Can I return to work after spine surgery?
The goal of this surgery is to decrease pain and help people get back to their normal lives as fast as possible.
The goal of spinal surgery is to relieve your back pain and help you resume normal activities as early as possible. Spinal surgeries include discectomy, fusion, laminectomy, and foraminotomy. The recovery period after each of these procedures is different and your condition prior to the surgery may also influence it.
You will have a quick recovery after discectomy but fusion surgery and laminectomy may require longer time, at least 3-4 months for the bones to heal. Patients who have undergone spinal fusion will need to take leave from work for 4-6 weeks if the job is not strenuous and older patients need to take 4-6 months of rest before getting back to work.
Patients undergoing their first spine surgery (primary fusion or primary lumbar discectomy) are far more likely to remain at work for a long-term than patients who require revision lumbar surgery. Even patients requiring multiple surgeries are able to work long-term after their revision surgery. While most people can recover from back pain through exercise and a healthy lifestyle, those who need surgery can expect a return to work and "get their life back" too.