Spinal Fusion, as noted on Wikipedia, is a surgical technique used to join two or more vertebrae.
The reasons for spinal fusion are complicated, and it might take more than 10 pages to get a proper understanding of reasons for spinal fusion.
However, this post is about questions that people have always needed answers to related to a spinal fusion surgery.
The most basic question is, Does it hurt?
A logical answer is, it depends. The usual process is that morphine is given to the patient, and this works for the first 24 hours. Thereafter, pain killers are given for a couple of days. You can expect yourself to be in discomfort for a few days, but once on your feet, it will be a better world to walk with a better posture. So, if you can bear the pain for a couple of days, it can be a happy transition phase.
Image Credit: krawiec
Confident about the ‘hurt’ issue, the next question is about the risks involved.
Again, the answer to the question is, it depends. Ask your surgeon and he will assess you with the issues and risks involved. With this surgery, you can be sure that the risk can be around 1% or so. Otherwise, things will be perfectly fine. The procedure is common and so the odds can rarely be bad. In either case, be sure to ask your surgeon to rake the risk meter on a scale of 1 – 100.
Yes, the monetary issues might stress you out, as you are spending money on the surgery and you have to be off work for some time post-surgery. But how long?
Usually, 6 to 8 weeks is the monitoring period. No driving, no house work, nothing that can put pressure on your back. On the lighter side, you cannot do a number of things you don’t like such as house cleaning, dusting, etc. Also, don’t try to stress yourself with the thought that you are off work and how will your family survive. Keeping well and staying fit is a gradual process. If you try to hurry, you might win the temporary battle, but the pain will be back to haunt you few years later. So, rest and have patience, till you are fully-fit.
What’s the next thought? Oh yes, after the operation, you might be bored at home. What can be done?
Being bored is a state of mind (sorry that was a sarcastic statement).
If you feel bored, there are a number of things you can do. One productive task can be to prepare a timetable. This timetable can include exercise, your hobbies, walking, reading and a number of things. (Well, the points noted above are supportive, except exercise. Exercise is a must, so make sure you have that in your timetable.) This way, you will not feel bored and you will maintain a routine. (That’s not a mommy’s advice, but a basic health tip.)
Okay, so you know that exercise is a must, but how much exercise should you do, or rather how much exercise can you do!
Usually, surgeons advise patients the ‘walk and sleep’ pattern. The two are to be performed one after another. So, go for a walk. Come back home and take a power nap. Note: Don’t go for a 2+ kilometer walk because you need to walk back to your home too.
Concluding, it can be said that people are at times afraid of a surgery. If you are even afraid of it, do remember that a surgery is better than crying about your back issues daily!
About the Author:
Jasmine Bilimoria is a research writer and a contributor with Same Day Spine Institute. Sameday Spine Institute specializes in minimally invasive treatments of the spine, using latest cutting edge technologies, such as stem cells, laser discectomies, artificial discs, spinal cord stimulators, minimally invasive fusions, etc for spinal treatments such as spinal fusion surgery.