For some people, however, surgery is the only treatment available. If you are preparing for a spinal fusion procedure, you should bear in mind that surgery is not an instant miracle cure - after scoliosis surgery there is a long recovery period, and the exact results of the operation can vary.
What happens after the operation?
After scoliosis surgery, you will be required to stay in hospital for a certain amount of time, with the exact duration differing from one case to the next. The discomfort that immediately follows spinal fusion surgery is generally greater than for other spinal surgeries, and patients usually stay in hospital for three or four days after the operation, but a longer stay after a more extensive surgery is not uncommon. If you have undergone extensive surgery, or if you're an elderly patient, it is recommended that you stay in a rehabilitation unit after release from hospital.
How long will it take to fully recover and return to a normal lifestyle?
After surgery, it usually takes a while before the patient can return to a normal active lifestyle. This is because the surgeon will need to see evidence of the bone healing first; the speed of the fusion process varies greatly because all bodies heal (and incorporate the bone graft fusing the vertebrae together) at different rates. In some cases, you won't see any evidence of the bone healing until at least 6 weeks after the surgery.
During this period, the patient's activity is restricted. Large-scale bone healing doesn't take place until three or four months after surgery. After this period, the patient's activity can be increased.
Some spinal fusion patients are required to wear a back brace for a period of time after the operation. The decision to use a brace and the degree of restrictiveness depends upon your surgeon’s preference and other factors related to your surgery.
How long will I need off work?
Time off work also varies depending on how extensive your surgery was and also what type of job you do. Downtime can vary from 4-6 weeks (common for a single-level fusion in a young, healthy patient with a desk job) to as much as 4-6 months (which may be necessary after more extensive surgery on an older patient with a more physically demanding occupation).
How can Scoliosis SOS help?
It is difficult to predict the length of your recovery period and the amount of pain and discomfort you will feel after undergoing spinal surgery - these things vary greatly from one patient to the next. However, if you wish to speed up the recovery process and reduce any pain you're still experiencing, we at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic can help! Our ScolioGold method
can help to reduce back pain, improve mobility, speed up the correction of a spinal curve, and correct any secondary curves that may have developed above or below the fusion site.
Our ScolioGold programme is largely based around the Schroth method
- however, unlike many other clinics, we don't solely use Schroth exercises to treat scoliosis. Instead, we compliment it with a range of non-surgical spinal treatment techniques, resulting in a more well-rounded treatment regime.
If you wish to find out more about our ScolioGold method and how it can help you recover from scoliosis surgery, please contact Scoliosis SOS
and book an initial consultation today.