It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....

Back Problems Message Board

  • Life: 1 year after PLIF L5-S1

  • Post New Thread   Closed Thread
    Thread Tools Search this Thread
    Old 11-21-2006, 06:02 PM   #1
    Senior Member
    Susiebird's Avatar
    Join Date: Nov 2005
    Location: Pennsylvania
    Posts: 248
    Susiebird HB User
    Life: 1 year after PLIF L5-S1

    I'm coming up on my anniversary from a PLIF with extensive laminectomy, rods, screws and cages to replace the disc at L5-S1. I'm doing fairly well but still disappointed that I'm not 100%; I knew going into it that it was going to take time. My job was on a manufacturing production line working 12 hour swing shifts...constant tugging, pushing, bending, climbing, twisting and lifting; often 65-70 (or more) pounds. I used to be a tomboy and preferred this type of work to sitting behind a desk, but at 48 years old I'm ready to slow down.

    My daily drug regimen is 2-25 mg. amitriptylene and 3 x 300 mg gabapentin (neurontin), plus feldene (an a/i) that doesn't seem to help at all. The amitriptylene (elavil) is my wonder drug as it helps with the numbness in my feet - it's an anti-depressant, a sleep aid and most importantly, for nerve pain control (it ups your pain threshold level). And taking the edge off stressful situations is a definite bonus!

    My DB plan allowed me to stay home until after 6 months post-op - I got to work at a temporary light duty job 4 hour days for 3 months, but since I'm not returning to my physical labor job, I need to find another job in-plant or will be terminated in June. Sitting at a desk is terrible for my toes (15 minutes and they feel like they're immersed in a bucket of cold water). Walking REALLY helps that; as soon as I get moving, the sensation turns nice and toasty. I got to walk a lot the last month of my job there, but ran into another problem....a stabbing pain in my left hip, which I suspect is SI joint related, from walking in a huge plant on concrete. Then there is the infamous "tailbone inflammation" that seems all too common in fusion patients. Sitting on an exercise ball instead of a chair seems to help. I see the surgeon in a few weeks and will ask for a different a/i.

    I walk at least 5 miles each day; my surgeon doesn't believe in PT just "walk walk walk" therapy. I started a couch-to-5k running plan at the 7 month mark, took it slower than I needed and built up some mileage (ok, 2 miles may not seem like much to some, but to me it was HUGE). Now I'm dealing with a dislocated/broken shoulder but that's finally on the mend after 3 months. Hope by next spring I'm healed up and ready to train for the triathlon. Again.

    I've been taking classes in medical records coding for the last 4 years, and next week start an unpaid internship at a local hospital. Hopefully it will turn into a paid position that I can do from the comfort of my living room. Yup, my dream job is working in my jammies and slippers, everyday a shower-optional day, sipping my coffee and taking a spin around the block on my bike during my break. (plus a big stick to take out wayward dogs who get in my way!!)

    Last year at this time, I couldn't wait for surgery to fix my spondy and get me back to my previously active lifestyle. Chances are slim that I'll ever win a triathlon or a 5 K; heck I'll just be glad to FINISH. I've had to adjust my attitude a ton in the last year; but I'm NOT letting anyone tell me I [I]can't[/I] do this or that..I'll let pain be my guide and will be a whole lot smarter about the intensity.

    Sponsors Lightbulb
    Old 11-22-2006, 12:02 PM   #2
    Senior Veteran
    mamakitkat's Avatar
    Join Date: Jan 2005
    Location: USA
    Posts: 1,648
    mamakitkat HB User
    Re: Life: 1 year after PLIF L5-S1

    WOW sounds like your in the right direction, I can't imagine walking that far everyday. I can walk like maybe a mile in like 50 minutes, far cry from your triathalon. Good for you, having the determintation is half the battle. Don't ever give up your dreams, they can come true if you try hard enough. I know I woudl not be where I'm at if I gave in to what many others have said. I know I"m not back to normal but do way more than my doc had expected me to be able to do at this point.

    You keep up the great job! I'm rooting for ya!

    God Bless

    "Thru every dark corner is a door to a new light"
    (Dana Reeve)
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

    Old 11-22-2006, 12:43 PM   #3
    Join Date: Oct 2006
    Location: USA
    Posts: 491
    babs17 HB Userbabs17 HB User
    Re: Life: 1 year after PLIF L5-S1

    You should be proud of your accomplishments!
    be well

    Old 02-02-2007, 07:24 AM   #4
    Senior Member
    confusedpatient's Avatar
    Join Date: Sep 2003
    Location: Ohio
    Posts: 138
    confusedpatient HB User
    Re: Life: 1 year after PLIF L5-S1

    Hey Susie! Wanted to bump this back to the top just to say hi & let you know what's going on. Glad to hear your recovery is going well. I finally got fed up with the tailbone pain & went to a doc associated with the Cleveland Clinic. He's a sports med doc & seemed confident that my problem is piriformis syndrome. The leftover nerve pain after surgery is nothing compared to this. He also suggested sitting on an excercise ball instead of a chair. Anyhow he injected the piriformis which seemed to help a little. He suggested excercising with the yoga ball & absolutely no stretching at this point. This is killing me because everything on my back side feels tight. I go back next week. He also sees some fibromyalgia, not what I wanted to hear. My cocktail these days consists of 3-4 percocet, 3-4 75 mg lyrica, and an occsional Ibuprofen. I messed up my system really bad with the indocin. Had to have a colonoscopy because of it. That seems to have cleared up though. Do you know how Oakie is doing? It's good to see your attitude is so positive. I had an attitude adjustment for the new year!


    Closed Thread

    Related Topics
    Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
    plif, hardware removal update lisa3451 Back Problems 3 12-18-2011 01:12 PM
    SCIATICA sharper after l4/l5 discectomy Chazz Back Problems 3 03-08-2011 02:01 AM

    Thread Tools Search this Thread
    Search this Thread:

    Advanced Search

    Posting Rules
    You may not post new threads
    You may not post replies
    You may not post attachments
    You may not edit your posts

    BB code is Off
    Smilies are On
    [IMG] code is Off
    HTML code is Off
    Trackbacks are Off
    Pingbacks are Off
    Refbacks are Off

    Sign Up Today!

    Ask our community of thousands of members your health questions, and learn from others experiences. Join the conversation!

    I want my free account

    All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:37 PM.

    © 2020 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved.
    Do not copy or redistribute in any form!