If you or someone you love suffers from chronic back pain, you know how debilitating the condition can be. Back pain can impact every facet of daily life. Not only does this condition limit lifting, walking and bending, it can also make the simplest daily tasks uncomfortable and often unbearable. If this has been your experience, you might have considered an operation called spinal fusion surgery.
There are varying degrees of back pain. And depending on the duration and severity of the pain, you might have tried a variety of interventions to gain some relief. So how do you know if or when taking a more invasive approach is the right call?
Is Spinal Fusion Right For You?
- Do you suffer from chronic arm pain or weakness?
- Do you experience a sensation of heaviness in the arms or pain in between your shoulder blades?
- Have you attempted to get relief from your symptoms with massage therapy or other non-surgical treatments but still experience persistent pain?
If you answer yes to any or all of these questions, consulting with a board-certified orthopedic surgeon is your best bet. An orthopedic surgeon can help determine the best minimally invasive techniques to employ and can determine if spinal fusion is necessary to see desired results.
If you are a good candidate for spinal fusion surgery, your doctor will walk you through the process. During the procedure, your surgeon will permanently join two or more vertebrae in your spine, preventing movement between them. Once this movement stops, the expectation is that the back pain would subside.
What is the Recovery Process After Spinal Fusion?
People that have been suffering from chronic pain in the arms and back are eager to gain relief. So how long will you have to wait after surgery to feel like you are back to your normal life? It obviously varies on a patient by patient basis but in general, the recovery takes between three to six months. During this time, expect to participate in physical therapy exercises to ensure optimal results. It is also important to follow a healthy diet and adhere to the limitations imposed by your orthopedic surgeon.