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L4-S1 fusion week 6 questions

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:29 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had a L4-S1 fusion just under 6 weeks ago, things have gone amazingly well other than a bad skin reaction I had to the dressings which caused my skin to burn and then peel off, I was also severely constipated which wasn't pleasant either!

I have quite a large scar which had 36 staples in it, these were quite painful to be removed, but it was over fairly quickly.

Since week 2 I have managed to walk at least 4 miles a day on the treadmill, walking outside seems harder, think this may be down to the uneven ground and it does still feel strange being outside after being indoors for so long.

I had my check up last week and am now allowed to drive again, sitting is OK for short periods of time so I can manage to drive to the shops etc

I start physio in a few days time, I am expecting this to be the start of my pain. To be honest the pain I have felt up until now has been nothing compared to my life pre-surgery. Medication wise I am on 4x2 paracetomol a day with 2x10mg of amitryptilene on a night - I have been on this medication since hospital and think this is quite light?

My questions are:-

I walk slightly differently now and my muscles in my legs have been hurting as I walk (my right foot used to point to 2 o'clock, it is now back at 12). I am also suffering now with back/muscle pains on the sides of my back. Hopefully this is down to using muscles that I haven't used for so long, I spent the year prior to my operation using a back brace and a rollator. Do you think that the muscle pain I am experiencing is down to this? I am paranoid that my back is going to go into spasm again like before the operation, I know I am straight now unlike before when I would lean to one side.

Is the physiotherapy hard work?

Other than my current muscle problems I cannot believe how well surgery has gone, my old back pain that I suffered in my spinal area has disappeared. So far, so good!


  • Hi leehal and welcome to spine-health.com. Well, overall at 6 weeks out I would say that you are doing pretty well. Yes, its quite common to be feeling to be walking differently and to be getting all sorts of muscle aches from muscles that have not been used for so long. Also, the geometry of your lumbar has changed slightly following your surgery, which has actually changed your entire geometry of your spine and legs which is taking your body a while to adjust to. I had exactly this problem too.

    PT should not hurt much at all, if you have a good therapist who is experienced in lumbar spine surgery rehabilitation, works out a formalised rehab program for you and who listens to your body/condition at each visit and adjusts your treatment according to how you are feeling at the time.

    Keep up the great work, don't overdo things (its easy to at this point in your recovery) and keep us posted about your recovery.

    Keep positive!


    ...an old timer here and ex-moderator

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