Spinal Tumor Surgery: General Information to Know


Recovery from spinal tumor surgery is unique to the individual and there are several factors that can impact the recovery time. Your recovery will depend on how complex the surgical procedure is.

When surgery ends, you will be moved to a room where nurses will constantly monitor as you come out of the anesthesia. You will most likely be given pain medicine, usually intravenously, and then you’ll be admitted and moved to a permanent hospital room.

Sometimes, patients are allowed to get up and walk within hours of surgery, but until your doctor says so, don’t attempt to get out of bed and walk on your own. Most often, you can go home within several days, but sometimes the surgeon may send you an in-patient rehabilitation facility.

With a couple of days, depending on the site and severity of your tumor, you may start receiving physical therapy. Your surgeon may have chosen to put in a small drain to divert excess fluid from the surgical site – within a few days of placement, this drain will be removed. Pain management treatments will also be administered, but will be reduced as your body starts to recover.

As you become more active, you may be asked to walk and build upon the base as recovery continues. Physical therapy may also be prescribed – it often makes a huge difference in the speed of recovery and helps rebuild flexibility and strength.

If your job demands strenuous labor, such as lifting, twisting or bending, you may only be able to work on a limited basis until your surgeon clears and depending on the type of surgery this may take 3-6 months.

Depending on the type of tumor, additional treatment such as radiation and/or chemotherapy may be needed.

You will need to have frequent check-ups based your particular needs. MRIs, X-rays or scans may be conducted to monitor healing and remission A physical therapist, will continue to help you regain your balance, strength and flexibility.

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