What is the recovery time for degenerative disc surgery?

Answered by Frank Schwing

The recovery time for degenerative disc surgery can vary depending on several factors, including the specific surgical procedure performed, the individual’s overall health, and the extent of the degenerative disc disease. In general, it may take four to six weeks to return to all of your usual activities, but it’s important to note that surgery often provides almost immediate relief from pain that radiates to the arms or legs.

During the initial recovery period, which typically lasts a few weeks, it is common to experience some discomfort and limited mobility. Your surgeon will provide specific post-operative instructions, which may include restrictions on certain activities, such as heavy lifting or bending, to allow the surgical site to heal properly. It’s crucial to follow these instructions to ensure a successful recovery.

In the first few days after surgery, you may experience some pain and swelling at the incision site. Your doctor will prescribe pain medication to help manage any discomfort. It’s important to take these medications as directed and report any severe or worsening pain to your healthcare team.

Physical therapy is often an integral part of the recovery process. Your surgeon may recommend starting physical therapy within a few days or weeks after surgery to help improve strength, flexibility, and overall function. The duration and frequency of physical therapy sessions will depend on your individual needs and progress.

It’s important to note that everyone’s recovery process is unique, and individual experiences may vary. Some individuals may recover more quickly and be able to resume their normal activities sooner, while others may require a longer recovery period. It’s essential to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard during the recovery phase.

During the recovery period, it’s also important to take care of yourself by eating a healthy diet, getting enough rest, and staying hydrated. Quitting smoking, if you are a smoker, can also aid in the healing process.

The recovery time for degenerative disc surgery can range from four to six weeks to return to usual activities. However, immediate relief from radiating pain is often experienced after surgery. Following your surgeon’s post-operative instructions, attending physical therapy sessions, and taking care of yourself can contribute to a successful recovery. Remember, each person’s recovery journey is unique, so it’s important to be patient and give yourself time to heal fully.