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Old 01-19-2013, 01:11 PM   #1
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Unhappy Lumbar fusion - post surgery questions

[FONT="Book Antiqua"]I am 7 weeks out from surgery. L5-S1 fusion, herniated disc, scoliosis, rods, screws, spacer, bone graft, the whole nine yards. My question: is it normal to still need to lay down often during the day? I just feel so tired, even though I walk. And it's still uncomfortable to sit. I have pain in my hips and down the back of my legs. I was told it could take up to 6 mos. for all the pain to go away.[/FONT]

 
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Old 01-19-2013, 01:41 PM   #2
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Re: Lumbar fusion - post surgery questions

Yes, very normal. I had not sat for more than half hour in almost 6 years until I got a SCS done in June.

 
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Old 01-19-2013, 06:07 PM   #3
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Re: Lumbar fusion - post surgery questions

Welcome to the board. You are still very early in recovery. This surgery takes a lot out of you and it takes many months for energy levels to return to normal.

Almost everyone that posts on the board has been surprised at the general lack of energy they felt for quite some time. Usually twelve weeks or around then there is some progress. But for many people it takes a year to begin to forget you had surgery.

If you are having nerve pain, it can take longer than six months for the pain to resolve...and of course, depending on how long the nerve was compressed, it may never completely resolve. Doctors will say that after one year, if the pain is still there, it is likely to be permanent...but I have found that I am still seeing changes and my 3 level fusion was in June of 2010.

Sometimes people don't realize that it takes a lot of energy to grow new bone cells. It is very important to rest. That and taking many short walks are your most important activities, especially during the first three months.
I quickly learned, once I was allowed to drive, that I no longer could do a string of errands, shopping, etc. in one trip. By the time I showered, dressed, etc. I was almost ready for a nap. By the time I did one errand, I was ready to rest. So I learned to make just one appointment per day...like if I had PT, I didn't try to do much else that day.

Don't be discouraged. This is all very normal. You will find that a great deal of patience is required to get through recovery successfully!

 
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:51 PM   #4
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Re: Lumbar fusion - post surgery questions

Thanks so much for your answers.

 
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:24 AM   #5
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Wink Re: Lumbar fusion - post surgery questions

Facing L4 L 5 surgery in a month, these posts were very helpful for what to expect post surgery... Thanks

 
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:14 AM   #6
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Re: Lumbar fusion - post surgery questions

Good luck Cthom2. The surgery went fine. I never had any pain at the surgery site. Changing the dressing everyday was a real pain in the @**, though, ha. They will fit you for a brace and give you a grabber to pick up things. They also gave me a little gizmo to help put on my socks. I used a potty chair for about the first 2 or 3 weeks. I am 62 and I did so well that I dismissed PT before their time was up. Just be sure and ask lots of questions cause they forget to tell you everything, I'm sure.

 
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:41 PM   #7
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Re: Lumbar fusion - post surgery questions

Just for general information -- many surgeons no longer use a brace post fusion surgery. My first surgeon did not...and my second surgeon did.

Cthom2 ~ Are you having a fusion? Do you know how the surgeon is planning on doing it (from the front, back or side)? Will you have hardware? If not, they will use a brace.

 
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:08 PM   #8
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Re: Lumbar fusion - post surgery questions

I'm coming up to 3 months post up of L5-S1 fusion w/hardware and spacer as well. I still need to lay down throughout the day frequently, especially after going for a long walk or anything strenuous. I've done a lot of reading about it since I wasn't prepared for it prior to the surgery (went in for a micro revision, came out a fusion). This seems to be common, but everyone heals differently, some quickly, some slowly... I still have sciatic nerve pain, but have seen dramatic improvements, having the pain go from in my calf recede up to my hip, but I do get dull aches that radiate down to my heel when I lay down if I've pushed myself that day. I haven't started PT yet, hopeing to get cleared at the 3 month check up I can so that I can return to work in a few weeks which is physically demanding and rough on the back so that will make it interesting! Just keep a positive attitude, it definately can put a funk in your routine!

 
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:00 AM   #9
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Re: Lumbar fusion - post surgery questions

They have not mentioned future PT. Guess I'll find out more
at my 3 mos check up. I started taking Neurontin last week
for the nerve pain. Don't think it does much and it bothers
my stomach so I think i'll give it up.

 
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Old 01-28-2013, 02:42 AM   #10
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Re: Lumbar fusion - post surgery questions

[QUOTE=Cthom2;5120466]Facing L4 L 5 surgery in a month, these posts were very helpful for what to expect post surgery... Thanks[/QUOTE]


Same here. I am having my surgery Thursday..
I found this board tonight and it has given me so much info!
Thank you!

 
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Old 01-28-2013, 03:48 AM   #11
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Thumbs up Re: Lumbar fusion - post surgery questions

Good luck, please keep me posted on your recovery. We will be very close on timing for therapy and getting back to normal👍

 
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:52 PM   #12
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Re: Lumbar fusion - post surgery questions

[QUOTE=Cthom2;5120466]Facing L4 L 5 surgery in a month, these posts were very helpful for what to expect post surgery... Thanks[/QUOTE]

Hi there! I'm having L4 L5 fusion in May - you will need to let me know how things are going post surgery! Take care!
alohamomof3

 
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Old 02-06-2013, 03:57 PM   #13
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Re: Lumbar fusion - post surgery questions

I am now 10 weeks out and not much better. My lower back, especially in hips and around tailbone, hurts to sit. I am still having nerve pain in my right hip and down the leg. My initial problem was with the left side. When I sneeze the pain is awful. Will see doc in 2 weeks. Hope I can get some answers out of him.

 
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Old 02-06-2013, 04:06 PM   #14
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Re: Lumbar fusion - post surgery questions

What type of surgery did you have? Did they go in from the back or the side?

 
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Old 02-06-2013, 04:24 PM   #15
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Re: Lumbar fusion - post surgery questions

L5/S1 herniated disc and collapsed on the left side. Pinching nerves. They did a fusion, took out facet joint, bone graft, shaved off the herniation. Have rods, one is longer I think he said to help correct scoliosis. He had told me he would go in from the side. I have one long scar in the middle and two little ones on both sides. The nerve pain is basically gone in the left leg except when I sneeze. Overall I'm better than before surgery but not where I want to be.

 
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