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Old 02-04-2013, 12:56 PM   #1
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Question How long till your back pain went away after surgery?

I am curious as to how long it took those who experienced total relief through back surgery to heal, on average. I know it varies and that the sciatic nerve can take a long time.

 
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:46 PM   #2
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Re: How long till your back pain went away after surgery?

[QUOTE=CT06405;5127859]I am curious as to how long it took those who experienced total relief through back surgery to heal, on average. I know it varies and that the sciatic nerve can take a long time.[/QUOTE]

Everyone varies. Some the pain never goes away, ie, me. I never had back pain till 8/06 and have ever since. Most people healing takes a couple months.

 
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:01 AM   #3
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Re: How long till your back pain went away after surgery?

I'm not sure what you are asking. Are you referring to nerve pain or how long it takes a nerve that was compressed for some time to recover, or are you talking about recovering from the surgical pain?

For example, with my last surgery which was a 3 level posterior fusion, my sciatic pain magically vanished on the 4th day post surgery. It took me a good eighteen months to recover...mainly because we took rehab at a snail's pace.

 
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:23 AM   #4
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Re: How long till your back pain went away after surgery?

[QUOTE=teteri66;5128257]I'm not sure what you are asking. Are you referring to nerve pain or how long it takes a nerve that was compressed for some time to recover, or are you talking about recovering from the surgical pain?

For example, with my last surgery which was a 3 level posterior fusion, my sciatic pain magically vanished on the 4th day post surgery. It took me a good eighteen months to recover...mainly because we took rehab at a snail's pace.[/QUOTE]

In my case, The sciatic symptoms down the leg disappeared right after surgery, so I knew surgery had solved that problem, at least.

Unless I limit my activities, i.e., no tennis or prolonged treadmill walking, I still get some pain in the lower back where I had the cyst removed from the facet joint because it was pressing on the L5 nerve root.

I would think total healing where the cyst was may take awhile, since it was very adherent to the dura and it took them a long time to remove it.

 
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:24 AM   #5
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Re: How long till your back pain went away after surgery?

[QUOTE=deanh;5128120]Everyone varies. Some the pain never goes away, ie, me. I never had back pain till 8/06 and have ever since. Most people healing takes a couple months.[/QUOTE]

Sorry to hear that, Dean. What was your problem and what surgery did you have done?

 
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:08 AM   #6
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Re: How long till your back pain went away after surgery?

All our issues going into surgery are so different. Was your only issue the cyst? I'm sorry I don't recall what all was going on. I would think tennis would be one of the last things that would feel comfortable to do because of all the twisting one does at the same time one is applying force -- this has to have an effect on much more soft tissue, muscle, etc. than just doing something in a straight line like walking.

When discussing the limitations my last fusion would cause prior to the surgery, the thing my surgeon asked was whether I played golf or tennis. He said those two activities would be difficult for me, but otherwise I shouldn't be impacted. Also, I was never allowed to use a treadmill -- at least not for more than a couple minutes. It is due to the repetitious nature of the foot fall which is very different from walking naturally.

Don't they usually tell patients about six months to return to normal after a regular surgery where something is removed -- (appendix, etc.)?

 
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:40 AM   #7
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Re: How long till your back pain went away after surgery?

Dear ct, Are you saying that you are playing tennis or walking on a treadmill that has an incline or that you just want to? My neurosurgeon had me take my recovery very slow i.e. walking to end of driveway, short walks around house. Even PT which began @ 1 month was massage, predominately for my comfort, ultrasound to treat inflammation & hot packs to increase circulation. Exercise was stretches that were very light & told me that recovery was like stacking blocks, slow steady increases continued to increase stamina but one event that caused me to over do & all progress came tumbling down & i had to start over from beginning. How many weeks post op are you?

Last edited by gmak; 02-05-2013 at 10:01 AM. Reason: sentence crummy?

 
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Old 02-05-2013, 10:11 AM   #8
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Re: How long till your back pain went away after surgery?

I will be 8 weeks postop tomorrow. I had a synovial cyst removed that had been there for awhile. I've also had some other lower back pain for 6 years that could be related either to that facet joint or something else going on. Nothing big shows up on the MRI other than typical normal aging.

6 weeks after surgery, I tried playing tennis just with a ball machine, not really running and not too much twisting. But I think the movement of the back and all the dancing around with little steps were still a bit stressful on it. Anyway, I got away with doing that without pain 4 times in two weeks and then my back pain flared up, so now I've been scared off of tennis totally. As Teteri said, I will probably give it 6 months before I try again, and back off if there's pain. Being able to walk when I'm older is more important than playing tennis now.

Anyway, I feel fortunate that I can use an exercise bike for exercise without pain, use gym equipment, drive, etc. Not sure if the treadmill is good or bad; I would not use it for more than 20 minutes. Stairmaster for 20 minutes or so may be another option for exercise, as the legs move up and down to some degree, but not forward.

Gmak, what did you have done surgically, and how long did it take you to feel at your best?

 
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Old 02-05-2013, 10:58 AM   #9
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Re: How long till your back pain went away after surgery?

Stairmasters are not very good for people with lumbar issues. If yours is just a matter of the cyst, this may not affect you, but the action of using stairmaster causes a "shearing" motion in the hips which can be horrendous for the SI joints. It doesn't bother "normal" people, but for those of us with lumbar issues, it can really put stress on the SI joints and cause nerve pain.

 
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Old 02-05-2013, 01:00 PM   #10
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Re: How long till your back pain went away after surgery?

Dear Ct, I had 2 level lumbar laminectomy, then CSF leak repair with fascial grafting. Then had another lumbar laminectomy, foramenectomies & leaked CSF again & had fat & fascial dural grafting again, total 4 surgeries. The dr told me No stairmasters, no treadmills with inclines ever. Walking good as tolerated without pain, cycling same. Had trigger point injections too numerous too count over 15 years in SI joints. 8 weeks post op I was in PT with no weight bearing, twisting or any exercise that put all body weight on one foot. If i were you I would be walking only until more healing in place & released by my dr to do other exercise. Im glad that you feel so well though!

Last edited by gmak; 02-05-2013 at 01:04 PM.

 
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Old 02-05-2013, 01:27 PM   #11
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Re: How long till your back pain went away after surgery?

[QUOTE=gmak;5128463]Dear Ct, I had 2 level lumbar laminectomy, then CSF leak repair with fascial grafting. Then had another lumbar laminectomy, foramenectomies & leaked CSF again & had fat & fascial dural grafting again, total 4 surgeries. The dr told me No stairmasters, no treadmills with inclines ever. Walking good as tolerated without pain, cycling same. Had trigger point injections too numerous too count over 15 years in SI joints. 8 weeks post op I was in PT with no weight bearing, twisting or any exercise that put all body weight on one foot. If i were you I would be walking only until more healing in place & released by my dr to do other exercise. Im glad that you feel so well though![/QUOTE]

Wow! You have been through a lot. Glad to hear you healed from it all. Do you have any pain now?

Based on your doctor's and Teteri's advice, I will skip the stairmaster. Interesting that your doctor told you no treadmills with inclines - that's when I had a back problem first develop years ago, when I was doing that almost daily.

I guess I will stick with my exercise bike and just walking. The exercise bike seems to be the most benign. I can walk, but not for hours around a mall or anything.

 
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Old 02-05-2013, 01:55 PM   #12
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Shocking your doctor did not stress what not to do! Usually PT is all they recommend after surgery. I think, as others stated, you stair master and tennis may have aggregated your back.

I had a herniated disk that caused scarring my spinal nerve and left me with chronic pain in 1 location in the center of my lower back. After being on 175mg fentanyl every 2 days and not getting relief, a new young doc suggested a peripheral spinal nerve stimulator. She said I had to come down on narcotics for my sake if I had any further injuries. She said I was a perfect candidate for the SCS, it appears she is right! Just had a defective battery replaced and it turned on again 5 days ago.

Take care, hope you feel better.

 
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:43 PM   #13
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Re: How long till your back pain went away after surgery?

[QUOTE=deanh;5128492]Shocking your doctor did not stress what not to do! Usually PT is all they recommend after surgery. I think, as others stated, you stair master and tennis may have aggregated your back.

I had a herniated disk that caused scarring my spinal nerve and left me with chronic pain in 1 location in the center of my lower back. After being on 175mg fentanyl every 2 days and not getting relief, a new young doc suggested a peripheral spinal nerve stimulator. She said I had to come down on narcotics for my sake if I had any further injuries. She said I was a perfect candidate for the SCS, it appears she is right! Just had a defective battery replaced and it turned on again 5 days ago.

Take care, hope you feel better.[/QUOTE]

Thanks - my surgery was microscopic, so it was a pretty quick recovery. I feel lucky in that I have little or no chronic pain when just doing day-to-day activities. I am limited in what I can do for exercise workouts though, at least at this point in time. And I'm not getting any younger!

I agree with your feeling that your SCS is the way to go, as you don't want to rely on narcotics if there is another way to handle the pain. Hope it works out well.

 
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