Most patients are able to return home within the first few days of spinal surgery.
The first week requires plenty of rest. Even so, you may be standing as early as the first day after surgery. By the end of the first week, tasks that do not require you to bend or lift should be manageable.
During the first few weeks, you will need help with daily chores such as cooking and cleaning from friends and family while you focus on letting your body heal from operation.
As you approach the month mark from the day of surgery, most patients are feeling more energetic. Adults start returning to work, while children and adolescents begin returning to school. Pain medications will usually be unnecessary by this point. Despite feeling better, patients must still be careful to avoid overexertion.
At 6 weeks, your condition will be evaluated during a follow-up visit to evaluate if you can take on more strenuous activities.
By 12 weeks, x-rays will be taken to check on progress. If everything is as it should be, most patients are able to resume most normal activities, with the exception of a few potentially damaging activities requiring much spinal flexibility.
A final check-in will be made typically between 6 and 12 months of surgery, at which point patients can resume all activities once permitted by their surgeon.