Minimally invasive lateral lumbar interbody fusion recovery

By Michael Perry, M.D.

If you have concerns about the recovery process for a spinal fusion, you should know there is a difference between postsurgical expectations for minimally invasive stabilization and traditional open back fusion procedures. Lateral lumbar interbody fusion, as performed at Laser Spine Institute, involves a shorter recovery period^ than highly invasive open back fusion due to the smaller incision and muscle-sparing techniques used. The difference between the two procedures is especially evident during the first two weeks following surgery, when minimally invasive stabilization patients have a far lower risk of infection and complication than patients who undergo traditional open back surgery.

Immediately after a lateral lumbar interbody fusion

Recovery from minimally invasive stabilization at Laser Spine Institute begins the moment the surgery is complete. You are moved into the recovery area where nurses monitor blood pressure and other vital signs. If there are any postoperative symptoms, they will be addressed here. Once you are completely alert, you are moved to a different postoperative room and encouraged to be as active as possible — within reason. Sitting up in a chair or even walking are often possible and your Care Partner will be able to meet you here and return home or to a nearby hotel.^

After the first night

For the first 24 hours after surgery, you will be under the observation of an attending nurse, either at home or at a nearby hotel. Before being discharged the day after surgery, you are given detailed, personalized instructions about changing your dressing and caring for the incision site, as well as goals for physical activity over the next few weeks. Rest is generally recommended during the first few days after surgery, although individual instructions may vary. Full recovery for minimally invasive stabilization is generally achieved within four to six weeks, with spinal stability confirmed using X-rays. Our team follows up with patients to ensure comfort, satisfaction and surgical success at one, two, six and 12 weeks post-surgery.

One of the biggest advantages of a minimally invasive procedure from Laser Spine Institute is the faster recovery compared to traditional open spine surgery.^ If your physician has recommended a traditional open spine fusion surgery for your degenerative spine condition, contact us today to learn more about our lateral lumbar interbody fusion and our other minimally invasive outpatient procedures.

Our caring team can help you receive a no-cost MRI or CT scan review* to determine if you may be a candidate for one of our procedures.