Discussions that mention tylenol

Back Problems board


Hi Stay,
You've come to the right place! There are lots of us on here who have had fusions, some through the front, some through the back, and some by both methods. A few have had the minimally invasive procedure.

Even with the minimally invasive method, this is a big surgery with a long recovery that will be measured in months, not weeks. That said, if you need it, you'll get yourself through it. I have had two fusions, and I would do them both again in a heartbeat!

You'll spend the first week or two mostly in bed, getting up long enough to wash up, walk around a little, and use the bathroom from time to time. Mostly, you'll be lying down resting, watching TV and dozing in and out. Your pain meds will help with that! You may or may not be sent home with a walker. You will be told no bending, lifting (usually a 5 pound limit, but varies from doctor to doctor), or twisting. You may be given a brace to wear whenever you're not in bed to help keep you from bending or twisting. You will probably also be given a sitting restriction. I was told to sit for no more than 15 minutes at a time for the first several weeks, but in reality, 5 minutes was as much as I could handle. Everyone is different, and the more levels you have done the longer your recovery will be. For me, I spent most of the first 2 months lying down on my bed (on, not in, as I'd get up and have my kids help me straighten it up everyday and then be on it so I didn't feel like I was "sick"). By 3 months, I was up for several hours a day, but still lying down a lot. By the 5 month mark, I was up most of the day, but still needed to lie down for a few hours in the afternoon everyday.

Pain is different for everyone, too. I was on Percocet for about the first 2 months or so. Then I switched to Vicodin, still strong, but not as strong as Percocet. I have a girlfriend who had a fusion while I was recovering, so we often called each other and compared notes. She was on nothing but Tylenol from the time she was discharged! She had a prescription for something stronger, but she just didn't need it. Others on here have needed meds much stronger than Percocet. But Percocet seems to be a pretty common pain med that fusion patients go home with.

Have you gotten a second opinion? I really recommend it, if only for the peace of mind that you've exhausted other options and that others are in agreement that this would be an appropriate surgery for you. If you decide to have this surgery, we'll try to answer whatever other questions you have. If you read the thread at the top called "post surgery tips," you'll get a lot of excellent suggestions for things you can do to prepare for this surgery to have an easier recovery. It will give you some sense of what it will be like.

Let us know what you decide. I wish you the best!
Emily