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still in pain

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,670
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:31 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had an ALIF L5-S1 for spondolythesis,pinched root nerve, on 2-9-09 after trying everything available,the epidurals, facet joint injections,physical therapy, etc. The surgery and early recovery seemed normal from what I have read here.By week 5 post-op I was taking only tylenol and feeling only minor stiffness and soreness. This lasted only 5 days.I woke up one morning and felt terrible. I had to go back on my valium and hydrocone,I assumed was minor set back and would recover after a few days.Long story short,2 weeks later called NS and he agreed was just a set back and prescribe muscle relaxer to go with other meds.Over the next 2 weeks went through robaxin(no help) then soma. Have been on soma twice a day,valium twice a day, neurontin 4 times a day and hydrocodone 2-3 times a day for 8 weeks now and not feeling much improvement.Had to return to work last week after 3 month med. leave. NS says pains are from muscles and nerves working from "new" position since he raised and repositioned my spine and pain would go away when they get use to new positions. I see NS in about 1 week for X-ray and follow up.This has been 13 weeks of pain, anyone had similar experience? How long before you felt normal?



  • I had L4/5 fusion last summer. I now have 24/7 low back pain and still have difficulty walking, but other symptoms are gone. My NS told me I would always have some degree of pain.

    One thing I have learned here in the forums and in chatk is that the healing and pain relief from surgery is quite variable! We all heal differently.

    My advice....stay positive, follow your doctor's advice, and be patient.
  • It's SO disappointing and frustrating to have pain after going through so much! Unfortunately this is such a slow process! It will take you about a year to know what your "normal" will be. Your nerves & muscles take so long to reconnect and wake up. Through all that you'll have pain. Your body is learning to walk again with a new gait and with or without compensation. On top of all this, you've gone back to work. That adds a whole new demention. As it was stated above, unfortunately, you will have some degree of pain/stiffness the rest of your life. It will wax and wane. Just keep up w/your docs, let them know about new symptoms, and grit your teeth with patience. I did the same for a year and a half & just had surgery Tues for a re-do (see my signature). I knew from about the beginning I'd have to go back in, but the 2nd time around is really rough b/c of scar tissue. So give time and keep us updated so we can support you through it!
    Good luck! Andrea
  • I know exactly how you feel. I've had 2 spinal fusions and just told I need a 3rd. Recovery is a individual thing. Everyone heals differently. I've gone through the injections that just don't seem to last. My ortho doc. want to fuse half of my spine now and I don't know what to do either. Hang in there.....I can't say the first 2 surgery's helped me. :''(
  • The idea of a 3rd surgery is terrible! I'm done unless I just can't function! Had a bad anesthesia experience and will not go back. Best of luck to both!
  • Although I know it does not seem like it to you, 3 months post-fusion is still pretty early in your recovery process. (At 3 months I was still in a "turtle-shell" brace with all of the no BLT restrictions.) Your body is still adjusting and will continue to do so for awhile. I was warned - and it has been true so far - that new aches and pains would crop up for up to 2 years post-surgery. Also, throughout recovery as restrictions are lifted and you begin to do more and more your muscles will be used in ways they have not been for some months. Last week (I am nine months post-fusion) my GP reminded me that he sees patients dealing with post-fusion surgery related issues for 1.5 to 2 years after surgery.

    Hang in there - it does get better.
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