The use of hooks, rods, or wires for spinal surgery is called spinal instrumentation. These instruments help stabilize and strengthen the spine. Your surgeon will decide in each case which type of instrument to use. For example, one or more rods may be used to attach the bones of the spine together. Sometimes rods are placed on each side of the spine and attached with hooks to the backbones.
There are many conditions that may need surgery in order to stabilize the back. Spinal instrumentation is used to help people with:
After a spinal surgery, you can usually go home in 5 to 7 days. You will have special instructions and activity restrictions while you continue to heal. The recovery time depends on the type of instrumentation used, the specific problem that was corrected, and your age and health. In some cases you will need to wear a cast or brace after surgery.
Typically, no bending, lifting, or twisting is allowed for 3 months after surgery while the spine heals. After your healthcare provider can see that the bone is healing, you may need to start a rehabilitation program to help you get back to doing your normal activities. This will include strengthening exercises.
You will not be able to play contact sports and will be told to avoid situations that put stress on the spine. Most people who have spinal instrumentation surgery do well. The scars on the back are usually small.
Call your healthcare provider or surgeon if you develop: