It typically takes about 4 to 6 weeks to return to an office or sedentary job, but it can take 3 months or longer to return to activities that are more physical. Despite the name of the surgery, the spine is not actually fused during a lumbar spinal fusion procedure. The new bone will immobilize the spine at that segment.
Why it's done
Screws, cages, plates, and rods may be implanted during surgery to stabilize the area while the bone heals and becomes solid. Some patients also wear a brace during recovery that limits motion. The bone continues to mature and solidify over 12 to 18 months after the surgery. Many people with a single-level fusion are able to return to all activities—even vigorous ones such as weightlifting or construction work—about 6 months after surgery.
What is spinal fusion?
While it typically takes 3 to 6 months for adjacent vertebrae to fuse into one solid bone after surgery, the healing and fusion process may take longer in some patients due to:. Other factors can also slow down recovery. For example, engaging in higher risk activities such as bending, lifting, or twisting during the early part of recovery may result in a setback or require a second surgery.
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Video: Microendoscopic Spinal Surgery. Lumbar Laminectomy Animation.
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Lumbar Fusion Spine Surgery
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Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery – How Does It Work?
Continue Reading:. What Is Microdiscectomy? People who found walking difficult before surgery because of leg pain or weakness are often able to walk further and more easily after the operation. Although lumbar decompression is often successful, like all types of surgery it carries a risk of complications.
The spine is made up of 24 individual bones, called vertebrae, which are stacked on top of each other to form the spinal column. In between each vertebra are protective, circular pads of tissue called discs, which cushion the vertebrae during activities such as walking and running. The spinal canal runs through the centre of the spinal column. It contains and protects the spinal cord and nerves. Page last reviewed: 23 July Next review due: 23 July
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