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19 weeks, is this par for the course?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,731
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:23 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
19 wks. L$-S1 fused....I walk 2 miles in the a.m. and 1 in the p.m -have been doing this for a couple months. I have been weaning the brace off over the last 6 weeks....it's been troublesome getting the muscles to settle down without the brace but I only wear the brace when sitting now.

1)has anyone taken months to wean off their brace

2) Does anyone experience burning under the sacrum and
tightness & burning in the low back

3)Have you ever experienced a 'flare up' with nothing you can think of triggering it?

I'd love to hear if anyone else has any of these issues??


  • Hi carol, I am 20 weeks L3-S1 but I didn't have a brace.
    Like you I walk about the same sometimes more

    Yes, I have had the burning, tightness etc in the lower back as well as other things and you know sometimes I can work out what has caused it and other times it just seems to be out of the blue.
    PMT is a bad time for me, and our hormones often do make a difference so maybe this the case with you.
    Either way you are doing well if you are keeping walking, remember that this is not like having our tonsils out, it is a big surgery.

    Keep smiling and know that all is good

    Blessings Sara O:)
  • Thanks Sara, I was hoping I'd hear from you. Makes me feel good many of my symptoms are common to yours....must just be part of the game. BTW, I always love your attitude. You have such a great perspective; it flows to all the rest of us~thanks!!!
    Hey Sara, when you sit; are you able to sit all the way back. Like in a kitchen chair, are you able to sit with your back against the chair with no problem?
  • I am about a month behind you guys, June 10th but I can relate to some of your issues. I weaned off my brace at 8 weeks. Dr.told me when I could stop using it I could drive, it was gone in a week and a half. When I sit very long I get spasms, but they are not painful, just annoying. I always have that tightness that goes with the stiffness in lower back, I keep believing it will go away with time(but I guess more that 4 weeks)and sometimes burning when overdoing. Like Sara said sometimes I can pinpoint what causes a bad day sometimes I can't. I agree with you Carol, Sara you do have a great attitude and are very encouraging, being a few weeks behind you, I have followed a lot of your posts. Oh and the chairs, I still have pillows in all of mine. Happy Healing!
  • Hi Carol and Seeking help,
    Thanks you both for your kind words, I do feel that this is a place to help each other and a positive attitude goes a long way!
    Having said that it is also a place for people to come and let it all out :))( when we have worries or concerns it really helps to share it and our friends/families do not always understand.
    I know if I share any concerns with my mum she turns it into a molehill and practically has me on the op table! ~X(

    Carol I find sitting back is Ok but I do often feel like something is digging or pressing into me if I do. The OT gave me a frame with soft wiring that I use if I sit in the sofa chair but my dining or computer chair I do tend to sit forwards a bit.
    Big hugs to you both!
    Sara O:)

  • Thats the one thing I'm finding even after last years old site. People that have had to have braces on loose alot of their core strength. So its going to be awhile before that is back to "norm" again.
    Once ya all start PT if you already havn't that should help.
    Right now I only have to sit on one. But believe me last years surgery I had to use several to sit in a chair. I carried my pillow everywhere I went.

    Just keep hanging in there. If its pain that is annoying you to much and becomes bothersome. Please call your dr and let them know. If your on a muscle relaxer that might have to be changed etc. Personal opinion. Some meds stop working after awhile we are on them, and we need a change.
    Heat/ice whatever makes your muscles feel better.
    You will find the more walking you do it will eventually turn out good in the long run.
    Plus PT will have exercises to strengthen those core muscles that have been locked up in that brace for so long..

    Terri :D >:D< :*
  • Ahhhh, so the chairs are a nemesis. I thought weaning the brace from sitting would be a breeze but the walking would be harder.....just the opposite. So tell me more, you sit on pillows and put pillows behind your back. I have a little lumbar pillow but I tend to sit forward a bit now that I'm fused. I'm thinking I need a bigger pillow? Tell me how y'all sit in a kitchen chair and I'll devise my plan. ;) And Sara, you are soooo right. Info. here is so much more reassuring than mom afraid I'm going to get addicted to pain pills, hubby saying tomorrow will be better and sis-in-law saying just be patient. You guys are doing it right along with me and we can compare issues then help each other through them. Big Hugs to my Spiney Friends-don't know what I'd do without them!; they are a true blessing!!

  • Hi Carol & all!

    Yes, sitting is a biggie..can't do it for very long, yet, or maybe never..

    Pillows of all kinds, including many TempurPedic chair pads (respond to body heat & mold themselves to your bottom, etc)

    I've also found that putting a pillow in my lumbar area is too painful, so I move it up a little, to my mid/upper back, as it helps then to keep the lumbar area straight but puts no pressure on my fusion area or the wound site.

    But yes, it's a challenge to sit comfy! I'm always wiggling around & then just get up & move when I can't bear it any longer.

    and yes, what a wonderful supportive group to talk to! I truly believe that unless someone has personally gone thru this, they just CAN'T "get it"---and to come here where others truly get it, well....makes me wanna sit & write some more, but can't....but you're all in my thoughts for sure!

    May we all find a comfy position for some of those great new tv shows this week!

    Diversion! :)

  • Alright, so now I know that I need more to rest my back on while I'm weaning the brace while sitting. Why oh why do they not tell you these things at the docs office. Lakeside, we really do need to get a pamphlet made up for each time a pt. visits after surgery...what you may experience next. Wouldn't that be great if they gave you one for each phase of recovery.
  • I use old flattened bed pillows on my kitchen chairs, one on the seat and one wrapped around the back. I am just starting to be able to sit in recliner, still a bit uncomfortable, but I put a pillow under me and a small one just above incision area to take pressure off like Lakeside. I sat for about an hour in recliner today,that was the longest. I am hoping this sitting gets better as I was just given a return to work date of Nov 3rd. I sit all day tied to a headset. I am getting very nervous. I had to be back by Dec 1 to keep my job so figure if I go back Nov I can start half days. I see all these people who say they go back because it is a sedentary job, but I don't have the luxury to walk around any time I want. OOPs sorry to go off on a tangent. Yes the pillows really help. You guys are so right, having something to tell you what you may expect next would be great, I guess since everyone is so different it would be hard to do, but the doctor(and I love mine)doesn't really give you a clue. He keeps telling me keep doing what your doing. OK and I do feel like I am doing really well considering everything,but what next. Enjoy the new TV shows. Seeking
  • Thanks girls, just knowing I am not alone sure helps. My b-day is Nov. 29th. For my b-day I want to be rid of the brace. Lord help!!
    Hey ladies, another ? since we are all so similar.....do you find as you are trying to sit more, wean braces, try new things, all kinds of different muscles start acting up and giving you yanks?? Thanks for your time and feedbacks.
  • Oh absolutely, I talked to PT and she said basically there is 8 inches of my back being stable, above and below that are working overtime. Those muscles are taking on all new stuff and that is why your sore in places you can't imagine. Carol you will be rid of the brace by then, just keep going a few minutes more each day without it and you will build up to it. By the way my birthday is Nov 9, I will be going back to work. Hang in there.
  • Thanks seeking help...so I'm not having aliens invade my body, this all over muscle spasming, soreness, stiffness is part of the deal-wonderful. Alright prayers for your Nov return to work and my Nov. brace freedom.....yeeee haaaaa!!!! What about you Sara, got any Nov. goals??
  • yup, Carol, we sure do need to write that pamphlet!I sure did wasn't told about the pain I'd have BELOW & ABOVE the fusion area, all those muscles now trying to figure out what to do with this "new" immoveable mass of spine...!

    What they don't tell you will fill the 1st 100 pages, right Carol?!

    Ach! Just keep plowing ahead, use the brace, ice/heat/massage/pain meds/wine/whine....whatever gets ya thru! Including all the great friends here!

    And yes, Joy, what a JOY to have that marrow-punch site iliac pain gone! Mine left @ about 5 months & it's never returned---hallejulia! At least something that is GONE besides my body parts & sanity! :)

    Night all--sleep comfy, however you get there!

  • Yep, the things they don't tell us. My spinal muscles were disected from L1 to S2 for a single level fusion at L4-5!??? No wonder my muscles were screaming in spasms, and I feel that tightness all the way up to mid back. Seems crazy! :/ :/
  • Funny I was just thinking this today. Time to re-assess my goals. I finish my PT and Hydro on Friday this week and had my final asessment with the physio today.
    She is recommending that I go back to the REAL GYM as she said I know enough now as to what my limits are and how far I can push things, she will write a program for me.
    So my goal is to get workers comp to agree (and pay) for the gym and hopefully I can be back there before long.

    I am looking forward to daylight savings next week so I can go walking in the evening rather then in the heat of the day but I do find walking on the treadmill better then the footpath. I can go longer and have better traction I think.

    I see my O/S at the end of October and will have a CT scan then. I am sure it will show full fusion and I can get back to living normally which will of course mean looking for work as well. Actually it will be really really nice to have an income coming in again rather then relying on benefits which dont cover half my costs.

    Now I am investigating jobs and what they entail so I can have a better fix on things.

    So that is it for me- get back to the gym and find a job, sounds pretty boring and I'm sure to some it is but I am really looking forward to it.

    Blessings Sara O:)

  • Sara,
    That's great; you've had a long haul and now your goals are getting a job and living normally? That's awesome!! I will face the same dilema. I am a pediatric nurse and don't know what I'll find where I don't have to lift or bend. I have always been blessed with great jobs so I'm trusting the Lord will send something my way when the time comes. My goal now is to get rid of this stinkin' (and I'm serious, it stinks after a hot summer of wearing it!) :sick: and getting all the muscles to work together in unison. My daughter goes to college 2 hrs. from here so I'm hoping that by the end of Oct. I can meet her half way for lunch.
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