Skip to Content

What Can You Expect During Back Surgery Recovery?

Attorney Mark Rufo PC

Back surgery can refer to various operations. Spinal fusions and discectomies, for example, are very different surgeries. One requires fusing two discs, whereas the other involves removing tissue from the area around the spine. WebMD explains that your recovery rate depends on your health before surgery and the type of procedure.

However, regardless of your surgery, there are a few general expectations to remember.

Hospital recovery

You may stay at the hospital for a few days. Sometimes patients stay longer in the case of a spinal fusion or when they have other health problems.

Doctors and nurses want you to move as soon as possible. You need to strengthen your arms and legs again using range-of-motion exercises. Eventually, you can move from your bed to a chair. Most patients have a walker for a short time following the surgery.

At-home recovery

You have to keep safety in mind for the first six weeks or so. You cannot lift heavy items like groceries or laundry. Likewise, you should not bend or grab things from the floor. Post-surgery, you have to keep your incision site dry and clean. You may have a nurse to help you at first. Your nurse can tell you when to begin showering again.

Physical therapy also continues after you return home. Your circumstance will dictate the type of physical therapy you need and how often you need to show up.

Returning to normal may take weeks to months, depending on the severity of your injury. Some patients start work after two or three weeks, whereas others need three months before they can return to normal.