After spinal fusion, most people stay home from work for up to three months, and even then, returning to work sometimes involves restrictions depending on the physical demands of the job, notes Mayfield Clinic. During recovery, patients should not drive for up to a month depending on doctor's orders.
Patients should begin walking short distances as soon as the physical therapist and doctor allow it. About two weeks after the operation, the patient should visit the doctor to receive light stretching exercises, and physical therapy visits begin about six weeks after that. This therapy typically includes exercises for back strength and low-impact aerobics, such as walking, notes Mayfield Clinic.