I don't really have enough details to be posting this, but it is on my mind and bothering me, so what the hay, I'll post anyway.
I am heading down the path of an L5-S1 fusion after years of trying conservative treatment. I am pretty comfortable with the decision, but I have a question about recovery time. The surgeon I am going to seems great and since I have started seeing him, I have met several people he has operated on and all of them love him withut fail. He specialized in minimally invasive surgery and says he should be able to do my fusion with 2 small (1-2 inch) incisions. He described replacing the disc with a "cage" and then attaching 2 rods to the back of the segments with 4 screws. Sounds good. (Oddly, there was no mention of bone in addition to the hardware, but that's another topic) When I asked how long before I could return to work he said 6-8 weeks. I asked him to repeat to be sure and yep, 6-8 weeks to return to my sedentary work. That sounds like a very short recovery time to me based on what I have read around these forums. Is it?
One of my co-workers had the same surgeon perform the same surgery about 3 years ago (on a different level), and he said he was comfortably back to work in 7 weeks. Is that really a reasonable recovery time? Is it because of the doctor's "minimally invasive" technique? Should I be concerned? Of course I will be asking the surgeon all of this at our next appt, but I am curious what you all think.