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How long does it take to recover from spinal fusion surgery?

ANSWER

Recovery from spinal fusion surgery takes longer than with other types of spinal surgery. Patients often have a three- or four-day hospital stay, with a possible stay on a rehabilitation unit. Patients typically wear a brace immediately after surgery. Rehabilitation is often necessary to rebuild strength and functioning. Activity level is gradually increased. Depending on the patient's age and health status, getting back to normal functioning can happen within two months, or up to six months later.

SOURCES: 

Michael Schaufele, MD, physiatrist and professor of orthopaedics at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. 

Rex Marco, MD, chief of spine surgery and musculoskeletal oncology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. 

F. Todd Wetzel, MD, professor of orthopaedic surgery and neurosurgery at Temple University School of Medicine. 

The North American Spine Society. 

National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. 

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise: "Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty for compression fractures of the spine." 

The Arthritis Foundation, vol 52.  Bulletin on the Rhuematic Diseases

University of Maryland Spine Center: "A Patient's Guide to Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion."

Reviewed by Ross Brakeville on January 21, 2017

SOURCES: 

Michael Schaufele, MD, physiatrist and professor of orthopaedics at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. 

Rex Marco, MD, chief of spine surgery and musculoskeletal oncology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. 

F. Todd Wetzel, MD, professor of orthopaedic surgery and neurosurgery at Temple University School of Medicine. 

The North American Spine Society. 

National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. 

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise: "Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty for compression fractures of the spine." 

The Arthritis Foundation, vol 52.  Bulletin on the Rhuematic Diseases

University of Maryland Spine Center: "A Patient's Guide to Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion."

Reviewed by Ross Brakeville on January 21, 2017

NEXT QUESTION:

Are there any drawbacks or side effects of spinal fusion surgery?

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