Different procedures for lumbar fusion take different time, but the average time is from 60 to 90 minutes. The time needed to stay in hospital after lumbar fusion is approximately 1 to 2 weeks depending if any complications occurred and if there are other health issues affecting the recovery. The recovery time is actually the time the spine needs to fuse the parts and it is approximately 3 to 6 months.
I have had 4 spinal surgeries. The last one a fusion of entire lumbar spine. I still have unbearable pain. It is thought I now have heavy scar tissue which leans on nerves creating the pain. I am about to undergo having a spinal cord stimulator implanted to get some relief from extreme pain. Taking massive doses of opiates and still with pain. I am worse now than ever. I recommend staying away from spinal surgery. It is a complex situation.
I recommend avoiding the fusion if you can take the pain. I hear lots of horror stories, including my own. Spinal fusions often fail and/or lead to other complications. My fusion was 14 months ago and I am still in severe pain. The spine is fused but that led to other complications (scar tissue)which can be very painful. Good luck. Try to stay positive BUT it is no cake walk. Am still going to PT and a pool for exercise X's/week. I take heavy meds every 4 hours with little relief. Wish I had good news. Hang in there.
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