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Old 01-28-2009, 11:49 AM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 10
JDot HB User
Post Op Questions

I've just joined this site today. I've read a number of your posts regarding fusion and I have found them to be quite helpful and comforting.

I had an L5-S1 anterior fusion four weeks ago today. I'm still having a lot of pain, but the pain that diabled me for two and a half years prior to the surgery is gone!

How do you feeling three months later? Do you have any advice regarding how far to walk at this point in my healing? I'm able to walk about 150 feet before the pain really settles in. Was that the case with you? When were you able to wean yourself off pain meds? And how long was it before your bowels started functioning better on their own?

Thanks so much for any insight. I hope your healing process is moving along steadily!


Last edited by Mod08; 01-28-2009 at 03:18 PM. Reason: Your post has been moved into a new thread and has been posted to everyone for feedback.

Old 01-28-2009, 05:40 PM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 215
Devon07 HB User
Re: Post Op Questions

Your at a point when thingswill really start to change if your anything like me (remember we are all not the same) I stopped my pain meds (just skipped a few)to help with the bowels and did the prune juice thing....As far as walking goes don't do what another person is 4 weeks I was trying very hard to get a very slow 1 mile if I remember dont want to over do it because consistancy is better than distance.....its all about getting the blood to the injury site while walking...The pain sounds normal at this point but just pace yourself and know that some days will be good and some will be bad....I got off my pain meds about 5 weeks I guess...but would keep them around for the bad days....I remember taking some pain meds prior to my walks for the help....I walk at a local park and its so much easier than walking at home or treadmill<<<<risky

In my opinion your at the hump.....give it another week maybe two and I bet you will be singing a different song.

Good luck and I hope things move along for you.


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Old 01-28-2009, 08:05 PM   #3
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Idaho
Posts: 29
Back Ache HB User
Re: Post Op Questions

Devon has great points, everyone is different and walk walk walk. I am 4 months post op. I walk for an hour a day, broken up in 2 walks. Somedays more just depends on what else I've done or how I feel. My Doc wanted me walking 2.5miles by my 6wk check up. I started with small walks and added to it. I felt like I was walking all day long at first because I could not walk very far at first. Each doc is different, but let your body tell you when to stop. Don't push and over do it's not worth it in the end. Your body will also tell you when to wean off your meds. Just start spacing your doses farther apart until you have skipped a dose and go from there. You will learn what works for you.

Old 01-28-2009, 09:45 PM   #4
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Michigan USA
Posts: 64
NLena HB User
Re: Post Op Questions

welcome to the boards..I have found such helpful suggestions and warm support here will too. You are still very early post op and unless your bowel situation was an effect of your condition pre op than I would hazard a guess it is the pain meds that slows everything down there to a near stop. I had a terrible time with it until I supplemented with miralax every other day and prunes every day or prune juice....stool softeners as it is likely painful to push (sorry to be so indelicate)...all this will improve as it did for me when I began moving more (walking) I am 10 weeks out and just now am able to do a normal (not fast not slow) mile at a go....and the stretching out of my pain meds just a bit as I am still having enough pain to warrant taking them...My surgical nurse at my 6 week visit said as sternly as can be.." I would rather have you Underdoing it than overdoing it" when I mentioned wanting to walk more but could Devon is correct...listen to your will tell you when to quit..dont push..just keep at it at what ever level..the 6 7 8 week for me improved alot in strength and endurance so it will come for you...keep healing and posting your progress.. I am, and we are all keeping good thoughts for you

Old 01-29-2009, 07:00 AM   #5
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Virginia
Posts: 3,303
BlueAtlas HB UserBlueAtlas HB UserBlueAtlas HB UserBlueAtlas HB UserBlueAtlas HB UserBlueAtlas HB UserBlueAtlas HB User
Re: Post Op Questions

Hi JDot, and welcome to the board!

You're still very early on in your recovery. Don't expect too much from yourself too quickly. Yes, you need to walk, walk, walk, but you also need to rest. Like the others have said, everyone's different, so listen to your body. I walked as much as I could tolerate several times a day, and I measured more by time than distance, as I was walking in figure 8's in my bedroom with a walker most of the time up until 6 weeks, when I was finally allowed to get rid of the walker. It was a pain in the neck! I agree with NLena's doctor: better to underdo than overdo. But the best is to do as much as you can tolerate. Forget about housework. Forget about anything that isn't urgent. Your job right now is recovery! Rest and walk, rest and walk, rest and walk.

I still felt pretty lousy at 4 weeks. I hope you'll understand that I say that to encourage you, not discourage you. If you have a lousy day, it's okay. That's really quite normal. You can expect ups and downs, often for no apparent reason. Many of us had an increase in pain somewhere between 3 and 6 weeks post op, which can be attributed to the numbing agents they pack inside during surgery finally wearing off. That will pass quickly.

I found the 3 month mark to be my first big turning point. I started to feel like a person again, started being able to get around more and out sometimes. Driving got easier. I felt like I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. I still had to be very careful, as I wasn't fused yet, but I felt so much better! 6 months was another big turning point. Even at 11 months, I was still seeing improvement.

I took Colace (or rather, the much cheaper generic equivalent) every time I took my pain meds. I also ate a few prunes once or twice a day. They have cherry and orange essence prunes now that really aren't bad. They're nothing like those nasty dried up things with pits we had when I was a kid. Yuck! Experiment and you'll find what works best for you. We've all dealt with the constipation. That's the most notorious side effect of pain meds!

Hang in there. It will get better! We're all proof of that!

Been there, done that,

Old 01-29-2009, 10:40 AM   #6
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 10
JDot HB User
Re: Post Op Questions

Thank you, one and all, for your support. Although I have the most amazing cirlce of family and friends around me, nothing can compare to the support of those who have actually gone through such an experience.

I look forward to continuing the dialogue.

In health,


Old 01-31-2009, 03:55 PM   #7
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 10
JDot HB User
Re: Post Op Questions


I'd love to know the various types of pain meds any of you have taken post-operatively. At this point in my recovery, 4 1/2 weeks, Vicodin is not helping. It merely takes the edge off for a very short while. Have any of you experienced anything similar? I wonder if I should just ride it out or if I should contact my doctor and ask for something stronger...

Thanks for any feedback you may have!


Old 01-31-2009, 04:26 PM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 215
Devon07 HB User
Re: Post Op Questions

If the edge its taking off isnt acceptable then call the doc! cant heal if you cant walk well....I was a perfect example of this....I hate meds!!! but learned to use them to my benefit....I mainly used mine when walking...I would talk with your doctor and maybe get some stronger....Good luck!


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