If you have a serious back problem, you may be thinking about spinal fusion surgery. Your primary care doctor may have referred you to a neurosurgeon, and an experienced neurosurgeon will be responsible for carrying out the procedure. Once the procedure is done, your recovery process will begin. What should you expect during your recovery process following spinal fusion surgery? It is important to listen to the advice of an experienced medical professional, such as Dr.Philip Henkin, on this topic.
Leaving the Hospital
The first step in the recovery process is to reach a point where you can be discharged from the hospital. According to Dr.Philip Henkin, after the procedure is done, you will head to the PACU area, which stands for post-anesthesia care unit. There, you will wake up slowly as the anesthesia wears off. You may not feel that sore when you wake up from the procedure because you may still have some anesthesia in your body. Gradually, your body will wake up, and you will need to show that you can eat, drink, and use the bathroom on your own before you can be discharged from the hospital.
What To Expect When You Go Home
Once you go home from the hospital, your recovery process will continue. You may still feel a bit stiff, and you might have a hard time sitting in the same position for very long. You may also need some light pain medicine during the immediate weeks after your surgery. It may take approximately a month before you can return to doing simple work around the house. If your job does not require manual labor, you may be able to go back to work in about a month or two. If you do perform manual labor as part of your job, it may take three or four months before you can go back to work, according to Dr. Philip Henkin.
Finishing the Recovery Process
It is not unusual for the entire recovery process to take approximately six months to a year. During this time, Dr. Philip Henkin says that you should be working with a physical therapist. A physical therapist will target weaker areas of your body, strengthening them. This is important for restoring flexibility and range of motion in your back. Your physical therapist will also help you learn how to sit, stand, and walk after spinal fusion surgery.
Every Recovery Process Is a Bit Different
Dr. Philip Henkin says that every recovery process is unique and tailored to meet the needs of the patient. The exact course of your recovery will depend on the reason why you had spinal fusion surgery, how the surgery goes, and how quickly your body heals. It is important for you to talk with your neurosurgeon about your recovery process before the procedure begins. That way, you can have a plan in place to take care of yourself and your family after the procedure is finished.