What to Expect for Your Procedure

Setting expectations for your surgery ahead of time will give you peace of mind when the day of the procedure arrives. Be sure to give yourself and/or caregiver time to prepare and create a plan for after the surgery occurs.

Preparing for Surgery

In order to feel prepared and confident as your procedure approaches, it may be helpful to learn a little bit more about what will happen during your surgery. The Coflex® procedure can be performed in an outpatient setting. However, you should arrange for someone to drive you, and to help during the first few hours of your recovery after surgery.

Before surgery, you might also want to ask your spine surgeon for more information such as:

  • When can I expect to be back home from surgery?

  • Is there anything else that I should do to prepare in the days leading up to surgery?

  • What can my caregiver do to help me prepare?

The Surgical Procedure

Decompression surgery involves removing the pressure on the nerves that causes pain. After undergoing decompression surgery, the Coflex® device will be inserted through the incision made for the decompression. The Coflex® device is positioned on your lamina, which is the strongest bone in the back of your spine. On average, the entire procedure, including decompression and the implantation of the Coflex® device, takes approximately 100 minutes.

“I was able to walk around my neighborhood the day of my surgery. I thought I’d never be able to run after the surgery, but I ran about four weeks after my surgery. I was released to do any function I wanted only six weeks after my surgery.”

Michael, 37 years old


Most patients are under general anesthesia, so a short recovery period is necessary following the procedure.

Immediately following surgery

When you wake from recovery, you may be encouraged to get up and walk almost immediately, taking into consideration your overall health at the time of surgery. Since there is no fusion, and therefore no healing bone to wait for, you’ll most likely be able to do this right after your procedure. You’ll notice that your pain has been significantly relieved, and your spine should feel stable and strong. Most patients do need to wait several days following the surgery for the incision wound to heal.¹

Weeks and months following surgery

In the weeks and months following surgery, your recovery depends on a number of factors, including the degree of your stenosis and the extent of the decompression that was performed. Most patients are able to return to normal activity, and even expanded activity such as golf, cycling, or gardening, within weeks of the surgery. Some patients may require physical therapy to help with mobility and flexibility.¹

Caring for Someone Receiving Surgery

If you are a caregiver for a person receiving the Coflex® device, it is important to know how to best support them throughout the process. Here are some ways you can ensure their surgery preparation and recovery go smoothly:

  • Be aware of their post-surgery recovery requirements

  • Provide encouragement and emotional support

  • Remind them to take their medications

  • Point out any progress you notice to keep them motivated
Frequently Asked Questions

1 Every patient is different; therefore results may vary. Your spine surgeon will advise you on a particular level of post-surgical activity that is right for you.