Recovery Time After Degenerative Disc Disease Surgery

As you’re recovering after your minimally invasive degenerative disc disease surgery at Laser Spine Institute, you’ll need to know what kind of recuperative timeframe to expect. Although the time taken to recovery can vary greatly depending on the type of surgery performed as well as your individual health, the majority of our patients can expect a gradual return to activity over a period of several weeks.

Going back to work

As you recover from your degenerative disc disease surgery, you’ll likely want to know when you can expect to return to work. You’ll need to discuss your specific circumstances with your physician or physical therapist, but most patients can expect to return to work after two weeks (for desk jobs) or six weeks (for more strenuous positions). Note that there will likely be limitations on what tasks you can perform at work, especially if you’re employed in a more active industry such as construction. For example, you’ll need to avoid lifting anything weighing more than 15 pounds, and when you do lift lighter objects, you should make certain to lift with your legs and knees rather than your back. Also, if you have a job that requires you to sit or stand for long periods of time, it’s important that you shift positions at least every 30 minutes.

Returning to work might be a little tricky with the driving restrictions that accompany degenerative disc disease surgery recovery. Although most patients can physically drive themselves after two weeks of rest, some continue to take narcotic pain medications or muscle relaxers to aid in the recovery process. If you’re still on these medications, you shouldn’t drive a vehicle to work, nor should you operate heavy machinery at your job.

Keep in touch

In short, every patient’s recovery is different. To understand your own recovery schedule, you should consult with your Laser Spine Institute Care Team, physician and/or physical therapist regularly following your surgery.