Spinal Fusion Surgery Recovery: After Discharge (Three to Six Days)

Following discharge from the hospital, the patient will likely still have pain. This is managed with pain medication. If a narcotic is prescribed, the patient should not drink alcohol or operate a car, because this type of medication may cause drowsiness and/or impaired judgment.

Some surgeons also recommend application of an ice pack to manage postoperative pain. Ask your doctor if this is appropriate for you and for instructions on how to apply the ice.

During this time the body is doing a lot of healing. Generally patients will feel "run down" when first getting home. It is a good idea to take short walks along with gradually increasing other activities.

Depending on the specific type of surgery, there may be some activities that the surgeon may ask you to avoid. Typically after a lumbar spinal fusion, patients are asked to avoid bending, lifting heavy objects, and twisting motions.