You’ve had surgery — now what? Your doctor will provide post-surgical recommendations and guidelines to follow, but they may not fully explain how vital physical therapy is in regards to the recovery phase. It is estimated that an individual will continue improving and healing for nearly 2 years following surgery, but the majority of healing occurs within the first 3-9 months. Any patient’s success in recovery from spinal surgery will depend on his/her willingness to work hard at home as well as with their physical therapist. The patient must “toe-the-line” and work hard, but not work so hard to continually trigger inflammation. Working with a physical therapist will help guide the patient and help form individual goals and strategies to achieve a successful outcome. On average, a patient will spend roughly 20 weeks working toward rehabilitation before being discharged to continue strengthening at home.