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2-year Update. There sure is life after fusion!

BruceBBruce Posts: 516
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:25 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Last week was my second anniversary after my L5-S1 laminectomy and fusion.

At 2 years I am basically pain free day to day doing normal activities so i want to give everyone hope that there can be a pain free existence after major back surgeries.

I must admit that I stopped doing my daily stretches several months ago and I know that I need to resume these and keep up with both stretches and core muscle exercises. A case in point is yesterday - I did a 4 mile walk that involved about 300 steps up and down a pathway up a hill and after that I carried about 80 lbs at one time (two large pails of sea water - I have a salt water aquarium) briefly. So, today, my lower back muscles hurt a bit. I have experienced this before and must get back onto my stretches and core muscle exercise regime.

If you click on 'View my story' below in my signature there is a lot more information about my case; my progression; what worked for me.

So, please don't give up hope if you are 1, 2, 3, 6 months or so out and still in pain. Recovery takes a long time, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Keep positive!


...an old timer here and ex-moderator



  • I really needed to be reminded of that today. I am only 2 months post op ACDF C5/6 and I just keep thinking I should be better by now. At least not having the muscle spasms or neck pain anymore. I know I'm early yet but thanks for the reminder that there is life on the other side.
  • It is great to read these things and be reminded that all is going according to plan. I started at the gym the other day and am so happy about that. Just have to resist the urge to get on the machines I am not ready for yet. :))(
    Blessings Sara O:)
  • I know that you know that ;) Yes, 2 months is a long time to endure the recovery but unfortunately as far as back surgeries go it is not really that long yet :(

    Hang in there, as hard as it is, and you will get there. Keep thinking positively and focus on life after your recovery :)

    All the best... Bruce
    Keep positive!


    ...an old timer here and ex-moderator

  • While 2 years is a long time since my surgery I still remember the recovery vividly, especially going to physio therapy and starting to use the machines. It is a major step and a great feeling. It's excellent that you are now going to the gym and, but you know, don't overdo it on the machines ;)
    Keep positive!


    ...an old timer here and ex-moderator

  • Thank you so much for posting this and for remaining an active member of SH. I am not even 1 month post op for a two level TLIF and I am already getting antsy to be healed. I know that it is a process but some days I feel so set back. I am happy to hear that there is a light at the end. :)

    One Love,

  • You know, good news is ALWAYS welcome here and so inspirational to know the light at the end of the tunnel is not always a train.***

    You keep up your exercises, now. I am so happy to hear you're doing so well!!!!


    *** I hope the train analogy did not upset anyone. I am cognizant of the fact lots of accidents with trains end badly - my oldest brother died in just such an accident back in 1977 at the age of 23. So this comment was not intented to upset anyone with similar experiences...

  • Good on ya Bruce. =D>
  • I am encouraged by your story and am glad you're doing well. I am six months out of a TLIF/Laminectomy for L4-S1 and still have a lot of pain. What keeps me going is hope for the better and the friends here at SH. I don't know what I would have done without these forums.
  • You have to never give up hope and try to always keep a positive attitude - it really does help.

    Like others, my first 2 months or so were very bad. I was very depressed during the first month and i really felt at that point that I made made a huge mistake having surgery. Then, I had hardware issues and needed my hardware removed at 7 months post fusion, but I remained focused on getting a life back. What also helped was recognising that I would never be 100% again and that any significant improvement would be better than my life prior to surgery.
    Keep positive!


    ...an old timer here and ex-moderator

  • Glad to hear from you and see things are going so well! I haven't been on the forum for several months. It's good to have your life back and staying busy. I ook on here from time to time but I don't see anyone I know. I'm coming up on my 11 months post op and doing great. I too remember the tough road of recovery and hope I don't have to repeat it down the road. Have a Merry X-mas.

  • Good to hear from you and that you are recovering well too. Have a Merry X-mas too!
    Keep positive!


    ...an old timer here and ex-moderator

  • I'm now 5 1/2 years post surgery and still going strong. My back rarely gives me any issues and when it does, it's simply a dull pain in the lower back which lasts a day or so, which I put down to insufficient physical exercise!

    Surgery was absolutely the best thing for me, and was fully successful. Granted, surgery is not for everyone tho.
    Keep positive!


    ...an old timer here and ex-moderator

  • Terrific that you're still going so well. I read your mountain climbing experience a while back and was so happy that you were able to enjoy the climb. You achieved what most of us wish we could do.

    I'm in Perth and walk twice a day - something I couldn't do before surgery.

    Keep enjoying life Bruce.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • Well, my back is still going strong but it seems my heart isn't. A week ago I suffered a full on heart attack. Quick thinking by my wife got me too an A&E room and I was operated on immediately. 2 surgeries and 6 stents later I am now back home and doing well :)

    Such is life...if it aint one thing, it's another. However, I am keeping as positive about this latest issue as I did about my back issues.

    All the best to all of you.


    Keep positive!


    ...an old timer here and ex-moderator

  • Hi Bruce, I just wanted to let you know that I was truly touched by your last post. I had my 4th spine surgery on May 24, 2012 and am still having pain issues. My husband had sudden cardiac arrest while camping with our son on Feb. 19, 2011 and cpr brought him back to us. He had quadruple by-pass on Feb.23, 2011 and is doing well physically but still struggles with the mental part. I admire your postive outlook and hope you continue to heal. Thank you for sharing with us. It makes me realize that my problems are not impossible to overcome:)

  • Hubby is well over two years post fusion also Bruce

    He has really done well and is back to all his vigorous activities. He did exactly what they told him to do for months after the.surgery and I guess it paid off but I am wondering if he is still doing is exercises. Hmmm will have to get on him for that! Keep telling him that a 68 year old has no business keeping as active in his shop as he does but he has no pain and very few limitations so maybe he is right. Just wish he realized that he is not thirty anymore. He is having some problems with impingement in his rotator cuff and has had cortizone for that with possible arthroscopic surgery further down the road but that is pure arthritis I guess and there is no stopping it.

    Hope you recover quickly. Don't know your age but being old as hubby and I are is NOT for sissies!
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