How Many Post-op Appointments will I Need after Spine Surgery?

Category: Minimally Invasive Surgery, Procedures | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: October 21, 2014

post-op appointmentPost-op appointments are an essential element of the surgery recovery process. They allow the surgeon to better monitor your progress and make and necessary changes to your recovery routine. A common question we get is:

How many post-op appointments do I need after my spine surgery?

That is our topic for today’s blog.

Post-op Appointments

The number of post operative appointments you need after back surgery depends on the following:

  • The surgery being performed
  • Your age and overall health
  • Any other pre-existing medical conditions

Obviously a patient who undergoes a posterior and anterior spinal fusion will have a longer recovery time than a patient who has just an anterior fusion, as the former will have 2 incisions to heal. Additionally, if you have other medical issues that need to be taken into account, or any complications develop (such as infection) your post-op appointments are going to increase.

A General Rule of Thumb

That being said, generally your surgeon (or their staff) will schedule 4-6 post-op appointments with you. The follow up appointments will be as follows:

  • First post-op appointment = 2 weeks after surgery
  • Second post-op appointment = 6 weeks after surgery
  • Third post-op appointment = 3 months after surgery
  • Fourth post-op appointment = 6 months after surgery

For spinal fusions, there are additional follow up appointments at 9 and 12 months after the procedure. Of course, if you have any pain or issues after your appointments, do not hesitate to contact your surgeon.

The most important thing to do after surgery is to follow your surgeon’s instructions to the letter. Many patients are lax in following their recovery instructions. But your surgeon has your best interests at heart and knows how to get your back in top shape as quickly as possible after surgery. Listen to your surgeon, and refer to him or her with any questions you might have.

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