I had L-4 L-5 fusion in May. I still have a lot of pain and most of it is in my hips. I pray that a couple of more months will help things to get better. I have a really bad back and I abused it on the job for many years so hopefully time will help.
Definitely don't rush yourself your body needs time to heal. Healing takes a lot of energy so you are going to be tired. I had my fusion back in '97 then a revisions w/hardware in '98. Just don't rush things, especially getting back to a physically demanding job....that could cause more harm. I too developed hip pain, both hips. It started about 2-3 months after. There may be some inflammation causing the leg pain , give it time and rest.
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I am almost 4weeks out from my anterior fusion on l5/s1 and the only real thing that has surprised me is the nerve endings on the outside of my thighs being so sensitive and the fire like feelings I get when I lay down. No one really talked about that and I have read tons of blogs and not really anyone talked about it. That has totally been my worst part of this surgery is the leg pain - yes my incision site still hurts but I knew that was going to be part of the process.....
I was off pain meds the next week and was cleared to drive after week three. Now I have only actually driven once but nice to know I have options!
I have another follow up in three weeks and I feel I am doing pretty well. Love that I don't have pain in my back anymore!
Cinchgirl, Wow it sounds like you were healing very quickly! You are very lucky to have had everything go so smoothly and to actually be pain free right now in your back! VERY LUCKY! When you say you have outer thigh pain...is it starting in your hip and then going down? If so how far down your leg to pain go? Or perhaps you don't even have that anymore? Also just remember even though you're feeling better doesn't mean you should get back to normal activity yet. You might feel great and just out of habit do more than you actually should.
My leg pain starts at the hip and goes to my knee but only on the outside of my thigh. The pain started about 5 days out of surgery as that asleep feeling you get when you sit on your leg funny - plus the outside of my thighs feel like lead weights and at night I was getting the firery explosion running down my legs when I tried to sleep.
First my Dr. told me he was surprised I got this because he said people normally get it they next day after surgery and then he explained to me that it has to do with the nerves needing to catch up on where they put space back in my spine. The L5 was almost completely empty of disc material just a little bulging out on my spine and almost nothing inbewteen. So I now have a big space back where it belongs and it will take a little while for it to go away.
I am resting and am amazed how fast I get wore out.
It takes a lot out of you. You need to rest frequently and not do too many things each day. I still get tired very easily and my surgery was the end of March last year, but it was a fusion of L3 through S1 and done from front and back. Still have nerve pain from back down through hip, butt, and leg. Am on more pain meds than before the surgery but remain hopeful that it will still improve. Just had a MRI which shows some degeneration now at L2 where that level was ok before. L2 also has a hemangioma, my understanding is this is a type of benign tumor made up of blood vessels.
Walking is the best thing but sometimes hard to do when you get fatigued so easily. Best wishes to all and hope recoveries keep progressing. Stay positive and look for long term progress, it does take time.
[QUOTE=Beachgirly;5135213]It takes a lot out of you. You need to rest frequently and not do too many things each day. I still get tired very easily and my surgery was the end of March last year, but it was a fusion of L3 through S1 and done from front and back. Still have nerve pain from back down through hip, butt, and leg. Am on more pain meds than before the surgery but remain hopeful that it will still improve. Just had a MRI which shows some degeneration now at L2 where that level was ok before. L2 also has a hemangioma, my understanding is this is a type of benign tumor made up of blood vessels.
Walking is the best thing but sometimes hard to do when you get fatigued so easily. Best wishes to all and hope recoveries keep progressing. Stay positive and look for long term progress, it does take time.[/QUOTE]
Wow! you really have a lot to recover from!! I was thankful I only had one level to fuse. I feel for you in your recovery and hope you can get to a better place where you are not in pain. You are so positive in light of everything you have faced and I thank you for your wonderful wishes!!
I agree with the part about not doing to much each day. You really get worn out quickly during recovery. This has been the hard part for me because I am always doing something! Go Go Go was my life prior to 1/22/13!! Now its rest rest rest!!!
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Thank you for the kind wishes! You also sound like a very positive person and that really helps during this very long recovery. Don't worry if somedays you feel a bit down, that is normal. I also used to be a very active person, always on the go and that is hard to let go of, but you have to, at least until you heal!
My leg also feels like a weight is on it, feels like it is heavy and slow to respond. The neurontin does help with some of the nerve pain, can't imagine what it would be like without! Hang in there, make sure you rest, and listen to your body, we are all unique and heal differently.
Cthom2 - wish you well for your surgery tomorrow! I will admit I was not quite prepared for the mental aspect of the return home but I have gotten past that point!
I had my follow up today and I'm progressing very well and will return to work a few hours a day in two weeks. I am a little sore in my back and hips and still have numbness in my thighs also but my doc said that is to be expected and will heal with time. My thighs have improved and I'm only taking one Gabapentine at night now.
I know you might not see this before your surgery but I've got you in my thoughts and prayers!!!
Update when you can!!!!
I had forgotten Patsy that a sneeze could ruin my day. Everything could be going smoothly, tolerating the ambient pain and one sneeze and the pain was awful. But back then for some reason, I was sneezing eight or nine times a day - total punishment. Good luck to you. I had a 3 level PLIF last February and was doing great until July when the pain came back and got worse. Facing another 2 level fusion with adjacent segment disease L-1 & L-2, trying to hold out as long as I can, as 5 levels with the restricting.
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Surgery was a success. I am home now after my 5 day stay in the hospital. I was up and walking the next day, I continue to walk more each day. I can last for about 45 minutes if moving around the house but then I have to lay down. I am still on my meds as prescribed but I still am not sure of exactly what not to do, I feel good and then I start doing things like getting up and down to much and other normal activities and I feel mild pain, I want to be sure I'm not doing anything to hurt myself... Help! What NOT to do during the first 6 weeks???
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I think really only you can say what you can and cannot do. The board members care as we have all gone through it, but we don't know your limitations such as strength, your body type, or your age. After my surgery, I knew right away, when I was taking risks, knowing if I slipped or did too much, I could regret it later. I remember not to bend over forward as that put too much pressure on the next discs up in line.
I bought a 3 foot grabber tool which really helped when I wanted to get that last sock out of the dryer and could not reach in there. Of course sneezing was a no no as that hurt like crazy and could ruin a good day. Everything in moderation! Purchase a knee pillow which is like a small foam block, contoured to stay put between two legs - this really helped facilitate getting to sleep. Make sure you have a comfortable recliner for those nights when you just cannot sleep, you can go out in the living room and throw a blanket over yourself and get back to sleep.