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How long does it take to recover after back surgery?

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Quick Answer

Recovery from back surgery can take anywhere from a few weeks to six months or more, according to MedlinePlus. Recovery time depends on the type of surgery performed and on the severity of the back problems before surgery.

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Full Answer

When surgery is performed to remove a disk or to widen the opening where nerves leave the spinal column, recovery typically takes a few weeks. After surgery to remove bone spurs, recovery is more likely to take three to four months before a patient can return to work, with full healing possibly continuing for an entire year. Recovery from spinal fusion surgery may take up to six weeks for younger patients, but depending on the extent of the surgery, older patients may require as much as six months before being able to return to work, as MedlinePlus explains.

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