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Old 10-25-2007, 06:14 AM   #1
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Walking 1 month post op question/ facet fusion L4-S1

Hi everyone! I am 4 weeks out now and know in the back of my head the docs want me walking, walking, walking. I have been pacing the house ok, and even went to petsmart and walked around the store a bit the other day. So yesterday, hubby and I walked the dog down the street and back. I dont know how far it is, but approx 15 houses in length one way. (not really very far)
By last night, the pain had increased a lot, and I was awake at 4am in pain, suffered through it and got up at 6 in pain.
What I am wondering is, could I just be having a bad day? Did I walk too far?
I am still in pain, and really dont want to increase my pain meds. I have been down to 5mg 4 times a day for a week now. (This is a decrease from what I was taking, but it has already been a week now, I would hate to go back when I worked so hard to get to this point with the pain meds)
Any advice?
Thanks!
Jen

 
Old 10-25-2007, 06:24 AM   #2
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Re: Walking 1 month post op question/ facet fusion L4-S1

Hi Jen,
You're only 4 weeks out from surgery, still very early in your recovery. Yes, it's very normal to have good days and bad days. You might want to just take it easy today and do a little less walking. It's okay to up your meds a little, too, on your harder days. There's no trophy for decreasing your meds and pushing through pain! If you need it, take it!

Many of us have found that we have an increase in pain after 3-6 weeks as the numbing agents wear off. They put a lot of stuff in there during surgery to take the edge off for you for a while. I found I had an increase in pain at about week 5. After a week or two, I got back to where I had been before that.

When in doubt, give your doctor's office a call. They expect their post-op patients to have questions and concerns. If nothing else, you may get some peace of mind, and that's worth a lot! And if they feel that what you're experiencing isn't normal, they'll have you come in and be seen.

Take care! Sounds like you're being a model patient! Keep up the good work, rest, and let us know how you're doing.

Blessings,
Emily

 
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Old 10-25-2007, 01:27 PM   #3
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Re: Walking 1 month post op question/ facet fusion L4-S1

I agree. I would definitely back off a little. Walking is a good thing but you don't want to push so hard that you are in misery. I would try walking tomorrow maybe 1/2 that amount for the next couple of days then slowly increase adding a house each day. Good luck.

 
Old 10-25-2007, 05:19 PM   #4
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Re: Walking 1 month post op question/ facet fusion L4-S1

Ditto to what the other two veterans have said. EXPECT bad days and dont be silly even thinking about feeling bad that you have to up your meds for a bit. It has happened to us all.. seriously.

My surgeon told me to let pain be my guide. If it hurt.. stop!

Yes, continue to walk, but rest more and walk a little less for a spell and then increase it gradually. Don't feel like you should be walking an xyz amount because someone said so. It's your body and it will let you when it's darn good and ready.. as you now know.

Don't set yourself up for disappointment.. such as expectations of downing your meds. I went through that myself and it's not worth even giving it a thought. Take what you need to help you. If you are hurting.. your in pain.. your body won't heal as fast and you will run yourself down more by not controlling that pain.

So.. EXPECT flare ups, RESPECT THEM, and then move on from them. Great Rule I learned from my PT.

Hang in there.
__________________
"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!

 
Old 10-26-2007, 09:26 AM   #5
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Roy47 HB User
Re: Walking 1 month post op question/ facet fusion L4-S1

Jen,

Here is the reason for walking,walking,walking; It is this that starts the fusion processs for some reason. It is also usually when I got feeling better,
for some reason the walking felt so good.


The rule is the more you walk, the quicker you will fuse. I realize that I am the exception for the most part. I have been totally fused at 6 months, I walked all the time that I could and the surgery was last Feb the 12th. The winter in Nebraska makes for walking inside for the most part. It was ruff at times trust me.

So I am a full believer in walking as much as you can / but listen to the body as well... It is a balance that your body will tell you what needs to happen.

I wish you the best...

Roy48

 
Old 10-26-2007, 09:32 AM   #6
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ihavtwins HB User
Re: Walking 1 month post op question/ facet fusion L4-S1

Thank you all so much for your advice. It has really helped me. I realize I can't be superwoman now and will take meds if I need to. I just know that it is so hard to get them when you run out, so I try to limit them.

I wish there was some sort of guide to recovery, like day 1 do this, day 2 do that etc. but I will try to listen to my body more, and not just walk more because I am feeling better.

I appreciate all your input!
Jen

 
Old 10-26-2007, 09:41 AM   #7
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Re: Walking 1 month post op question/ facet fusion L4-S1

[QUOTE=ihavtwins;3276883]I realize I can't be superwoman now and will take meds if I need to. I just know that it is so hard to get them when you run out, so I try to limit them.

[/QUOTE]

That really depends on your doctor and your case. My doctor has never batted an eye for a refill. My surgery was over a year ago. I still take Vicodin twice a day, and my doctor is happy to give it to me. My family doctor has said that he's willing to do the prescribing for me once my surgeon is satisfied that I don't need to see him anymore. But I know there are doctors who make it tough on their patients with the refills. If you deny yourself your meds when you really do need them, your doctor will think you're fine without them and may give you a harder time with refills.

Just my two cents worth...
Emily

 
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