What to Expect During Recovery
The hospital stay is usually 1 to 2 days. After the surgery, you may feel some pain. The doctor will also prescribe some pain medications to prevent post-operative pain and discomfort. The fusion of bones takes time. It may take several months for the bones to fuse completely, although your comfort level will improve faster. During the healing time, the spine should be kept in proper alignment. You will be asked to wear a brace or a corset to restrict bending and promote healing of the spine. You will be taught by the healthcare team how to sit, stand, walk, and reposition properly.
Your symptoms will gradually improve as well as your activity level. Initially, the doctor may recommend only light activities like walking. As you gain strength, you will be able to increase your activity level. Physical therapy is usually started 4-6 weeks after the surgery. You will be advised to avoid twisting or bending backward.
You should always call your doctor if you notice an increase in redness, bleeding, swelling or if you have a fever. During recovery, it is very important to follow your doctor’s instructions about work, exercise, physical therapy, diet and follow-up visits.