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8 days out of surgery for L4-L5-S1 Fusion and decompression

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:30 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
What a week. Last Thursday I went in for a L5-S1 decompression and fusion. It was supposed to be a 4 hour surgery. Woke up in recover at 6:30pm instead of the planned 11:30ish time. Found out my docotor made a mistake based on the fact of how much damage there was. He had to fuse L4 as well and build a cage. I am only 22 years old and never have had surgery before in my life. Needless to say, it was hard to handle. I spent 4 days in the hospital and came home to my parents house, they have no stairs and it allows my husband and parents to take turns helping me :)

At 8 days, I am extremely sore in my back area. I don't really think the pain killers help. It is berable but not comfortable. I having a lot of problems sitting/laying down. I can only do one for an hour at most so you can only imagine nights are terrific. Also, the whole idea of not being able to move has set in. Being bored turns into feeling sorry for yourself and so on...

I see my doc next Friday so hopefully everything goes well!


  • I just saw where you had no replies and I know I like to see some response - so I hope you get better everyday and I hope you husband and parents find you easier and easier every day!
  • I remember those nights of not being able to sleep! I'm dreading them again! Just take it easy, and let your body heal!! Best of luck!!
  • If you have been reading posts on this forum you know that you are very, very early in the recovery process - so discomfort is quite normal. Your back near the incision site will be sore for some time.

    Sitting is difficult and will be for awhile. I could not sit comfortably even long enough to eat a meal for weeks after fusion. Same for lying on your back. It was about 2 months before I could lie on my back at all. Finding any comfortable position is hard - lots of pillows, ice packs (and when your doctor OKs it, heat) will help.

    This is a long and slow recovery that requires MUCH patience. Try to find little diversions to deal with the boredom. Having a routine helps but for awhile your days will consist primarily of walking and resting, walking and resting - and more of the same.

    Hang in there - it does get better.
  • You've had a big surgery and I agree- it is so very early in the recovery process. At 4+ months post-op I still eat most of my meals standing. Try not to sit too long, if you can.

    Yes, it is boring and if you are like many of us, we were so active priorr to the surgery or diability that got us to this point. It is hard to concentrate, so reading is not easy, which leaves sleep and TV.

    Try to keep positive and though it is a long road, it has an end and things will get better!

  • Hi,

    I have read your post and the comments you have gotten. I am going to have this surgery done June 17th. I am a bit nervous about it, but I am hoping it will relieve some of the pain I am in. I also hope to recover some of the nerve damage that has been caused.

    I keep trying to get more information about this surgery. I like to know what I am getting myself into before I jump in. I had a R total knee replacement done Sept 08' and I am still trying to heal from that. It is still causing me pain.

    I am shocked at how many people are in the same boat as we are. I am glad I can read & talk to others that are going though the same things I am. It is hard to get your family and friends to understand how you can be in that much pain all the time. I am sure things will get better for you soon.....

    Well good luck in your healing, I will keep in touch...
  • Hi, I had my revision surgery on L4L5, 16 days ago. As many of us discomfort and pain is normal for a while. It would not be normal if you have no pain after such a big surgery in a sensitive area.
    My neurosurg has adviced me only to lay down on a flat bed with every 1/2 hour walk a little in and around the house for the first 8 weeks. And build up the walking, if possible, from 2 minutes to 30 minutes maximum. No sitting, no bicycle, no car driving, no stairs, no bending, etc. etc. only laying and walking. This is to give your body the change of healing and form a solid bone bridge between the vertebra's.

    Good luck in your rehab and take care, Renos.
  • It gets better, it takes a while, but you WILL get better. One day, one hour at at time. If you are tense, pain is worse. Try to find things that help you relax and also pass the time. Good luck!
  • Hi there. I also had a fusion on the 21st. Mine was pretty normal, so I feel very lucky. I know what you mean about boredom! It can be bad. I have had lots of visitors, but they all seem to come at the same time and then i'm very tired afterward. I need them to spread out a bit! My friends have also gotten together and are bringing us dinner each night. It's a good thing as my husband can't/won't cook. I have a tendency to do too much and then regret it. I'm really working on this but it's very hard to change old habits!!

    My back is very sore if I do anything other than lying down and I haven't slept one night since I got home. I am having to take sleeping pills now, which I hate to do, but I need my rest.

    Anyway, I wish you a speedy recovery......
  • I remember how hard the first few weeks were. There isnt enough pain meds to make it go completely away. It will get better. Maybe talk to Dr about sleep meds. I didnt sleep through the night for the first four months. I finally got some sleep, have pnuemonia now, so I am constantly tired. But anyway, it will get better. You have gone through a huge surgery and it takes a long time. Rest and walk and let your body heal. Take your pain meds as directed. DOnt let the pain get ahead of you, or you will have a hard time being comfortable. Good Luck and let us know how the Dr visit went.
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