What are some tips for healing after spinal fusion surgery?


Quick Answer

Wearing a back brace after spinal fusion surgery is often recommended to keep the spine aligned correctly, according to Mayo Clinic. Physical rehabilitation is used to teach the patient to keep the spine properly aligned while moving, sitting, standing and walking.

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Full Answer

Physical rehabilitation that includes walking, riding a stationary bike and swimming may be used to help the bones in the spine heal and fuse together during the often lengthy healing process, states WebMD. Bed rest is not needed. The risks of spinal fusion include nerve injury, infection, graft infection, failure of the fusion and blood clots that may lead to pulmonary embolism.

Spinal fusion is performed to permanently connect two or more vertebrae in the spine, according to Mayo Clinic. It is used to treat deformities of the spine, such as scoliosis and kyphosis; spinal weakness or instability; herniated disk; spondylolisthesis; and broken vertebrae. The surgery is sometimes used to restrict spinal motion in order to relieve chronic low back pain from unknown causes, but research is inconclusive on its effectiveness. Spinal fusion surgery shifts stress from the fused vertebrae to adjacent areas of the spine, which adds stress to these vertebral joints and may cause further damage and chronic pain.

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