When You Were in the Hospital
You were in the hospital for spine surgery. You probably had a problem with one or more disk, a cushion that separates the bones in your spine (vertebrae).
You may have had one of these surgeries:
- Diskectomy -- surgery to remove all or part of your disk
- Foraminotomy -- surgery to widen the opening in your back where nerve roots leave your spinal column
- Laminectomy -- surgery to remove the lamina, two small bones that make up a vertebra, or bone spurs in your back, to take pressure off your spinal nerves or spinal column
- Spinal fusion -- the fusing of two bones together in your back to correct problems in your spine
What to Expect at Home
Recovery after diskectomy is usually quick.
After a discectomy or foraminotomy, you may still feel pain, numbness, or weakness along the path of the nerve that was under pressure. These symptoms should get better in a few weeks.
Recovery after laminectomy and fusion surgery is longer. You will not be able to return to activities as quickly. It takes at least 3 to 4 months after surgery for bones to heal well, and healing may continue for at least a year.
If you had spinal fusion, you will probably be off work for 4 to 6 weeks if you are young and healthy and your job is not very strenuous. It may take 4 to 6 months for older people with more extensive surgery to get back to work.
Length of recovery also depends on how bad your condition was before surgery.