In a previous article we talked broadly about the benefits of physical therapy after a spine surgery procedure. Now, let’s talk about a specific and common spine procedure – the spinal fusion. In this article, we will briefly describe the fusion procedure, when it’s used, and how physical therapy can help patients rehabilitate after surgery.
What is Spinal Fusion Surgery?
A spinal fusion is a minimally invasive surgical procedure in which one or more of the spinal vertebrae are fused together using a bone graft and/or surgical instrumentation like rods, screws, and plates. Depending on the patient, the procedure may also involve removing a damaged spinal disc. Here are some of the conditions and injuries that can be treated with spinal fusion surgery:
- Degenerative Disc Disease
- Herniated or Bulging Discs
- Spinal Fractures
- Scoliosis, Kyphosis & other Curvatures of the Spine
The ultimate goal of spinal fusion surgery is to reduce pain and increase stability in the spine. However, there is often a long recovery period after spine fusion surgery.
Physical Therapy after a Spinal Fusion
Even a minimally invasive spinal fusion can be painful and require a long recovery period. In addition to the surgical incisions, which need time to heal, your body has to acclimate to the changes brought on by the procedure. At first you may experience pain and find it difficult to bend, twist, and move freely. This is why many spine fusion patients undergo a physical therapy routine after their procedure. Physical therapy can help boost your range-of-motion and get your body used to the changes.
The physical therapy specialists at OrthoRehab have been serving the Twin Cities community for twenty-five years. Our team of licensed physical therapists has the experience and knowledge you need. We also offer direct access to physical therapy care in Minnesota – meaning you don’t need a prescription to make an appointment. We have existing relationships with many spine surgeons who regularly refer their patients to us for post-operative rehabilitation care. If you are recovering from spine fusion surgery, contact us today at our Minneapolis or Edina clinics to see how physical therapy can benefit you.