A lumbar fracture treated through nonsurgical methods can take up to three months to fully heal, states the University of Maryland Medical Center. If surgery is needed to repair the fracture, recovery can take longer.
Nonsurgical treatment for a lumbar fracture typically involves bed rest, pain medication, physical activity and a back brace, notes WebMD. Activity follows a few days of bed rest, combined with prescription or over-the-counter pain medication. Doctors supervise back brace use to ensure muscle loss or weakness do not occur.
A combination of rest, a brace and pain management can allow a lumbar fracture to heal in eight to 10 weeks, reports MedlinePlus. The most common cause of these fractures is osteoporosis. Calcium supplements can prevent additional fractures.
Surgery is rarely necessary for the majority of lumbar fractures, explains the University of Maryland Medical Center. It is only used in cases of sudden, severe spine instability. Complications include kyphotic deformity and segmental instability, which can result in the need for another surgery and a longer recovery time.