Typical recover is 12 weeks. At least that is the length of time they want you out of work initially. Everyone heals differently, some never at all. I had my PLIF w/cage May 06 and just found out 2 weeks ago that I am now finally fully fused. In June of this year, I showed slight signs of fusing on one side only. Now, for real recovery, I am not there yet. I have been out of work for nearly 2 years and I am worse than before my surgery. I kept dropping things and bent to pick them up which is a big no no. But, I couldn't get that into my family's head. Or my own apparently. Plus, I took a very nasty fall into a door frame and I truly believe that caused my degression. So, take care of your spine. Wear the brace and bone growth stimulator if you have one like you are supposed to. No bending, no smoking. If you can walk, take walks as that speeds healing. I wasn't able to walk due to my pain as it made is so unbearable, and initially, you are not to walk alone in the event you fall. Good luck! There are many many success stories out there and I hope you are one of them!
You asked how long to HEAL from a spinal fusion. The question is to ambiguous to be honest. It depends on the person, their issue, the type of fusion done, how many levels, lifestyle at home, etc. We are all different.
And what do you mean by heal? Well enough to work or as in the final product?
It can take up to 2 years for some people to fully fuse and recover from a one level fusion. As I am 20+ months from my surgery. I am fully fused as of 7 months, but was in no way "recovered". I am STILL recovering.
Hope this helps you some.
"believe in the beauty of your dreams"- E. Roosevelt
L5/S1 bulging @ 18, now 46; still there (but no pain)
Fusion at L4/L5 Apr -2006
Solidly Fused Nov-2006
A Success, but still improving!