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Am I on the right track...30 days since Fusion Surgery

so over itsso over it Posts: 51
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hey guys,

I know everyone heals different but I am concerned if I am on the right track to healing. I had a Posterior Lumbar Fusion on 12/19 on L4/L5 with 1 small incision and my staples removed on 1/8. I feel like all went well but I have my doubts at time. My back feels weird.....like a deep ache. Can anyone share how their recovery was? I am walking as much as I can and I have started sitting in my recliner with my brace on. My most challenging moments is when I first wake up and I try to stand up straight. I go back to work on 2/13 and I just want to be certain I am on the right track. I know it takes several months to fully recover but needed some insight.


  • You will find much good info on this site about recovery experiences - and though we all recover at different rates, 30 days post fusion is very, very early in the recovery process. I am not surprised that your back aches and feels "weird". That seems quite expected for only 1 month post fusion. My back often aches and feels weird at 6 months post fusion!

    I am curious about what kind of work you do that you will be able to go back next month. Just be sure you don't go back too soon!
  • I had the same surgery a year ago. I think everyone will agree that you are still very early in your recovery...really just recovered from the "surgical" procedure, but not recovered from what's going on in the inside where you will need to fuse.

    I didn't start feeling somewhat normal until around the 6 month mark, and it has taken another six months to feel reasonably confidant about my fusion. If you had nerve compression, it can take up to 18-24 months for the damage to heal (if it is going to!).

    Do not try to rush things. You will only end up regretting it down the road.
  • Hey there,

    I also had a PLIF on 12/19 with a pretty good scar on L4-L5. I am like you, I starting to have a deep ache in my lower back that has almost worsened in the past few days-week. My worst time is also when getting up from laying down. I don;t know if we're doin' it right but we seem to be progressing at about the same speed. What kind of work do you do? I am a nurse and the doc told me it would be a long while before I was able to go back to work.
  • I am a secretary in a call center so I sit a lot but I have at the flexibility to get up and walk around and do other things.
  • First of all, CONGRATS <:P on the surgery. I know you kept getting cancellations. I am a secretary in a call center but I have the flexibility to move around. On my disablity paperwork he put down 6-8 weeks out of work but said it would take months before I fully recovered. I know when I go back it will be with a list of restrictions.

    I actually called my Doc office today and his nurse said I am on the right track. She said I need to do a lot more walking which is INCREDIBLY hard because its so cold outside but I am doing the best I can with that. I am sitting up more in my recliner.
  • walking around the mall works for me. it's fun. but expensive...... blah. lol.
  • I had a PLIF on Nov 18th. Pretty big scar and second scar where the bone for the graft was harvested. I am 56 (very nearly 57) and I have days that I really feel nearly normal like today and then all of a sudden I'll have several days where my back hurts and I have burning pain in legs/feet. Generally I can't figure what I've done differently to cause the change. But I certainly still have back pain. Achey-not sharp like it was. And some days it's better.

    Sounds to me like you are having a pretty standard recovery. I went back to work at 6 weeks BUT only work 2-3 hours a day. Sitting is still difficult for me. I hope you don't have the same problem. You'll have to do what others here suggested I do and take a timer and set it so I remember to get up and move.

    Good luck. I have found this surgery to be the greatest test of my patience that I'm ever had to endure. As many others have said.....you can't evaluate your progress from day to day or even from week to week. It's not productive. Take it month to month.
  • I appreciate the information. My return date will put me at 8 weeks but when I see doc next week I will be at 6. I know when I return it will be on 1/2 days so that's comforting.
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