Given the complexity and fragility of the spinal cord, most surgical interventions are done to address problems in the structures that protect it also involve a high level of intricacy and a lengthy recovery.
If you’ve been contemplating getting spine surgery, you’re probably wondering what recovery entails or how long it might take you to get back to your regular activities. Discussed below are the recovery times for the different types of spine surgeries.
Spinal fusion is a procedure done to connect or “weld” two or more spinal vertebrae to stop the movement between them and address the symptoms.
Some conditions that can be treated with spinal fusion include the following:
- Spinal deformities
- Spinal instability
- Spinal stenosis
- Spinal fractures
You’ll likely be required to stay in the hospital for two to three days after getting a spinal fusion. It can take up to six weeks for you to be able to return to your normal activities, and it can take up to a year for your vertebrae to completely fuse.
Spinal decompression is a blanket term encompassing various procedures whose goal is to relieve pressure on the spinal nerves. Spinal decompression is often a last-resort intervention for bone spurs, disc herniation, degenerative disc disease (DDD), spinal stenosis, and scoliosis.
Outlined below are some types of spinal decompression procedures along with their estimated recovery times:
- Discectomy – This refers to the removal of a portion of or the entire spinal disc.
Recovery from discectomy can take four weeks or less. However, if your job involves heavy lifting or operating heavy machinery, you may have to wait at least 12 weeks to return to work.
- Laminectomy- This is a procedure done to remove part or all of the vertebral bone that covers the spinal canal (lamina).
Depending on your doctor’s advice, you might have to stay in the hospital for one to two days for monitoring following your laminectomy. Recovery usually takes four to six weeks. However, if laminectomy is done as a part of a larger procedure, recovery can take up to a few months.
- Foraminotomy – This is a procedure done to enlarge and expand the passageway through which a spinal nerve root exits the spinal canal.
Recovery from a foraminotomy is often slow and steady, but you can already do light physical activities eight weeks following your procedure. Full recovery can take up to 18 months.
- Laminotomy – Similar to a laminectomy, this procedure also involves removing a section of lamina.
Recovery from a laminotomy can take up to six weeks with physical therapy.
- Corpectomy – This involves the removal of a vertebra and the discs attached to it as well as inserting an implant to fill the remaining space.
The total recovery period for corpectomy ranges from six to eight weeks. During this time, you will need to see your surgeon for a follow-up appointment to monitor the progress of your healing.
Spinal Surgery in Westlake and Avon, Ohio
All in all, the length of your recovery hinges on a number of factors, including your orthopedic surgeon’s skills, your overall health, your care team’s pain management skills, and your adherence to your rehabilitation program and your doctor’s postoperative recommendations.
Here at Orthopaedic Associates, our board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons have built a solid reputation spanning more than 40 years. You can rest assured that we will take all the necessary measures to ensure you have a comfortable, quick, and successful recovery.
To learn more about our services or to see one of our orthopedic surgeons, contact our friendly staff at (440) 892-1440 or (866) 362-7624. You can also set up an appointment using our convenient online form.