Minimally invasive stabilization recovery — what you need to know

After undergoing a minimally invasive stabilization surgery (spinal fusion), the recovery process will be different for each patient. You will be required to have a Care Partner at your hotel for 24 hours after surgery. Most patients, unless your surgeon instructs you differently, should lift no more than 10 to 15 pounds for at least four weeks after surgery. While your physician will likely prescribe short walks and mild rehabilitation exercises following your procedure, any activity that produces severe pain should be stopped immediately.

The time in which you may return to normal daily activities depends on your individual work environment, the type of stabilization surgery and how you respond to the surgery. Patients who have desk jobs with light office work can normally return to work within two to four weeks, and patients with more physical jobs should wait at least six to 12 weeks, and only with approval by a physician or surgeon. To learn about the types of exercises following a minimally invasive lumbar procedure and to gather more information about our recovery process, read the following article.

Exercises following a minimally invasive lumbar spine procedure

Recovery exercises will vary based on the type of stabilization procedure performed. With a lateral lumbar interbody fusion from Laser Spine Institute, the focus will be on regaining strength and mobility in the lower back and hips. The exercises recommended to you by your physician and our Physical Therapy Consultants will be broken up into two levels. The gentle exercises in the first level are designed for patients in their second or third week after surgery, while the more advanced exercises in the second level are for patients four to six weeks following surgery.

Mild exercises during minimally invasive spinal fusion recovery include:

  • Deep breathing
  • Abdominal bracing
  • Shoulder presses
  • Gluteal sets

Advanced exercises during minimally invasive spinal fusion recovery include:

  • Hook-lying alternative arms
  • Hook-lying alternative legs
  • Hook-lying combo
  • Bridging
  • Supine sciatic/tibial glides

Exercise details and precautions

For a detailed explanation of the above exercises and a step-by-step video about proper body mechanics while performing them, go to Your surgeon or our Physical Therapy Consultants will likely suggest that you perform these exercises one to three times per day, depending on the stage of your recovery process.

Exercises will also be paired with periods of walking. Absolutely no heavy lifting over 25 pounds should be performed for at least six weeks after your surgery. If you have any questions about your exercise plan or recovery process, please contact us. A member of our team will follow up with you to ensure comfort, satisfaction and surgical success at two, six and 12 weeks post-surgery.

In the event that you are in need of a minimally invasive stabilization surgery, our team can evaluate if you are a potential candidate for our procedures through a free MRI review.* Reach out to us today so we can help you recapture your quality of life from chronic neck or back pain.