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3 1/2 wks after ALIF (L4/L5/S1)- Recovery questions

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,731
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:24 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi all, I had a 2-level ALIF (L4/5/S1) on October 10. Some problems in the hospital (kept passing out, needed blood transfusion, etc) kept me there 6 nights. Got home and started walking a few blocks at a time and felt the pain decreasing a little so decreased my pain med dose a little. This past week (3rd post-surgery, 2nd out of hospital) I have been walking at least an hour a day, most days I go for a long walk (1 to 1 1/2 hours) and another shorter walk later (15-20 mins). I also started doing very minimal housework and trying to do more for myself (put my socks on, etc.).

Past few days pain has been bad- my right side (my hip as well as the side of my back) is extremely painful with movement. Usually if I walk a little the pain goes away but when I stop and lay back down it comes back. Other movements increase it also. I know with the housework I may have overdone it. But I have 2 questions.

1- Does it seem like I am on the right track with walking, or should I be taking it eaasier/pushing myself more? I was never given any instruction on this.

2- In all of these posts people talk about pain in the hips, knees, joints etc. but no one really talks about the actual back pain. My back REALLY hurts sometimes, and I'm assuming this is normal, buts can anyone tell me about their experience with this type of surgery and the pain they had, particularly in their back?

Thanks, all :)
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Comments

  • You are really early in the recovery stage, and I think you're doing great to be walking that much. I wouldn't be able to do it now at 4 months! I think we have to listen to our bodies. The body has a way of telling us if we have pushed too far...it's called PAIN. lol

    I would guess that your back pain is coming from the surgery. Like I said, you're still early in the game. However, if you are concerned about it, you should call your doc.

    I didn't have the same surgery as you and mine was only a one level fusion. Please be good to yourself and don't push too much!
  • Lindsay, when we feel better we tend to over do it. This happened to me at 5 weeks out and I got new pain. My doc said it was normal and it did go away in a few days. Do you think it may be spasms in your back and are you taking any spasm med? Have you tried ice and heat? I found both of great benefit, still do. For me I had mostly spasms and then of course surgical pain (PLIF) in my back. Now I still have a tight, vice like feeling in my low back. If you aren't getting better let your doc know. Good-luck, Cali-Sue
  • Lindsay, one more thing, that seems like a lot of walking so soon. Just make sure you are not walking to exhaustion as that is too much. If it is easy to do that amount at a leasurely stroll, it is probably okay. :)
  • to do shorter walks more often rather then a really big one.
    I know we are encouraged to walk but sometimes too much too soon is just too much LOL

    Also, leave the housework for a while longer if you can, you had a big op and need to really give yourself time to get over it.

    Blessings Sara O:)
  • Sounds like your doing good.
    Your right these are the things drs don't tell us. How much is to much?
    I really don't think there is a correct answer on that as we all have different body makeups, and heal at a different rate.

    Like everyone has said, mabye going a little bit slower, mabye break up your walks. I was only told to build up to 5 miles. Which when I went last time they meant like in 3 months or so.

    Housework is the trick question here. What are you doing???
    Just things with the grabber?? I know it kills me to even stand and do dishes. I use the grabber once in awhile to do laundry. But that is impossible if you live alone. It has to be done.

    Give your body to time to rest and heal. Its a given to get odd and end pains while all those muscles and nerves are healing. "They" get very upset with us when we mess around with them ;) ;)

    So I would start off with walking shorter distances. More heat/ice. Go from there. Rest is very important with recovery from this surgery. I know boring etc. Been there to many times.
    If it gets to out of control of course call your drs office for guidence.

    GOOD LUCK >:D<
  • Hi all, thank you for your replies. I definitely don't feel like I'm pushing too hard when I'm walking, if it gets uncomfortable I stop but I can usually go at least an hour before it gets too painful. I spoke with my doctor about the new pains and he didn't seem concerned. I have a hard time distinguishing between types of pains but I am on Flexeril (musc relaxer) and that seems to help some. I have tried both ice and heat with not much help from either... which seems to be better at this point?

    As for the housework, I am trying to slow down but it gets really boring and I feel helpless! I am trying to be more conscious of my movements at the very least...

    Thank you so much for your responses, it is so nice to have this online community :)
  • same place as yours... slow down... you sound like your over-doing it. You're really in the early stages of recovery and have a long ways to go. Keep walking, you'll heal faster, it's the only excersise you should be doing at this point, but don't walk so much. I wasn't even doing that much at your time in recovery with my 3 level... You're doing great but pushing it too much. I didn't get up to 1 mile until I was about 4-1/2 months.

    But what you're feeling is perfectly normal because you are overdoing it. Just remember one word and you'll be fine, "Patience". What we've gone through is a major surgery, and in one of the most important parts of our bodies, don't blow it. My best friend is my lap top, TV books and my Nintindo DS, as boring as it is, listen to your doctor and PT, that is if you've started PT yet. I was allowed to even start PT until my surgeon saw fusion, and that was at 23 weeks!
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