Re: L5-S1 spinal fusion
I am now four weeks post-op, and I couldn't be happier that I had my surgery - 360 Degree L4-S1 fusion. I would strongly recommend that you read the "Post Surgery Tips." Almost every item listed there made my life easier.
For me, the first week was probably the hardest. I basically had to learn what all of my limitations were - meaning what caused me pain and what didn't. Once I got past that, things were much easier. I was initially sent home with a very strong narcotic, and I am now taking Tylenol for the day pain, and one Ultram before bed (as I keep rolling onto my stomach). During the day, I walk around the house and outside. If I feel like my legs or back beginning to get tired or sore, I simply sit in a very ergonomic office chair that has great lumbar support. If sitting does not calm the soreness, I will lay down for an hour or so. I make sure to put one large pillow under my knees, and one smaller pillow under my feet. The most important thing is to remember that walking helps to feel better quicker, and there may days where you feel like you have taken several steps backwards, but just remember that the surgery is pretty intensive and that recovery will take a while.
Yesterday, I was able to drive to my mother's home, approximately 30 miles away, and then I was able to go up the stairs into the second floor of her home. Prior to my surgery, this was not possible. I did not experience any pain whatsoever last night. When I woke up this morning, the only real pain I had experienced was due to me rolling onto my stomach again. There was some slight stiffness in my lower back and hip (where the bone graft was taken from) but nothing that I couldn't overlook.
I wish you the best of luck and hope for a speedy recovery! Just stay positive and remember that your friends and family will help in your recovery too by providing a positive atmosphere and support.