What to Expect During the Scoliosis Surgery Recovery Period

The expectations for the scoliosis surgery recovery period vary from patient to patient. Factors determining what to expect include the severity of the spinal curvature, the overall fitness of the patient and the type of procedure performed. One thing that every patient can expect in the short term is an increase in pain associated with the incision or incisions, as well as internal changes to the anatomy made by the surgeon. Gradually, the additional postoperative discomfort should diminish and give way to greater mobility.

Set Goals and Expectations Pre-Surgery

In order to mentally and emotionally cope with the challenges of the scoliosis surgery recovery period, it is important to speak in detail with your physician and surgical team about postoperative goals and the estimated timetable for recovery. The timetable must be estimated only, because everyone heals at a different rate and there is no way to predict exactly how long it will take for you to return to day-to-day activity. That said, it will be easier to gauge progress if you develop a set of goals before the surgery. These goals can include:

  • Performing self-care tasks without assistance (getting out of bed, bathing, dressing, etc.)
  • Being able to run light errands
  • Returning to school or work
  • Ending your use of pain medication
  • Stretching your physical boundaries to include exercise, sports or other activities

Keep Goals Realistic

While it is important to aspire to personal achievement of your goals during the scoliosis surgery recovery period, it is also vital to maintain a realistic outlook. You will have some good days, and some bad days. As long as the good days outnumber the bad, you should consider yourself on a potentially successful path to recovery.