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recovery time--shorter or longer?

gar0262ggar0262 Posts: 164
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I know that everyone is different in their recovery times, but I just was wondering if anyone could give me some kind of clue as to recovery time. Ok, so I had original surgery of PLIF of L5-S1 with hardware on Sept. 15, 2008. I was just at the point of going back to work at beginning of Jan. when a darn nasty infection reared it's ugly head causing me to undergo a second surgery on Jan. 6 to clean it out. Fortunately no damage to the fusion or hardware, but the simple fact of having the same muscles and nerves cut again. I asked my ns how long this was gonna set me back from going back to work, and the only answer he gave me at the time was "depends on how you feel". I know that my body has definately been traumatized by all this, but in ya'lls opinion will I just have recovery time like as when I had my appendectomy, which was 6-8 wks, or will it take even longer due to the cutting and recutting? I realize that these are answers that my ns needs to answer,and I will go back to see him on Jan. 28, but just trying to get an idea, so I can get my mind wrapped around all this.


  • Hi Paul,
    Yes, I am taking antibiotics, but thankfully I am able to take them orally. My ns called it a "wimpy" infeciton, as if any infection is actually wimpy. lol I am taking cipro, which is a strong antibiotic, and I have to be careful with dairy products, as they they can tend to decrease the effectiveness of cipro. I'm doing my best to deal with that as I love milk, and absolutely miss my chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, but I know I must to deal with it to overcome this latest hurdle. One day at a time is my motto.
  • Hi Glor. If you are physically in better condition now than prior to your original surgery then my guess is that your recovery should be easier too.

    I can really only speak for myself, and this was the case for me. I needed my hardware removed after 7 months and while the surgeon made the same sized incision and cut through all the same muscles my recovery in the short and longer term were both much easier than my initial fusion surgery. I was back at work (desk job) after 2 weeks, back restarting physiotherapy rehab all over again (albeit extremely restricted) after 3 weeks and back traveling internationally - 7-hour flights) after 5 weeks.
    Keep positive!


    ...an old timer here and ex-moderator

  • Hi my darlin!!
    Again going to depend on you and how you feel, when your ready to stand or sit for longer periods of time etc.
    Has fusion started yet???
    Mine hasn't UGGHH. But I also had a late start and missed the important time frame of 6wks when fusion begins.

    I know we were around the same time with surgery and there is no way (for myself) I would be able to handle a outside job. Besides there isn't many around!!! again UGGH.

    I am going to take online courses and try to get things set up to work at home, which I think is the best for me.

    How is your pain levels daily?? How long can you sit without getting uncomfy?? Do you still need your pain meds??
    All things to take into consideration.
    Plus if you feel your ready and you still need meds, pain managment is the way to go. I am going Wednesday as my primary, nor my ortho will RX anything else.

    I know the infection got in the way of your recovery same with having my aortic bi fem done. UGHH again.
    I know Ughh is not my fav word to use but I cannot use the word I really want!!! B)

    ok whewwwww soma kicking in. Boy those things work fast when no food in the belly!!! :B @) @) (|:

    Love ya hunny let us know how you make out!!!
    Terri O:)
  • I seem to have different issues with the nerves after this surgery. :( Last time I didn't seem to have too much of a problem with sitting but this time, it's not that easy. I am pretty sure that I will probably not be going back to work till at least the end of Feb., but was just trying to get some idea. My job is physically demanding, with long hours of standing on concrete. :''( By what I've been told when I do get back to work, my job will consist more so of operating a forklift and loading trucks, but will also involve the packing of orders too. Thanks for your help.
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