I am now 6 weeks post op from my fusion. I am feeling GREAT mostly. I do have a bad day occasionally but, I am having more good days than bad. It is wonderful to wake up and not have back pain. I suffered with that too long. I was also afraid of having a fusion in my back. I am so glad I finally did it.....I had a appt. with my neurosurgeon yesterday, had a xray done and everything looks perfect. I am weaning myself off all this heavy medication. When I say heavy.....I am meaning oxycontin and roxicodone, I was put on that medication after suffering a bad nerve flare up after my fusion. I will jjust take the lyrica till i know my nerve is healed. It has been a very long recovery. To anyone contemplating a fusion on their back.....just know it is a long recovery. So many restrictions put on you. It is well worth it in the end though. I am very fortunate to not have to work. I feel extremely blessed. It has made me feel NOT rushed in my recovery. I can now drive. And I no longer have to wear the corset brace. But, I still have some restrictions. I, find myself fighting the temptation of doing just simple things such as vacumming. I still cannot do that.It has only been 6 weeks yet it seems like its been 6 months ha......I feel as if my surgery is going to be a success. It is too early to know if my fusion is taking or not....but I feel no pain mostly. The pain I feel is surgical pain now. On a bad day.....I just have a minor back ache. Nothing compared to what I was feeling prior to surgery.
My reason for posting all my personal info is....maybe someone trying to decide if they want to endure this.....maybe this will help some. I know when I was facing the decision....It was hard. I didnt really want a fusion but it was either a fusion or take meds or just plain suffer. I am a patient at a pain clinic as well. My pain mgt. doc is the best. He tried everything he could to make me feel better. Some of the procedures worked and helped the pain but.....it was short lived.
So.....to all trying to make the decision to have the surgery, just do your homework. Research all you can. Ask as many questions as you need to. This forum helped me lots and I say Thank you to all the people that has repled to my questions.
Lynn, I'm glad to hear that things are going so well for you and that you're continuing to be careful. Yea!!!
I hope some who are thinking about this surgery see this post. It's always good to read about positive experiences. Most of these surgeries work out well. Unfortunately, the few that don't are the ones people hear the most about! Thanks for posting!
Good lynn...that was what my intention was with my post not long ago....when I read these forums I see only a few possitive with fusions and to think it could have turned me in another direction is a bummer because of how great I feel now....I just finished a serious game of good guy bad guy shootout with my son and we are both out of breath....before surgery I could have NEVER done this or many other things Im already doing even with my restrictions. Keep it up and know that some bad days still may be ahead....at six weeks I was floored at how good I was and had a couple days go backwards on me.....so It could happen...not to bum you out just to inform you so your in the know.
Glad your doing well.....I see why so many leave when they are feeling good....in part its because so many others are hurting and you cant do anything to help them....it really does bring me down when others are having a pain I am so familiar with and I can do nothing.....I have so much good to say about me that its unfair to post to the others that are hurting.
Glad you posted as I'm now in those shoes on facing a fusion so your post is enlightening for sure. Can you tell me about what you did and how it was when you got home from the hospital? Dr said I'd be in for 2 days usually after a one level fusion. I hear about walkers n canes n toilet raiser things? Goodness. I don't know anyone personally that has had back surgery or fusion to tell me the things you don't know til you go through it. Glad you're doing well!!!!
BLUE atlas....thank you....I feel so fortunate to be doing so well. And gosh, you are so correct when you said that you hear more negative stories than positive stories. That is exactly why I was so apprehensive about doing it. But, I trusted my doc and was confident in him and all the testing I had done prior to making the decision to go through it.So, as of now, 6 weeks out, I am feeling much better than I did prior to having surgery. No regrets here SO FAR. I do realize I am early in recovery yet....but feeling as good as I do this early well, I am confident I will be ok Just having to be patient with the restrictions which is so hardddddd.....I will be happy when I am back to normal and going about my day as usual. I donot mind cleaning. So, I am at a loss as far as not being able to do my daily things. And.............I absolutely enjoy being outside playing in my yard. I love to plant flowers and landscape my yard. I wasnt able to do too much last year due to my back hurting. I couldnt even bend at all due to it hurting. So......I am looking forward to spring for sure. I hope you are feeling well...and pain free
Devon.....you are such an inspiration. I have read your post many times and you have so much to offer people. I know you are doing well You had a serious complication and bounced right back up! You certainly have been an inspiration to me. As far as bad days....I have a few here and there, but it is more discomfort than bad pain. Much better than before surgery. Nothing I cannot deal with anyways I wish you to continue feeling as good as you are. And please continue offering people your words of advice as they are good words Actually, I think maybe people that are still hurting, by reading positive post, it may give those in pain some hope. It takes others longer to heal maybe. All people heal differently and at different pace! I feel blessed and I know you do as well!!!
Rose....I posted a long reply on your post.
Last edited by Mod08; 01-28-2009 at 04:05 PM.
Reason: Lynn, please accept my apologies. I accidently made a mistake and deleted your note to Rose. Sorry.
Thanks lynn.....I go to the doctor in the morning to see if I am starting to fuse.....wish me luck....I will continue to try and help others and offer any help I can to get them over the hump...lol Im so glad you are doing so good too....I would hate to see someone read the threads here and decide against a fusion based on everyone here looking for help with problems from one.
Lynn...hows the weaning off the meds going?....when I did I noticed an increase in pain but tried to tough it out and realized I was quick to get meds at the first sign of ANY pain.....sometimes its tolerable.....just a note to maybe help.
I forgot to answer your question as to how my weaning is going. I stopped the nightime pain meds. I donot need it at night as I once did. so, my pain doc suggested I first illuminate that dose. Last night was my 2nd night without taking it and I am just fine. So after a few nights of not taking it, I will start not taking it in the morning, every other morning at first and then just quit taking it.I am mostly referring to the oxycontin. I also take roxicodone. I will take that if needed. ANd lyrica. I was put on all that strong narcotics after having a nerve flare up. So the concern was the leg pain. It seems to be ok now. I feel it occasionally, and take the roxicodone if I need it. I am not rushing it as I know on bad days, I will need it. But I donot need oxycontin. The other medicine will do fine. I just am very paranoid about becoming dependent on medication. So the first sign of not needing it, I dont take it. I will have it if on occasion I need it though GOOD LUCK on your doc appt today....cant wait to hear if your fusion is taking
I read your post back to me before it was "removed".I didnt get a chance to reply before it was "removed". That is great.......I think its normal to not see any sign of fusing as of yet? Gosh, I am hoping my doc lifts my restrictions at 8 weeks out I would love to vacumm and mop and do all the other things in my home. I am at such a loss when it comes to doing anything. I feel as if my hands are tied ugh.....other than that, I have no complaints on my fusion surgery. I did ask my doc if it was any indication that I would fuse since I am feeling so much better. My disc were so bad off before surgery that I am guessing that just putting the cage in the disc space with the stuff< I forget what he called it> my doc used, it made a difference for myself already. I pretty much had no disc left especially in L4-5. L5-S1 was in bad shape as well, but not quite as bad as L4-5. I am so thankful I had the discogram test done. I know you are too.....
The narcotics I was put on, was not due to my back surgery. I was taking percocet after my back surgery. When I suffered the nerve flare up in my right leg, 1-2 weeks after surgery, that is when I was put on all that medication. I feel as if my leg is better. I also take lrica as well. I am still feeling a lil pain and soreness but, it is nothing I cannot handle. AND.....I will have all this stufff <the medication> if I need it again. So......I am weaning slowly. If I feel like that pain is returning, you can best bet I will be taking it if I NEED it ha. That was severe pain....terrible pain. AGONY even. I just am the type person, if you dont need narcotic pain med., donot take it. If you DO need it, take it. Take care Devon and donot do too much even though your doc said you could lol be careful....
Lynn....keep me/us posted.....and I bet in a week or two things will be sooo much better then they are even today for you. This is kind of a slow fast healing thing huh? It seems like a long recovery yet with how serious of a surgey it goes fairly quick.
ha....you have got that right...slow/fast healing. I relate to that very much The healing is happening though and thats the most important thing at this point. I will be so happy when I have many things to do in a days time lol...<besides sitting here when I can and replying to post, not that it's a bad thing, but because that is all I can do for now besides piddle in my house ha> As far as pain in my back.....sheesh, that is going away faster than what I ever thought. Honestly, I am surprised. The thought of screws being screwed into the bone and cages inserted inbetween vertebra's and a plate being attached would be painful a long time. Not the case for me THANK GOD. I was up walking rather quickly. I do think wearing the brace helps as far as that goes. Seems it did for me. I felt stable, if that makes any sense. Now, if I can just get the constipation issue FIXED ha......I have a stubborn GUT. In time....it will get back normal. I do all the necessary things I must do to help and it works so.....
I am really glad I had this done in the winter months. BeCause it for sure is NOT a quick recovery. I wonder.....beings that a person is feeling so much better after having a fusion surgery...if that is an indication a person will fuse? Gosh.....I DONOT even want to think that I am NOT going to fuse. Whew....what a nightmare. But I have read stories where people donot fuse and there would be NO reason. Ok enough rambling
Oh my, Blue, how does it fit on you? I just had a cosett type brace that fit on abdomen down to lower back. I wore it tight...and I liked it. I am now out of it. How long did you wear a full body brace? sheesh girl! That sounds uncomfortable...to say the least!
I really wanted the support. It went from armpits to hips, as low as possible and still let me sit. My doctor was willing for me to go into a soft corset type at about 2 months post op, but I convinced him that I not only needed to keep the hard one, but I needed to have a new one, as the first one didn't fit well. He agreed that it would be okay. I did end up becoming dependent on it. At 5 months, I started trying to wean out of it. It took a full month to get out of it. But I was very much afraid that the sidewards weight of my very crooked spine would shift the fusion and make me worse again. After all my dear doctor did to improve me, I didn't want a soft brace to let anything shift before I finished fusing.
I have a soft one now sort of like you're describing, but it has a hard part in the back that makes it hard to lean back, so I can't wear it in the car, thus I can't wear it if I go anywhere. Pretty useless. I only use it occasionally towards the end of the day if I'm having a harder day.
All the little "toys" we get to have with these back issues! People should be jealous. Or not.