How Long Does It Take to Recover From Back Surgery

what to expect after spinal fusion surgery

Virtually any surgery involves a recovery period; back surgery is no exception. The amount of time it takes to recover from back surgery depends on several factors, including the exact procedure you underwent, your prior level of activity, and how you care for yourself in the days and weeks that follow.

That said, the following information will give you a better sense of what you can expect after spinal fusion surgery and other common procedures for your back. Keep these points in mind to ensure your recovery is as smooth and swift as possible.

What to Expect After Back Surgery for a Herniated Disc

Returning to work after this type back surgery typically occurs relatively fast. If you work at a desk job, it’s usually possible to start working again after two to four weeks. If your job involves manual labor, you may have to wait six to eight weeks to start working again. However, be sure to consult with a physical therapist before getting back to work. They can not only tell you what to expect after back surgery for a herniated disc, but also more tips, like how to sit, the best way to sleep after your procedure, and appropriate body mechanics to assist you in your daily activities.

In regards to how to sit after back surgery, discuss this with your physician and physical therapist. The goal is to maintain proper posture so you don’t end up putting excessive stress on your lower back. Learning how to sit after back surgery can be difficult, so the surgeon may also recommend ergonomic chairs designed specifically to optimize your recovery.

what to expect after spinal fusion surgery - proper posture

If you’re thinking about working out after back surgery, regardless of the procedure, make a point of consulting with an expert before diving back into a fitness routine. They’ll assess your condition and determine if exercise is safe.

What to Expect After Spinal Fusion Surgery

Spinal fusion surgery typically involves a longer recovery period than other back procedures. You’ll likely have to wear a back brace for several months. During this time, you should undergo physical therapy to learn exercises that will make returning to work after back surgery more easy and comfortable. Additionally, an expert can help you recover more safely and efficiently by designing a program tailored to your exact needs.

The Best Way to Sleep After Back Surgery

No matter what procedure you undergo, the best way to sleep after back surgery is to sleep face up. It’s also a good idea to keep your head, shoulders, and upper back elevated. You can achieve this by sleeping on more pillows than you normally would.

Additionally, place a pillow beneath your knees. This helps to keep your hips and knees bent. The position acts to reduce stress on your back, making it the best way to sleep after back surgery.

what to expect after spinal fusion surgery - sleeping

Again, it’s always important to coordinate with your doctor and physical therapists during this period. Your recovery will be a much easier experience if you work with professionals to monitor your condition.

Especially with physical therapy, you’ll be able to better understand what to expect after your back surgery for a herniated disc or spinal fusion surgery. To find a physical therapy clinic near you to assist after back surgery, use the BetterPT website orBetterPT app. With the right exercises and behavior, you’ll be prepared to return to work after back surgery in no time!

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