and Scoliosis Center is here to answer some of your questions and assist in making a decision on whether or not you should go in for spinal fusion surgery.

What Spinal/Back Surgery Is

Spinal fusion surgery is a type of surgery which joins two or more bones in the spine in order to stabilize the spine, correct an issue, or lower the pain threshold. By connecting the two bones that are causing discomfort, the fused bones are unable to move around like they used to. This prevents you from stretching or straining surrounding ligaments, nerves, and muscles that may have been causing discomfort. Although spinal flexibility is reduced by this surgery, many spinal fusions limit motion minally and involve only tiny segments of the spine. Spinal surgery is generally offered to patients whose pain is unable to be relieved through more conservative methods like physical therapy, pain medication, chiropractic care, and rest. The surgery is typically a last resort for patients suffering from chronic pain.

How Spinal/Back Surgery Is Performed

Spinal surgery is performed by a board-licensed surgeon while the patient is under general anesthesia. The specific technique varies depending on the area of the spine where bones need to be fused, why spinal fusion is necessary, and occasionally the general body shape and condition of the patient. Before your surgery is scheduled, you and your physician will discuss the approach they will use during your surgery. Some common approaches you may discuss:

  • Anterior approach: When the surgeon accesses your spine from the front through making an incision in the bottom half of the abdomen
  • Posterior approach: The surgeon accesses the spine from the back through an incision down the middle of the back over the vertebrae they aim to fuse. 
  • Lateral approach: Your surgeon approaches from the side of the body

After the incision is made during surgery, your surgeon will move your back muscles out of the way and remove the intervertebral disc between the affected vertebrae and replace it with bone or synthetic bone. Everything will be anchored in place with special screws. When the surgery is complete, the surgeon closes the layers of skin around the incision. Your physician will go over everything with you in finer detail prior to the procedure, which is when you should voice any concerns and questions you may have. 

Recovery Process

Patients may take weeks or months to recover from spinal fusion surgery, but your recovery process will depend largely on a variety of factors such as your general fitness. You should be able to be out of the hospital within a few days, and begin driving in a few weeks after stopping opioid medications. Returning to sedentary jobs will typically take much less time than more physical ones.

Contact Us Today

Spinal fusion surgery is an option for those who suffer from chronic pain and have exhausted all other choices. Call The Spine and Scoliosis Center to consult with a top Florida spinal specialist today.


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