I am 6 months into my recovery from a L5-S1 fusion and thought I would share my positive results. Before my surgery it was hard to find posts from anybody who had a good outcome and it made it difficult to remain positive about my chances of returning to a "normal" life without pain. The pain made things like walking, sleeping and playing with my kids extremely difficult.
My surgery was an ALIF with a spacer and BMP. The first couple of months of recovery were not easy but not as bad as I had expected. I was able to handle the stairs at the hospital about 36 hours after surgery. I rested a lot and walked a lot. I went back to work half days at 12 weeks and back to full time after 4 months.
Now, I am able to do 90% of what I used to do pain free and things are still improving. I can do things like mow the lawn and play with my kids without taking any pain medication, except an occasional Tylenol. I still am careful with how I do thing and limit how much bending and twisting I do. The X-rays at 6 months showed bone growth between my vertebrae, but its not fully filled in yet, but its there. My doctor expects full fusion around 9-12 months. A fusion is a big surgery and a not a quick recovery.
I hope my experience can help someone stay positive in dealing with an upcoming surgery. And I feel for those who have not had the positive outcome that I've had and wish them the best in their healing.
I am so happy to hear such positive outcome! Good for you, I hope you will continue to live good and health life.
I know how upsetting can be to read before your surgery about people who left permanently damaged (myself) after spinal fusions.
The thing is, people who are doing well went on with their lives; they don't come here to discuss their health issues. But someone like me who continue having issues still here doing their research, sharing experiences and trying to find needed answers.
Less levels involved in fusion - better success rate; Also depends what exactly was done. Some spinal fusions can be done in 2-4 hours, some longer. My surgery took 10 1/2 hours, 4 surgeons were involved besides Anesthesiologist. I was told spinal fusion surgeries run from mild to moderate and very severe. So this is why results are vary for this same reason.
Smoking, overweight, other health issues, live style, knowledge and experience of the doctor and simple luck - all can contribute to a final results.
Good luck to you, enjoy your healthy life, but please do not over do it. Don't ever forget about this.
That is fantastic news! I am almost 3 months post the same surgery and am also feeling pretty good. Only Tylenol for pain during day and occasional flexeril and Tylenol PM at night. I am walking more and more and feeling better every day. I hope at 6 months I will be doing as great as you are! I am hoping I will be able to shovel when it snows this winter!
It is so good to read about the positive and negative result from everyone's fusion. I'm only 5 weeks out from my L4-5 fusion with a cage and hardware. Before the surgery I had this ridiculous nerve pain from my left hip to my left foot, which really limited my ability to function. I teach high school English and it required that I am up and around constantly. I know it's not one of your seriously physically demanding jobs, but I don't just sit in my chair and teach. My husband drove me 4 hours to the hospital where the neurosurgeon works from, and I went into the ER in the morning. The great blessing was that my doc was on call that morning and after he pulled up my MRI, let me know that surgery would be in the afternoon. Wam, bang, there you go. I was so fortunate to have the doctor I did and as I recover now, am grateful to read these posts of many of you who underwent a similar surgery. It's a way for me to compare my progress, give tips if I can, and know everyone's different and we all progress in our own time. I am going to start the water therapy as soon as possible, since that's considered an excellent "gentle" therapy to begin with. I have been walking on our treadmill here at home everyday, and I think that's helping, too.
Good luck to all.
Good for you! I'm 6 months post op as well. Matter of fact, I go for my post op this afternoon! I'm feeling about 85% better. I'm so happy to be able to walk and dance....(well, I can't get down like I use to, but I can move!) The weather effects me the most, like when its about to rain or extremely cold weather. I had to pull out my heating pad a couple of times, but it really was my fault. Sometimes you forget that you had major surgery and you are limited to what you can do. But your body lets you know asap! I'm so happy that I had the surgery and my goal now is not to jeopardize it by doing something stupid!!
Thank you for your POSITIVE post I am 2 weeks into recovery after an L4/L5 fusion with a laminectomy and doing well. Better than I expected. Most posts that I read prior and do read now are negative and I was looking for some positive notes. I am already walking up to 30 minutes at a time (obviously resting a tonne as well) and have none of the same pain I had prior to surgery, only surgical pain. I am extremely hopeful and positive that I will be just fine.
two yrs. post. surg. l 3-4-5.(also a c-5-6-7) Haven't been on the site in awhile. So that is a positive. Trolling for some old friends. I hope they're all getting better.
I went for a bike ride a few weeks ago..I was floating..it was wonderfull.
went around a lake. saw some turtles, sunning on a log. never thought I'd do that again..Iced up as soon as I got home , spent the rest of the day on the couch..but. you adjust. No More rollercoasters.
Walking again. swimming.(if you can, walk in a pool) smiling! within reason. I remember struggling to get to the store, with a walker, to get a newspaper. I had the pc..but it was the point of going. and it sucked big time. But I made it. PT was rough. But I got my T-shirt from Nova care and a birthday cake..love those folks. Pool therapy was good.
There is a light..it gets better..takes time , but it does get better!
Best wishes to you!