Life After Scoliosis Surgery

People who have had fusion surgery are usually back to school or work within 2 to 4 weeks. They may even be able to resume doing the things they love within a few months. By 9 or 10 months, some people have even gone back to activities like gymnastics, soccer, and basketball. However, results may vary between individuals. Your doctor will be able to advise you on what your specific outcomes may be following surgery.

After Surgery

After the operation, you will be brought to the recovery room or intensive care unit (ICU) for observation.

Members of your surgical team may ask you to respond to some simple commands, such as "wiggle your fingers and toes" and "take deep breaths." When you awaken, you will be lying on your back, which may seem surprising, given that scoliosis surgery is often performed through an incision in the back. However, in general, lying on your back is not harmful to the surgical area.

During your hospital stay, you will get additional instructions from your nurses and other members of your surgical teams regarding your diet and activity.

Your surgeon may want you to get out of bed on the first or second day after your surgery. Nurses and physiotherapists will assist you with this activity until you feel comfortable enough to get up and move around on your own.

Daily Living

Before you are discharged from the hospital, your doctor and other members of the hospital staff will provide you with additional self-care instructions for you to follow at home. You will usually be asked to follow these instructions for the first 6 to 8 weeks of your home recovery.

Check in with your doctor on a regular basis during this post-operative period. Make sure to call your doctor if you have any concerns or questions.

With recent advances in technology, some patients are released within a week of surgery and may not require post-operative bracing. Some patients are also able to return to school or work in 2 to 4 weeks after the surgery and to resume many pre-operative activities within 4 to 6 months.

After the recovery process, patients may be able to return to leading their normal active lives.

Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.

Last updated: 27 Sep 2010

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