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Old 03-31-2010, 12:27 PM   #1
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Spinal fusion post opt

Hi guys great site. I recently just had spinal fusion from L4L5 to S1 about 4 weeks ago. My question is what should I expect. It seemed everything was going pretty well. Yes ofcourse I did experience pain but the past week it has gotten much worse. I have been doing more things such as driving for ex. My pain seems to come and go-at times I have no pain then at times I have pain in which meds don't do alot. It seems two steps forward one gaint step back. Is this common? I realize it's only been 4 weeks. What did you guys experience post opt-did you guys have many good days and bad days combined? Also, it seems my pain is worse early in the morning and late at night. Can anybody relate??? Thx and better health for all of us.


Old 03-31-2010, 04:10 PM   #2
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Re: Spinal fusion post opt

Hi Shannon,
Normal, normal, normal.

The increased pain you're having now is almost certainly because you're doing more. Driving alone will do it! You're still early on in your recovery. It's very normal to have good days and bad days for no apparent reason. Keep up your pain meds, even if they don't seem to be doing much. If you stop them, you'll quickly realize that they ARE making a difference.

It makes sense that you'd have more pain in the morning and evening. In the morning, you're going to be stiffer from lying down all night. In the evening, you're going to be in more pain because you've been up and doing things.

Keep up your walking, as it does the most for getting fusion going, but keep making sure you have time to stop and rest. Lie down as needed.

I had my first big milestone at 3 months. That was when I started feeling like a human again, had less pain and felt like I could carefully get back into life again.

I hope it goes well for you. If you have other questions, we'll do our best to help you from our own experiences.


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Old 03-31-2010, 07:15 PM   #3
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Re: Spinal fusion post opt

Thx Emily. How are you doing these days? Did you have fusion too? Three months is what the doc's are telling me as far as getting back in life-usually the fusion should fuse at this point. Take care.


Old 04-01-2010, 06:57 AM   #4
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Red face Re: Spinal fusion post opt

Hi, I am 6 weeks post op from L5 S1 fusion and it seems like you are doing pretty good I am still in pain and hadto be put back on Lyrica because i have really bad nerve pain in my right leg my foot feels like it is sunburned some of my toes are numb and i get a feeling like pins or needles are stabbing my foot and my toes i get cramps in my foot and calf but real low on the calf i get it by my tendon in the back of the calf i have never had that happen so i am on muscle relaxers for that all of this i did not have before surgery yes i had leg pain but nothing like what is going on now.

I really hope that this goes away because when the cramps start it hurst so bad that i cant walk at all so it has been hard for me the last 2 weeks or so since all of this started my doc said that he did not touch the nerve but at this point i just dont know maybe it is from swelling i just dont know.

So still on pain meds and the lrycia and the muscel relaxers plus the pain meds been on for about 7 or 8 months it is Avinza 60 mg 2x day i have to be weened off of that. I hoped that i wold feel better thn i do but maybe it is still to early. Well i hope that you feel better and it works out for you....Kellie

Old 04-01-2010, 11:19 AM   #5
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Re: Spinal fusion post opt

Hey, Iam 7 weeks post from an l5/s1 posterior fusion. Altho you did get 2 areas fused opposed to my one, i can tell you that from my experiance, i am doing great. After week 2 i was off all pain meds(the oxy made me mental) and at the moment iam walkin over a kilometer a day.
I have absolutly no pain other than an occasional nerve flare up and i think alot of this has to do with my age and the fact that I had a very acredited surgeon.

I have only driven once, as my neurosurgeon does not want any driving for about two months.
Take care, be patient, and let your ex do the driving.
Best of luck

Old 04-01-2010, 06:08 PM   #6
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Re: Spinal fusion post opt

Shannon, usually fusion can't be seen on x-ray until at least 3 months. It's unlikely you'll be completely fused at that point, but hopefully you'll be well on the way. You'll still need to be careful for quite a while, but you'll have some restrictions lifted and will feel a lot better.

Kellie, I'm sorry you're still in so much pain. It sounds like your doctors are at least trying to keep you medicated. That's a blessing! There have been people here whose doctors wouldn't prescribe past 6 weeks! Ouch!!!

Killian, how fantastic is that, that you're already off your pain meds and can walk so far! You must be thrilled! Keep up the good recovery work and don't fall into the trap of overdoing it because you're feeling so much better.

And doesn't that just go to show how we're all so different! This board is so good for information, but we all need to remember to use it as a guideline, not as a measurement of success or failure. Each situation is unique and each person recovers differently, even though we all have some similarities.


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