After surgery, you can expect your back to feel stiff and sore. You may have trouble sitting or standing in one position for very long and may need pain medicine in the weeks after your surgery. It may take 4 to 6 weeks to get back to doing simple activities, such as light housework. It may take 6 months to a year for your back to get better completely.
You may need to wear a back brace while your back heals. And your doctor may have you go to physiotherapy.
If your job doesn't require physical labour, you will probably be able to go back to work after 1 or 2 months. If your job involves light physical labour, it may take 3 to 6 months. Most people whose jobs involved heavy labour can never return to those jobs.
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to get better as quickly as possible.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for any changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: March 21, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Kenneth J. Koval, MD - Orthopedic Surgery, Orthopedic Trauma
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Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.