The initial recovery process after a lumbar fusion lasts four to six weeks. Be sure to schedule a follow-up appointment with your surgeon two to three weeks after the surgery to monitor the success of the fusion and ask any questions you may have about the healing process.
A back brace may be required during the initial healing process to help stabilize the newly formed vertebrae and limit mobility. Physical therapy exercises will be slowly introduced over several weeks to strengthen the spine and allow patients to adapt to the new structure of the spine.
Lumbar fusion is successful in relieving lower back pain in a majority of patients. Due to the new structure of your vertebrae, a portion of your spine is immobilized and extra strain will be placed on the surrounding areas of the spine. In order to prevent additional damage to the spine, it is essential to follow your physical therapist’s instructions and continue to monitor the spine’s condition with your surgeon.