Recovery from spine surgery - in the hospital and at home.
In general, most spine surgeries take between 90 minutes and 2 hours. If your surgery is in the morning, you might start out of bed activity later that day, if cleared by your doctor. If your surgery is in the afternoon, you will probably get out of bed the next morning. If indicated by your physician, rehabilitation and/or nursing staff members will instruct you on exercises you can do in bed or standing at the bedside.
A typical length of stay in the Regional Spine center is 1 to 4 days following surgery, depending on the extent of your surgery, as well as your pain control and activity tolerance. Some patients leave the RSC as early as the day after surgery. You should be able to walk comfortably before being discharged to home. If continued therapy is required at home, this will be ordered by your physician and coordinated by the case manager in the Regional Spine Center.
If you work and your job requires a lot of standing, movement or physical exertion, it may be approximately 4 to 6 weeks after surgery before you can return to work. Some types of heavy labor may not be advisable following spine surgery. This is an important issue to discuss with your surgeon as you plan for surgery.
While it varies for each patient, many people are able to start driving within 1 to 2 weeks and resume recreational activities such as hiking or golf within 4 to 6 weeks after surgery. Your surgeon will give you specific guidelines for activity based on your individual circumstances.