Rehablitation After Cervical Spine Fusion


My wife will be having the above operation next week and I know that some of you have had it already.

What I would like to know is how long does it take to get back to normal?

How long will she have to wear a neck brace?

Should I check her into a rehabilitation center, there is a good one not 15 minutes from our house.

My worry is that I won't be able to give her everything she needs, She eats Thai Food (being Thai) and I can't cook it

I feel that if there were nurses on hand this would be useful, I don't know how much pain she will experience, it can't be any worse than

she gets now.

I thought about putting her in for a month to begin with and see how that goes. She is not keen on the idea, but I think it's for the best

Any thoughts?

Many thanks



  • Most of your questions should be discussed with her surgeon, he/she will be the best to answer them, I have had cervical fusion surgery, stayed in the hospital 1 night, was only required to wear a neck brace while riding in a car, for me getting around or eating was not a problem, a lot of this will be determined by her physical condition and age, please discuss all this with your surgeon.

    Take care and keep us posted


  • She had her spinal fusion operation last Monday and was discharged from hospital yesterday. She is very weak and has a lot of pain from the 2 operation sites but the initial pain that she had to have the op in the first place has 85-90 % gone, which is what the surgeon said

    So I am happy. Price was around 9,500 GBP  so I was happy with that, they had quoted me up to 13!!

    She has been advised to wear the neck brace for about 6 weeks and her stitches can remain in place until the surgeon gets back from America in 2 weeks, does anyone feel this is too long? Also he has said not to clean the wound until he takes the stitches out. When I saw the wounds yesterday they looked nice and clean.

    Just hope that he has done a good long term job and that the pain will never return to the levels it was before the operation


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  • It sounds like she is doing pretty good, surgeons have different opinions on the brace, some want you to wear them and some don't, she needs to follow instructions, it is not at all unusual to be very wek after a serious surgery, after my surgery the surgeon told me to walk as much as possible, start slow and build up.

    Take care and keep us posted


  • Jerome001Jerome001 Cocoa Beach, FloridaPosts: 276

    Skywalker, I've had a couple of cervical fusion surgeries (fused C2-C6) and each time I had to wear a brace for about 6 weeks; a soft brace at home and a hard plastic brace when riding in a car. Post op, my most significant issue was difficulty swallowing (which was positive as it helped me lose a few pounds) but I did not experience much wound related pain. Recovery was slow but the fusions provided significant improvement in my pre surgery cervical related pain. I agree with Chip that it sounds as though your wife is doing well with her recovery. Be patient! Good luck! Jerome

  • I spoke to soon.

    All of the pain has returned and bow 2 weeks post op she is having a lot of pain in her nerves in the back in the arms and in the feet.

    Also she is having a lot of trouble walking due to the bone they took from her hip to make the discs.

    She has seen a doctor (not the surgeon yet) who says it takes time, but how long does she have to spend in such pain?, the meds help somewhat but I look at he and want to cry, she was such a happy lively girl  now she is a shadow of the woman she was.

    Will she be able to walk and run again?

    Will she recover.? I suppose nobody can answer that

    Many thanks

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  • You are right, nobody here can answer your question of will she recover, but please give it time, 2 weeks after such a serious surgery is not a lot of time to know how well she will recover, as explained to me before and after my cervical surgery, nerves were compressed before surgery, during surgery they were decompressed, moved and stretched, right after surgery they are trying to figure out their new normal, then they start waking up and are trying to repair themselves, that's when they really start hurting, for me that stage took a couple of months. You didn't mention what medications she's taking, there are several nerve specific medications that can be very helpful with the nerve pain, if she is already taking one of them and it is not helping, talk to the doctor, she may need to change to something else.

     Spinal Fusion Surgery Recovery: 1 to 4 Weeks After

    Take care and keep us posted


  • Saw the doctor for the first time since the operation on Saturday.

    He does not understand why she is in such pain. He has never known this type of outcome for an operation like this

    We are completely in shock. He has made an appointment for us to see the Pain Management Doctor this morning, but that is not addressing the problem ,only masking it.

    I have been told on other forums that she should have a Nerve Conduction Study, I don't know what that is supposed to accomplish  does anyone have any ideas?

    What type of doctor should we seek out next , a Neurologist?

    Another train of thought is that it could possibly be Periphial Neuropathy.????

    Many thanks

  • L4_L5LL4_L5 Posts: 1,182
    edited 12/01/2019 - 6:41 PM

    As @challenger stated two weeks post-op is a very short period of time. She’s just a babe in the woods still. My neighbor had a fusion and it was six months before she was able to function in a way that closely resembled how she functioned prior to her surgery. 

    The neurologist I saw does nerve conduction studies.

    Good luck and keep us posted. But be assured two weeks is extremely early in the recovery process.

  • She was advised to have 6 blood tests done and I have made an appointment for her to see a Neurologist on Wednesday

    I am praying that it's nothing serious that is wrong with her, now thinking is worse than before

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