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Out of work, L4-S1 Fusion, Going on 3 mo post-op

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Surgery on November 18th 2008 for L4, L5 and S1. I have not returned to work, I am a little nervous about returning, my job is to sit at a desk working on computer for 8-10 hours a day. I am still hurting in the buttock area and in my left leg, especially alot of pain in my calf. My 6 week xray shows that I had not even started fusing. I have another doctors appt on Feb 19th for another set of xrays. The doctors put me on a new medicine called Neurontin for the nerves in my leg, but I still hurt. If I do much of anything I get really tired and hurt bad especially in the buttock area, not sure why.


  • I had a 2 level fusion in the same levels you did last year. Neurontin should help you with the nerve pain and the other unpleasant sensations associated with it. I took it for a while and it didn't work well for me. I hated the side effects too. I think Lyrica and Cymbalta are better nerve pain medications and you don't have to take huge doses like you would with Neurontin. I still have problems sitting and the pain runs down my back all the way down to my foot. Has your surgeon talked to you about you not fusing yet?
  • I had fusion at L3-4 & L4-5 september 25, 2008 & I am still having the same pain before surgery. I have not returned to work & I wonder if I ever will be able to. I cannot sit or stand for no longer then about 10 minutes because the pain is so bad. The only time I am pain free is when I am sleeping. THANK YOU LORD! The pain is in my low back(tailbone low) & my left foot from the calf down. I have been on neurontin for about 2 months now & I have no side effects. I think it is helping somewhat. I take 300mg6xdaily. I am now on methadone 10mg 2xdaily & norco & oxycodone for breakthrough pain. I started the methadone last night & I have had a slight headache since & I have not noticed any difference with the pain. I hope it will just take a little more time?? Anyone know much about methadone they can share? Thanks, Norm (stinger66)
  • Hey stinger- all I take for pain is Methadone, 10mg. 2xday, my doctor said that was a very small dose. Methadone, unlike any of the other meds, (Vicoden, Lortab, etc.) does not make you feel like you are on opiates, I just feel normal, with the pain relief. It is by far the best pain med I have ever taken. I had to go off the others, they were making me retain a lot of water. Doc says I can go up on the Methadone because I'm on such a small does, but I don't feel I need to. Hope this helps, God Bless, Linda
  • Hi Linda -
    Do you take methadone by mouth or do you use a pain pump?

    Panama City Beach, FL
  • Acollins -

    I have to say that even thought I am over 6 months post-op, sitting is still my biggest demon. When I've talked the dr. about it I get the 'Motion is the Lotion' speech. I figure I just need patience.

    You are still early days yet too - I only just returned to work in mid-December - and it sounds like we had the same fusion.

    Even when you do return to work, sitting that long is a big no-no. You're going to have to train yourself to get up, walk around and get moving.

    Best of luck
  • I feel your pain, I am 3 1/2 years post op and still looking for answers. I have my one level fusion because I couldn't sit, I now can't sit or much of anything else without meds. The pain from sitting is still there plus a lot of back pain that I didn't have prior to surgery. I am taking Neurotin and Darvocet 3 times a day and it only takes the edge off. All I can say to you is if your not getting the answers you want go elsewhere, I'm still hoping to find the Dr that can tell me what is going on. Good Luck in you're quest.
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