Spine Surgery in Boise

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Lumbar Fusion

What is a lumbar fusion?

A lumbar fusion is often needed to keep the spine stable after injury, infection, or a tumor. The procedure uses bone or metal implants to join together two or more vertebrae in the low back.

What is the recovery time for lumbar fusion surgery?

Recovery from this type of major surgery is extensive. Depending on the type of fusion you have, you may go home the same day of surgery, or you may need to stay in the hospital for a day or two. Your doctor will prescribe appropriate pain medications which often include narcotics. You will most likely be off work for 6 – 12 weeks, and when you return to work, you may have temporary work restrictions. Your doctor will also prescribe physical therapy to strengthen your back and to teach you new ways of moving your body. Do not drive until your doctor says it’s okay to do so.

How do I prepare for this type of surgery?

  • Your doctor or pre-admission nurse may tell you to stop taking certain medications, vitamins and dietary supplements prior to your surgery.
  • Do not eat anything after midnight the day before surgery.
  • Shower or bathe the morning of your surgery according to directions given at your pre-admission appointment.
  • Do not shave the surgical area prior to arriving at the hospital for your procedure.
  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing and slip-on shoes.
  • Do not wear makeup, perfume/aftershave, lotion, or deodorant.
  • Do not wear jewelry.
  • Leave all valuables at home.
  • If you wear contact lenses, bring an appropriate storage container for them and a pair of glasses to use pre- and post-surgery.
  • Bring these supplies if they apply to you:
    • Insulin
    • Rescue Inhaler
    • CPAP
    • Dental Device
  • Arrange ahead of time for a family member or friend to drive you home from the hospital after surgery.

  • This information is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor.

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