Hertfordshire Spine Clinic Mr Sajjad Mushtaq

Recovery Times

Approximate Recovery Times in Weeks for Elective Spinal Operations

Lumbar Microdiscectomy

    • Wound Healing
    • 2 to 4
    • Office / Desk Job
    • 4 to 6+
    • Manual labouring Job
    • 6+
    • Driving
    • Approximately 6 weeks when you are comfortable getting into and out of a car, can turn your body to look out of the back window and can safely performed an emergency stop.
    • Walking
    • As soon as able. This is an excellent form of gentle exercise to aid your recovery. It is important to slowly pace yourself and build up distances gradually.
    • Showering
    • Initially the wound should be covered by a waterproof dressing whilst taking brief showers. Once it has healed fully longer showers and bathing are permitted.
    • Housework
    • When comfortable. Avoid bending at the back and use your knees. Avoid twisting when hoovering and when ironing make sure the board is set at an appropriate level or you can sit down to iron.
    • Lifting
    • Lifting light objects and shopping can be performed when comfort allows. Avoid bending at the back and use your knees. Use both arms to carry shopping and avoid carrying for long periods.
    • Gardening
    • 6+
    • Swimming
    • Your wound must have healed fully before you can swim. If you have been fused please wait until you have had a follow up X-Ray. In line strokes are best following lumbar spine surgery (front crawl and back stoke).
    • Cycling
    • 6+
    • Raquet sports, golf, cricket, jogging
    • 6+
    • Yoga, pilates, tai chi, aerobics, gentle aerobic gym activity
    • 6+
    • Weight lifiting, contact sports (including football and rugby)
    • 12+

* PLF = Posterolateral Fusion, TLIF = Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion, XLIF = Extreme Lateral Interbody Fusion, ALIF = Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion

** After discussion with your surgeon

Lumbar Microdecompression

    • Wound Healing
    • 2 to 4
    • Office / Desk Job
    • 4 to 6+
    • Manual labouring Job
    • 6+
    • Driving
    • Approximately 6 weeks when you are comfortable getting into and out of a car, can turn your body to look out of the back window and can safely performed an emergency stop.
    • Walking
    • As soon as able. This is an excellent form of gentle exercise to aid your recovery. It is important to slowly pace yourself and build up distances gradually.
    • Showering
    • Initially the wound should be covered by a waterproof dressing whilst taking brief showers. Once it has healed fully longer showers and bathing are permitted.
    • Housework
    • When comfortable. Avoid bending at the back and use your knees. Avoid twisting when hoovering and when ironing make sure the board is set at an appropriate level or you can sit down to iron.
    • Lifting
    • Lifting light objects and shopping can be performed when comfort allows. Avoid bending at the back and use your knees. Use both armsto carry shopping and avoid carrying for long periods.
    • Gardening
    • 6+
    • Swimming
    • Your wound must have healed fully before you can swim. If you have been fused please wait until you have had a follow up X-Ray. In line strokes are best following lumbar spine surgery (front crawl and back stoke).
    • Cycling
    • 6+
    • Raquet sports, golf, cricket, jogging
    • 6+
    • Yoga, pilates, tai chi, aerobics, gentle aerobic gym activity
    • 6+
    • Weight lifiting, contact sports (including football and rugby)
    • 12+

* PLF = Posterolateral Fusion, TLIF = Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion, XLIF = Extreme Lateral Interbody Fusion, ALIF = Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion

** After discussion with your surgeon

Multilevel Lumbar Decompression

    • Wound Healing
    • 2 to 4
    • Office / Desk Job
    • 6+
    • Manual labouring Job
    • 6 to 12
    • Driving
    • Approximately 6 weeks when you are comfortable getting into and out of a car, can turn your body to look out of the back window and can safely performed an emergency stop.
    • Walking
    • As soon as able. This is an excellent form of gentle exercise to aid your recovery. It is important to slowly pace yourself and build up distances gradually.
    • Showering
    • Initially the wound should be covered by a waterproof dressing whilst taking brief showers. Once it has healed fully longer showers and bathing are permitted.
    • Housework
    • When comfortable. Avoid bending at the back and use your knees. Avoid twisting when hoovering and when ironing make sure the board is set at an appropriate level or you can sit down to iron.
    • Lifting
    • Lifting light objects and shopping can be performed when comfort allows. Avoid bending at the back and use your knees. Use both armsto carry shopping and avoid carrying for long periods.
    • Gardening
    • 6+
    • Swimming
    • Your wound must have healed fully before you can swim. If you have been fused please wait until you have had a follow up X-Ray. In line strokes are best following lumbar spine surgery (front crawl and back stoke).
    • Cycling
    • 6+
    • Raquet sports, golf, cricket, jogging
    • 12+
    • Yoga, pilates, tai chi, aerobics, gentle aerobic gym activity
    • 6+
    • Weight lifiting, contact sports (including football and rugby)
    • 12+

* PLF = Posterolateral Fusion, TLIF = Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion, XLIF = Extreme Lateral Interbody Fusion, ALIF = Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion

** After discussion with your surgeon

Lumbar Decompression and Fusion

    • Wound Healing
    • 2 to 4
    • Office / Desk Job
    • 6+
    • Manual labouring Job
    • 12+
    • Driving
    • Approximately 6 weeks when you are comfortable getting into and out of a car, can turn your body to look out of the back window and can safely performed an emergency stop.
    • Walking
    • As soon as able. This is an excellent form of gentle exercise to aid your recovery. It is important to slowly pace yourself and build up distances gradually.
    • Showering
    • Initially the wound should be covered by a waterproof dressing whilst taking brief showers. Once it has healed fully longer showers and bathing are permitted.
    • Housework
    • When comfortable. Avoid bending at the back and use your knees. Avoid twisting when hoovering and when ironing make sure the board is set at an appropriate level or you can sit down to iron.
    • Lifting
    • Lifting light objects and shopping can be performed when comfort allows. Avoid bending at the back and use your knees. Use both armsto carry shopping and avoid carrying for long periods.
    • Gardening
    • 12+
    • Swimming
    • Your wound must have healed fully before you can swim. If you have been fused please wait until you have had a follow up X-Ray. In line strokes are best following lumbar spine surgery (front crawl and back stoke).
    • Cycling
    • 6+
    • Raquet sports, golf, cricket, jogging
    • 12-­‐24+ **
    • Yoga, pilates, tai chi, aerobics, gentle aerobic gym activity
    • 12+ **
    • Weight lifiting, contact sports (including football and rugby)
    • 26-­‐52 (if at all) **

* PLF = Posterolateral Fusion, TLIF = Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion, XLIF = Extreme Lateral Interbody Fusion, ALIF = Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion

** After discussion with your surgeon

Fusions: PLF / TLIF / XLIF / ALIF*

    • Wound Healing
    • 2 to 4
    • Office / Desk Job
    • 6+
    • Manual labouring Job
    • 12+
    • Driving
    • Approximately 6 weeks when you are comfortable getting into and out of a car, can turn your body to look out of the back window and can safely performed an emergency stop.
    • Walking
    • As soon as able. This is an excellent form of gentle exercise to aid your recovery. It is important to slowly pace yourself and build up distances gradually.
    • Showering
    • Initially the wound should be covered by a waterproof dressing whilst taking brief showers. Once it has healed fully longer showers and bathing are permitted.
    • Housework
    • When comfortable. Avoid bending at the back and use your knees. Avoid twisting when hoovering and when ironing make sure the board is set at an appropriate level or you can sit down to iron.
    • Lifting
    • Lifting light objects and shopping can be performed when comfort allows. Avoid bending at the back and use your knees. Use both armsto carry shopping and avoid carrying for long periods.
    • Gardening
    • 12+
    • Swimming
    • Your wound must have healed fully before you can swim. If you have been fused please wait until you have had a follow up X-Ray. In line strokes are best following lumbar spine surgery (front crawl and back stoke).
    • Cycling
    • 6+
    • Raquet sports, golf, cricket, jogging
    • 12-­‐24+ **
    • Yoga, pilates, tai chi, aerobics, gentle aerobic gym activity
    • 12+ **
    • Weight lifiting, contact sports (including football and rugby)
    • 26-­‐52 (if at all) **

* PLF = Posterolateral Fusion, TLIF = Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion, XLIF = Extreme Lateral Interbody Fusion, ALIF = Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion

** After discussion with your surgeon

Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion

    • Wound Healing
    • 1 to 2
    • Office / Desk Job
    • 4 to 6
    • Manual labouring Job
    • 12+
    • Driving
    • Approximately 6 weeks when you are comfortable getting into and out of a car, can turn your body to look out of the back window and can safely performed an emergency stop.
    • Walking
    • As soon as able. This is an excellent form of gentle exercise to aid your recovery. It is important to slowly pace yourself and build up distances gradually.
    • Showering
    • Initially the wound should be covered by a waterproof dressing whilst taking brief showers. Once it has healed fully longer showers and bathing are permitted.
    • Housework
    • When comfortable. Avoid bending at the back and use your knees. Avoid twisting when hoovering and when ironing make sure the board is set at an appropriate level or you can sit down to iron.
    • Lifting
    • Lifting light objects and shopping can be performed when comfort allows. Avoid bending at the back and use your knees. Use both armsto carry shopping and avoid carrying for long periods.
    • Gardening
    • 12+
    • Swimming
    • Your wound must have healed fully before you can swim. If you have been fused please wait until you have had a follow up X-Ray. In line strokes are best following lumbar spine surgery (front crawl and back stoke).
    • Cycling
    • 6+
    • Raquet sports, golf, cricket, jogging
    • 12+
    • Yoga, pilates, tai chi, aerobics, gentle aerobic gym activity
    • 12+ **
    • Weight lifiting, contact sports (including football and rugby)
    • 26-­‐52 (if at all) **

* PLF = Posterolateral Fusion, TLIF = Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion, XLIF = Extreme Lateral Interbody Fusion, ALIF = Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion

** After discussion with your surgeon

Posterior cervical Surgery

    • Wound Healing
    • 2 to 4
    • Office / Desk Job
    • 6+
    • Manual labouring Job
    • 12+
    • Driving
    • Approximately 6 weeks when you are comfortable getting into and out of a car, can turn your body to look out of the back window and can safely performed an emergency stop.
    • Walking
    • As soon as able. This is an excellent form of gentle exercise to aid your recovery. It is important to slowly pace yourself and build up distances gradually.
    • Showering
    • Initially the wound should be covered by a waterproof dressing whilst taking brief showers. Once it has healed fully longer showers and bathing are permitted.
    • Housework
    • When comfortable. Avoid bending at the back and use your knees. Avoid twisting when hoovering and when ironing make sure the board is set at an appropriate level or you can sit down to iron.
    • Lifting
    • Lifting light objects and shopping can be performed when comfort allows. Avoid bending at the back and use your knees. Use both armsto carry shopping and avoid carrying for long periods.
    • Gardening
    • 12+
    • Swimming
    • Your wound must have healed fully before you can swim. If you have been fused please wait until you have had a follow up X-Ray. In line strokes are best following lumbar spine surgery (front crawl and back stoke).
    • Cycling
    • 6+
    • Raquet sports, golf, cricket, jogging
    • 12+
    • Yoga, pilates, tai chi, aerobics, gentle aerobic gym activity
    • 12+ **
    • Weight lifiting, contact sports (including football and rugby)
    • 26-­‐52 (if at all) **

* PLF = Posterolateral Fusion, TLIF = Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion, XLIF = Extreme Lateral Interbody Fusion, ALIF = Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion

** After discussion with your surgeon

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