It’s understandable for patients to wonder when they can resume normal activities following spinal fusion surgery, including those of a more intimate nature. It’s generally recommended that patients wait at least a few days after fusion surgery to resume sexual activities to allow the wound at the incision site to heal, although there are other factors to consider.
The resumption of sex after spinal fusion surgery depends on several factors, including the extent of the surgery itself and the patient’s overall health. Problems with healing, some of the requirements of post-surgery care, and other unexpected issues may make intimacy difficult, including:
- Side effects of pain medications
- Pain at the incision site
- Nerve sensitivity
- Muscle spasms
For patients who’ve had a fusion in the lower portion of the spine, there may be radiating numbness that extends to the pelvic area. This could result in a lack of sensation that may affect the biological aspects of sex, including the ability to maintain an erection for men and the inability to achieve climax for women.
Patients are often advised to assume a more passive role in intimacy to allow time for the fusion to form properly. Using a pillow for support under the knees, for instance, can take pressure off the spine. Controlling force and speed can also help minimize exertion on the back area.
Pain Medication Prior to Intimacy
Patients who can tolerate their pain medications well with little or no side effects may have a better experience with post-surgery sex if they take their meds before activity. Medications shouldn’t be increased without doctor approval.
Learn more about the recovery process from Dr. Hyun Bae and his team at The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration. As a leader in Los Angeles spine surgery, Dr. Bae can further discuss options for pain relief and all possible outcomes, ensuring patients make the right choice for their lifestyle. Call (310) 828-7757 today to schedule a consultation.