Some of the traditional spine surgery procedures are laminectomy, diskectomy, foraminotomy, and spinal fusion. Laminectomy is the procedure used to remove two small bones that

make up a vertebra or to take the pressure off the nerves. Diskectomy is a surgery to remove all or part of your disc. Foraminotomy is a surgery to enlarge the passageway where a spinal nerve root exits the spinal canal. Whereas, spinal fusion is the fusing of two bones in your back. 


Once you are home from the spine surgery center, it’s time to focus on crucial aspects of your recovery. 

Factors affecting recovery after spine surgery

Everybody recovers at a different pace, and the factors that affect spine recovery are:

1. Type of surgery

2. The health of the patient


Post-surgical spine care

Post-op care includes physical therapy and most of all consistent extra efforts towards wound care and a healthy lifestyle. Recovering from spine surgery can take months or a year, and it starts right after the surgery when you are in a spine surgery center. 

  1. Hospital care after spinal surgery

A hospital stay after the surgery is typically 2 to 4 days, and it focuses on pain management and guiding the patient on how to move. Pain medications are administered daily. Blood tests are also done following surgery to have check and balance of the hemoglobin and other blood components. Physical and occupational therapists continuously work with the patients to guide them about the safest ways of walking, standing, or sitting. To avoid twisting the spine while getting out of the bed, therapists also teach a technique called log-rolling. 


A patient needs to have a sound rest. The patients will keep on doing exercises as guided by therapists, then they are moved from bed to chair and eventually to a walker.

  1. Recovery after discharge: 

After the patient leaves the hospital, they need to take good care of their wound at home and follow all the guidelines. At-home care is classified according to as:

What activities are restricted after spinal surgery? 

People who recently had spinal surgery are advised to limit many of their activities for a specific period. The activities that are restricted are Bending, twisting, lifting, or driving. House Chores such as washing, cooking, cleaning, or shopping are also avoided as they involve bending or lifting. 


Adapting the home environment

It is very beneficial for the patients to have a home environment that is convenient and support for them. Patients should be having a caring family member who is there to help all the time. The patient must be having these items for a good recovery:

Factors that can Delay wound healing

Usually, it takes 3 to 6 months for a wound to heal but if the following things are observed, wound healing delays. 

When to call the doctor?

Patients should contact their physician/clinician when they notice the following:


  1. Carragee EJ, Vittum DW. Wound care after posterior spinal surgery: does early bathing affect the rate of wound complications?. Spine. 1996 Sep 15;21(18):2160-2.
  2. McGregor AH, Dicken B, Jamrozik K. National audit of post-operative management in spinal surgery. BMC musculoskeletal disorders. 2006 Dec;7(1):47.
  3. Skolasky RL, Mackenzie EJ, Wegener ST, Riley III LH. Patient activation and adherence to physical therapy in persons undergoing spine surgery. Spine. 2008 Oct 1;33(21):E784.


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