FAQ for Spine Procedures
FAQ for Spine Procedures
Spine Surgery Questions & Answers

Welcome to our Spine Surgery Frequently Asked Questions guide, where we provide essential information to support you through your spine health journey. From understanding recovery times to post-surgery care tips, we address common concerns to help you navigate each step with confidence.

What is the expected recovery time after spine surgery?

On average, patients take about three months to return to normal function to recover from spine surgery. However, individual recovery times may differ and recovery time will vary based on the type of surgery you undergo.

Should I use cold or heat for post-surgery care?

In the initial days post-spine surgery, it is recommended to exclusively use cold packs. They should be applied after any activity during the first few days. Once swelling subsides, you can transition to using ice or heat.

How much pain can I expect after spine surgery?

Pain levels immediately after surgery may vary. Pre-existing numbness and tingling typically resolve at a slower rate than pain. Sleeping may be challenging initially, and using a recliner can be more comfortable. Any new or worsening pain should be promptly reported to the office.

How long will my throat be sore after surgery?

Sore throat, hoarseness, and difficulty swallowing are common side effects post-surgery. Intubation during surgery may cause throat irritation. If your surgery was on the cervical spine, you will experience additional swelling and irritation. These symptoms improve gradually over time as swelling subsides.

When can I resume various activities after surgery?

Driving: Only resume driving after being cleared by your surgeon.
Exercise: Walking is encouraged post-surgery. Strenuous activities should be discussed with and approved by your surgeon.
Sports: Clearance from your surgeon is necessary before resuming any sports activity.
Sex: Consult your surgeon before resuming sexual activity. If you wore a brace, confirm with your surgeon regarding its removal.

When can I return to work after spine surgery?

Typically, patients can expect to be out of work for four weeks to three month but the return-to-work timeline depends on the type of surgery and job requirements. Sedentary jobs may allow for an earlier return, while physically demanding jobs might require more time off.

Will I need physical therapy post-surgery?

The need for physical therapy will be determined by your surgeon after the procedure. This will be discussed with you during your post-surgery consultation.

Do I need a brace after spine surgery?

While many patients may not need bracing after spine surgery, if your procedure requires one, you will be provided with a brace and detailed instructions upon discharge.

At Monadnock Orthopaedic Associates we specialize in treating various spinal conditions with minimally invasive surgical procedures such as cervical disc replacement, decompression, fusion, laminectomy, and vertebroplasty/kyphoplasty. Learn more about spine care at MOA. Let us help you on your path to spinal health.