After back surgery, patients need to sleep lying face up, and after spinal fusion, patients must avoid bending and twisting for three months, states Spine-health. When lying face up, patients need to have an elevated upper back and shoulders and support from a pillow or towel under the knees.
Recovery from spinal fusion surgery under supervision from doctors and physical therapists takes up to two years, according to Spine-health. Doctors often prescribe a back brace after surgery, which limits movement of the back during recovery. During the weeks following any back surgery, patients need to avoid sitting up for long periods of time, and switch to lying down or standing every half hour.