The Zen of Healing: Bone, Muscle, Mind and Attitude *
Bone healing, short of compound fractures, seem to take four weeks. The doc says keep on the cast on for six weeks (that falls under the CYA category), and you are good to go. Hell, some bone injuries aren't even casted these days.
Now my surgery, while it involved bone reconstruction, seemed to have its own recovery schedule. Dr. Roth cut some bone away from my spine--the part that was pinching the nerves, then added some donor bone and finally retrieved some of my own bone marrow (presumeably with a LONG needle. Us chemical engineers would call this bone marrow a catalyst, but I'm sure the medical community has a much more esoteric name. This 'paste' was then plastered around my vertabrae to stablize his work. No screws or other instrumentality was used--because of the strength of my bones. The healing time of this bone paste is definitely much longer--in the 'one size fits all' mentality of the medical profession, I cannot get an answer of less than 90 days.
Now muscle healing seems to be an entirely different story. Modesty prevents me from giving you specifics--let's just say that I have more muscle strength in my back than you, and likely more than anyone you know. But it was a surprise to me that between 9 and 11 days after surgery, I had zero muscle soreness. Those first 9 days, however, did cause strange reactions with the Valium.
The mind recovery did come back much faster than I expected. I have always found that loss of cognitive function (due to anesthesia) has always been the biggest and badest, side-effect of any of my surgeries.
Now attitude is up to you. The hospitals, nurses, doctors and friends can all prepare you, but ultimately how you feel about recovery is solely up to you.
* The opinions expressed here are those of the author. Of course I could be wrong.
Also, my blogging technique consists of typing the rough draft into WordPad and then cutting and pasting the result into Blogspot.com