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been 3 years since TLIF surgery

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Old 07-05-2008, 09:11 PM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: buffalo,ny
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kmt77 HB User
been 3 years since TLIF surgery

well it has been 3 years today since my TLIF surgery l5-s1, and here I am back on the boards, and an ice pack on my back, and a missed night out with the girls because I can't stand that long without my back hurting. I was diagnosed with spondy, and had surgery. right after, and the last 2 years have been really good, more pain free days then pain. I was also told I have scoliosis, but its not too bad yet. I am only 31, and want to have a normal life!! when I was on the boards, they were EXTREMELY helpful, and don't know what I would have done without them! it even went as far as helping me plan my wedding (which I got married 3 months after my surgery!!) so I am hoping you can help again!!

I have a few questions:
any suggestions to help me lose some weight, I have cut back on the eating, but the working out part is what gets me. I have a an elliptical, tried biking and walking, its not that I don't want to do these things, but its my legs that KILL me after, its always been my left leg, I always have pain going down my butt into my left leg.
which leads me to my next question: should I be having this much pain down my leg? and I have a ton if burning pain in my right shoulder blade, is this because I am so crooked?

does yoga help anyone?

my dr doesn't want to see me for another year, but I don't know if the leg pain is from me trying to work out more, or a new injury. he did say I could call if I ever had pain, but I have a high tolerance for it (trust me I am not working out everyday to injure myself, so I know its not from that!!)
I have also been somewhat diagnosed with some form of rheumatoid arthritis. which I am seeing a dr for, and its helping in my other joints, but not my back.

anyway- if there is any advice, or suggestions, it would be greatly appreicated. I remember getting so much out of this 3 years ago.
thanks so much!!

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Old 07-06-2008, 06:14 PM   #2
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: usa
Posts: 836
mznell HB User
Re: been 3 years since TLIF surgery

Does your leg pain come from standing on the leg or does it hurt when you ride a bike? Have you tried swimming? It is hard to get much of a workout unless you swim laps, but you can get some exercise by walking in the shallow end, or using one of those noodles around your waist and move your legs as though you're riding a bike.

If I were in a lot of pain I would call the doctor. I'm sure he meant that he had performed the surgery and you have recovered from it and therefore, he doesn't need to see you for a year. But I would think he'd want to know if you are having constant sciatic pain. If the pain is being caused by the scoliosis, you would want to know that sooner rather than later. Are you seeing a specialist in the treatment of scoliosis? Some docs are better at it than others....

Old 07-06-2008, 09:22 PM   #3
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caszyman HB User
Re: been 3 years since TLIF surgery


I'm sorry to hear that you are having back pain again. I think you had your surgery about a month after my daughter had her tlif three years ago. She was 16 at the time. It made me sad to read that you are having trouble again. I certainly hope that you find relief soon and are able to continue living your life again. cas

Old 07-08-2008, 07:03 AM   #4
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: buffalo,ny
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kmt77 HB User
Re: been 3 years since TLIF surgery

hi cas!!

How are you? how is your daughter doing? yes I had the surgery after your daughter, I had to change my user name because I had forgotten what it was! I always talk about you and your daughter and how much help and support you gave me when I was recovering, so [U]I want to thank you for that. you both helped me a lot![/U] yeah, I am having some pain again, and I called the dr yesterday and I see him Aug 20th, and he will be doing a full scolosis screening, and a lumbar x-ray. so I am happy about that.

I have tried swimming, actually about a year after surgery, and it really did help, a lot. actually it was funny, I joined the arthritsis swimming class, and some of the older ladies looked at me funny, and one of them said, that the aerobic class was in the next pool, and I said thank you, its ok, I am supposed to be here. then someone else said something, and one more lady said something, finally I said I have some metal rods holding my back in place, so this is a little more my speed!! I didn't mean to snap, but I knew I was supposed to be there!! anyway, my problem with the swimming is I get out of work late, there are no pools close by that don't cost under $300, and the one pool that is across the street, has about 300 kids running around! so its very hard to do anything in there. the only time they have adult swim is when I am at work!! so I am walking with my husband every day. my leg hurts mostly after walking, standing, and if I sit too long, so I guess that would be most of the time!!
my mom and I are joining an arthritsis support group, she has severe RA, so I am hoping that might help with my joints, and back, if not I know it will help my mom!!

cas- its so good to hear from you, and I hope all is well with you and your family!!

Old 07-08-2008, 02:06 PM   #5
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caszyman HB User
Re: been 3 years since TLIF surgery

I thought that was you. I'm glad to hear from you again, but not about having continued back pain. Thank you for the comments, but this board certainly got me through my daughter's surgery too. Knowing there were others with the same problems helped me. Everyone gives such great help and suggestions here.

My daughter continues to do well. She is back snow and water skiing, bowling, went snowmobiling, plays tennis... Her dr basically tells her she has no restrictions but to listen to her body. We recently did the Relay for Life in our community. This is a 24 hour cancer walk. She didn't walk the entire time, but from being on her feet for such a long time she did have some lower back pain. This rarely happens to her. An Aleve took that pain away for her.

Her dr has not yet released her from his care. He continues to see her every 6 - 9 months. I don't know if this is normal for a pediatric patient (she's now 19) or if he's watching her screws. He can feel her screws and he continues to monitor these. He won't take them out unless they are causing her pain. The only time she can feel them is when she is lying on the floor. We go to see him in two weeks and will see what he has to say this time. She actually job shadowed her ped ortho a few weeks ago. She just loved it and the way he worked with all of the children. She's hoping to go to med school. We'll see how that goes.

You won't believe that when my daughter started her first day of college she missed a step coming down from the loft and broke her wrist. Luckily I was still there. We spent six hours in the ER at the hospital there. We finally felt comfortable when the resident that set her wrist said he had just trained under her ped ortho. Well, the next day she had an appt in East Lansing and the dr said her bones had already shifted. She ended up having three pins put in the following day in Lansing. She still started school on time. My first concern from the fall I had was how was her back. As the mom her back is still my first concern. She thinks God is giving her hints that she should think about orthopaedics. lol

Back to your back. Do you think your scoliosis has advanced? My daughter has mild scoliosis also but I don't think there's been advancement. I'll have to have it checked when we go. Did your leg pain ever get better after the surgery? My daughter did lose all of her leg pain afterwards.

I am glad your dr is going to see you sooner than a year. My daughter and I did a lot of pool walking as marlos mom suggested while she was recovering. We discontinued our y membership when my husband was laid off over a year ago. So we no longer have access to a pool. I encouraged my daughter to use the pool at school though. You'll have some quality time with your mom during the arthritis support group and hopefully learn some valuable information too.

I hope some other members can give you some good suggestions to get you back on the road of pain free living again. cas

Last edited by caszyman; 07-08-2008 at 04:48 PM.

Old 07-08-2008, 06:36 PM   #6
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Re: been 3 years since TLIF surgery

I had my first lumbar fusion (L5-S1) in 1987 due to spondylolysthesis and it was done without hardware. A few years later, after I had basically had years of being pain free, I had some pain and it turned out I had psuedarthosis - meaning it didn't fuse and I had some spine instability. So in 1993 I had and L4-S1 fusion with hardware (he had to do L4 as L5 wouldn't take the screws).
Rt thumb fusion '13. R&L thumb arthroplasty '12 ; RT TKR & Bilat CTS' 11. Fusions: L5-S1('87), L4-S1('93), C5-C7('06), L3-S1('10), C4-C5('13). C5-C7 foraminotomy '08

Old 07-25-2008, 06:45 PM   #7
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caszyman HB User
Re: been 3 years since TLIF surgery

I just wanted to let you know that my daughter had a three year post op appointment today. Her dr said that she is fused very well on the right side and he can't tell how well on the left. She has two screws that are near the surface that he keeps checking. Only problems that she has had was when we were at a museum for almost four hours this weekend, she got some lower back pain by the end of the day. He wasn't worried about that. He said it's ok that she golfs and takes an easy dance class. He said he'll see her back in a year. He hasn't released her out of his care yet.

I hope you get some news at your appointment in August. cas

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