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Post-fusion recovery process?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:30 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi to everyone, it's been quite some time since I've posted - among other things, I've been very busy.

I had a 3-level (L3-S1) fusion with laminectomy mid-June of 2008 - 7 and 1/2 hours in surgery. I was back to work FT within 8 weeks. Did PT, still do back exercises, recently had epidural for SI joint pain (have osteo in my SI joints now).

I have had chronic, bilateral leg fatigue (feels much like the flu). These sensations come and go (a couple of days at a time, and then I feel better), and I typically have low back and leg pain with movement, and still have lower back soreness (sneezing really hurts - God forbid I get a cold - which I have not had this year).

I'm really interested in hearing what symptoms others who are ~9 months to 1 year post-fusion still have - if only for comparative purposes. I just had a CT myelogram (have a spinal stimulator, so no MRIs allowed), and it was normal - i.e., no stenosis, no herniation, no spurs, and I am fully fused between vertebrae, etc...

That said, I still have the residual symptoms as above. Sometimes, I really feel terrible; some days are "tolerable"...because myelogram was "normal", my NS wants me to see my PCP for testing of electrolytes, etc...

Any thoughts/impressions on this would be much appreciated! How are/were the symptoms of any others who were at a similar stage of recovery post-fusion?





  • Hi Michael,

    Considering that you went back to work eight weeks after your fusion, it is not surprising that you you are still experiencing some problems. Recovery can be slow, even when somebody does not have to deal with outside work.

    I had the same fusion as you did, on 5/1/08, so shortly it will be my first year anniversary. I have the good fortune of not having to go to work (retirement has its benefits) so I could concentrate on my recovery. I am quite pleased with my progress, the only residual effect of my surgery is the fact that I still get tired fast. I can do almost everything as before, but all of the sudden I feel so exhausted I have to take a rest. After a short while, I can continue with my task. Oh yea, to be 25 again!

    Wishing you the best,

  • I'm sure you've already seen my thread called "Is anyone still having a considerable amount of pain after 3 level fusion, 1 year 2 months post-op?" Yes, I still have pain!! Go read it, take care....
  • As you know, I have posted before about muscle fatigue and how it feels like I have a mild flu. I have an autoimmune disease, specifically a "connective tissue disease" which I blame for the fluish feeling that I get in my arms and legs. The pain that I have in my back just adds to my symptoms. I only had a one level fusion so I can't comment on post fusion recovery for 3 level fusion and I am only 3 weeks post op.

    Good luck with your electrolytes,etc testing.
  • Thank you all for the kind postings.

    Kin, you are right - tiring out is still a problem for me as well (nice to hear from you, BTW!!!) - glad to see that you are still doing well.

    Lynnsy, thank you as well. I did read your post - it seems that we are having like issues.

    Pepper, thank you for your post - I also think that my doc is looking for systemic issues - like lytes, connective tissue, etc....

    God bless you all.

  • This will sound terrible but I feel so much better after reading these posts. Not that I want anyone else to have pain or tiredness, etc. but I keep thinking there is something really wrong with me. I feel great for a day or two, then I feel like I am maybe getting the flu - heavy arms and legs, tired, etc. And some days I get just wiped out much sooner than I think I should.

    Also, some increased low back tightness and soreness in the last few weeks. Intellectually, I can acknowledge that it might have to do with something I have done - emotionally, I worry.

    So, I hope all of you feel better soon!
  • THANKS for your post! I understand completely. While I'm certainly not glad that you are having the same symptoms, I have to say that I am glad that I'm not alone in my experience.

    I never know what to expect - it seems that every day is different - physically and emotionally. Hard to explain to anyone else. I know precisely what you mean! :)

    Hope you feel better as well!

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