my 49 year old male partner has been referred to a neurosurgeon at the hospital today after months of pain...an mri showing bulging discs in the neck and mid and lower back, degeneration, nerve impingments, osteoarthritis, disc degeneration and narrowingg of the cervical and lubar spinal column. He is in constant pain and is fairly incapacitated every day and taking endones to try and cope. He can not take any NSAID'S as he highly allergic to them. He can't get comfortable in bed at nioght and is perpetually tired and sleeps alot. Can't sit for long but does any way and is still going to work as a truck mechanic on non lifting duties. He was told by the doc today that the neurosurgeon will likely do spinal fusion on him and open up the narrowing of the spinal canal soon in a n operation. Can any one please tell me how long recovery is for all that. He smokes like a chimney and drinks a few cans of bourban a day and really isn't a health fanatic by any stretch of the imagination but I want to be able to offer him good post operative care and am really worried about this. How long is he likely to be out of a job....not working? I cannot get him to stop smoking.