Recovery time after neck fusion or cervical spine surgery typically runs about three months, though this can be affected by the specifics of the surgery, explains Spind-Health. Recovery time is also affected by the patient's involvement with physical therapy.
Physical therapy typically begins about three months after neck fusion surgery. During the initial recovery period of one to three months, patients are encouraged to rest and to avoid unnecessary motion, according to Spine-Health. This enforced rest period, however, causes muscles to grow weak, necessitating physical therapy after the new bone mass is well-established. Patients who have had a plate surgically implanted may be able to return to non-contact sports in as little as four weeks, but may have to wait a year to resume contact sports, according to Necksurgery.com.