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Spinal Fusion. How long is recovery? To be doing things like driving, exercise, housework etc.

By January 29, 2010 - 5:36am
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Hi, I had a spinal fracture L1 and L2 after a fall whilst on holiday. I have had surgery when i got back to the UK as this was my best option considering my age and to prevent further damage from occuring to my back. I know every individual is different but it still is nice to know about other people who have been in similar positions to myself and to try to get answers to the many questions I have. I have had aT12 to L2 fusion in order to stabilize my spine.

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HERWriter Guide

Hi Shazia

Thanks so much for your question - and congrats on taking the big step with your surgery.

The recovery period from this kind of procedure can range from a month to four or five months - it all depends on your general health, your weight, your rehab and how well you stick to your recovery plan.

Empowher has a great page on this procedure and says that what happens once a patient leaves the hospital, her home care plan is vital. It advises to:

Follow your rehabilitation program as instructed. Keep the incision area clean and dry. Take only medications recommended by your doctor. Do not take other remedies without your doctor's approval. Do not lift anything heavy.

Rehabilitation may be done in a hospital or at an outpatient clinic. The program will likely include:

◦Exercises to strengthen your back
◦Low-impact aerobic exercises, such as walking or swimming

The bones and grafts fuse together over several months. During this time, your activity will be restricted. Time off from work ranges from 4-6 weeks to 4-6 months. Time off will depend on age, overall health, and the physical demands of the job. Complete healing of the bones may take up to a year after surgery. Your doctor may tell you to permanently avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activities that involve lifting and twisting. You will likely notice less flexibility of your spine where the bones are fused. Following your rehabilitation program will speed your recovery and reduce discomfort.

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Also take a look at a short video :


Bear in mind that heavy lifting may be out, for good. Can you tell us your age and general health status?

Shazia, how long has it been since your surgery? Are you on a rehab plan?

January 29, 2010 - 2:40pm
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