Typical recovery time following spinal fusion surgery is three to six months, according to the Rothman Institute. After surgery, the patient spends several days in the hospital and then continues wound care at home. At four weeks, a physical therapist helps the patient gain more mobility.
Physical therapy lasts approximately three months, according to the Rothman Institute. Three months after surgery, most physical therapists introduce a more difficult exercise program to help the patient regain his former mobility, explains Spine-Health. For people who intend to go back to work, physical therapists institute a work-hardening exercise program.
To encourage proper healing, a patient who underwent spinal fusion surgery should eat a healthy diet that is rich in calcium. He should also refrain from smoking and avoid lifting heavy objects or making movements that cause back strain, notes the Rothman Institute.