What to Expect After Spinal Surgery

If you feel anxious about the recovery process after an upcoming spinal surgery, you’re not alone. Knowing what to expect after spinal surgery can help ease your mind as you approach your procedure. 

Typically, recovery should take between 3-6 months, depending on the type of procedure you undergo. You will likely spend 1-7 days in the hospital after surgery. Physical therapy is often crucial to a speedy recovery.

You must come back for periodic appointments as well, the first will be approximately three weeks after surgery. Dr. Ditty and his team will continue checkups periodically for around two years, depending on how you heal. 

Best Posture Positions After Back Surgery

Sitting and lying down properly is integral to the healing process. Make sure to choose a sturdy chair with a lot of support rather than a well-cushioned one when sitting. Change positions regularly (without twisting the spine) and rotate your ankles to get the blood flowing. 

When you sleep, use pillows for extra support. If you sleep on your back, put an extra pillow underneath your knees. If you sleep on your side, place it between your knees. 

Finally, make sure to practice the “log roll” when you get out of bed. Bend your knees and roll over without curving the spinal cord. Then, push yourself up gently and allow your legs to fall naturally so that you end up in a seated position.

Must-Haves After Back Surgery

As for the must-haves after back surgery, we recommend the following list of items:

  • Walker
  • Slip-on shoes or shoes with elastic laces (not flip-flops)
  • Pain medication (as prescribed by your doctor)
  • Shower chair
  • Boosted toilet seat
  • Reach extenders

What to Expect 6 Months After Spinal Fusion

If you maintain your doctor’s advice and consistently go to physical therapy after your surgery, you should not have any permanent restrictions after a spinal surgery. Though your mobility may be slightly reduced, after the six-month healing period, you can perform most activities you did before surgery.


How Should I Sit After Back Surgery?

After spinal fusion surgery, don’t sit with your knees higher than hip level. Make sure you move to the edge of your chair and push firmly with your arms and legs when standing up. Upon your doctor’s recommendation, take short walks every hour or so to speed up recovery.

How Long After Back Surgery Can You Walk?

Though you will rest for a short period after back surgery, most patients begin physical and occupational therapy 24 hours or less after their procedure. Dr. Ditty will prescribe a therapy schedule that is right for your specific condition. Movement is a vital aspect of the healing process.

How Long Does It Take for Nerves to Heal After Back Surgery?

After about six months, you should manage to return to activities. Ask Dr. Ditty for more information on the exact timeline of nerve healing and what to expect after spinal surgery. 

Looking for a Reliable Spinal Surgeon in Naples, FL?

If you need a reliable private spinal cord surgeon in Naples, FL, Dr. Ditty can help. He has ample experience in both neurosurgery and spinal cord procedures. For more information on what to expect after spinal surgery, contact Dr. Ditty at (239) 337-2003 today.