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6 months post PLIF L2-L5- Still can't sleep in a bed for more then 1-2 hours at a time, loose hardw

JakotsuJJakotsu Posts: 212
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:33 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
When I was a fresh postop I was stuck sleeping in a chair for 2-3 months. My back felt very hard due to the 14" long incision and the hardness of it due to the amount of sutures used to close me up.

At my 3month appointment we discussed this issue and my surgeon said it was most likely due to the sutures and they would start dissolving now that I was 3 months postop, and he said they had to use a lot of sutures to close me up due to my size.

This Friday is my 6 month checkup and the problem persists in a different way now.

I can lay flat for 1-2 hours but then a dull ache starts in my lower back on the right side. It gets worse and worse to the point I have to standup and walk around, and I usually end up sleeping straight up in a chair, as it also hurts to recline or have my feet propped up.

Curious if anyone else had this issue? I can sit/walk without ANY pain or discomfort.

Another issue I started having a few weeks ago was sharp pains, like being shocked when I move a certain way, starting in the right lower back area. It shoots down to my posterior thigh when it occurs but goes right away.

In any case I go back to my surgeon this Friday for my 6 month checkup and will raise these questions. Just curious if anyone else had the same issues or have any advise what to ask the surgeon.




  • Hey Jak... Boy your x-ray looks just like mine!! I had a 3 level also 1 year 5 months ago, and after this length of time, I am still experiencing the same "jolting,shooting, shock" pain that you are. Mine happens when I stand too long, like when I'm preparing a meal. Then it's so bad it'll take my breath away, or bring me to tears. I don't believe you have a screw loose, I just think it's the hardware settling, and hits a nerve. I HATE IT!! And yes, I definately go to sit down, (or lay down) for a few moments till it goes away. What we have in our back is not normal for our bodies, as I'm sure with different twists and turns it's got to rub on muscle tissue or something, ya know? Speaking of which, I still can't twist sharply, so dancing is out of the picture, LOL:)

    I also still have issues with sleeping, especially when I roll over to my right side. I can feel every bit of that titanium!! I still cannot just sit up and get out of bed, I still have to roll out of bed. The pain still shoots through me while trying to sleep, I still take a sleep aid before going to sleep to help a little.

    Just in the last 6 months, I now have CONSTANT sciatica pain in my butt, both cheeks, and it shoots down the sides and back of my thighs to the back of my kneecaps. It's always there, I've just gotten use to it. I am still taking around 4 percocets per day. After researching, it sounds like it's my L-2. My 3 level fusion is the vertebre right above that, and my NS told me, "there is a possibility that the fusion will weaken the vertebre above or "below" the fusion area", and guess what, he was right. But I'll be darned if I go back in to have that vertebre added to my fusion!!! No frickin' way!!!!! I've thought about a steriod injection, but that would only be a "bandaid" or temporary fix, so I'm just living with it.

    Anyway, good luck, and I can't believe the pain I am still in after 1 year 5 months, but I've learned to accept it. I am totally limited on physical activities, and I really hate when the barometer changes, it's horrible!!!
  • Hi Jak,

    Sorry you are still having problems. I would ask your doc either for an MRI or a CT scan. Also ask about scar tissue. But I would really push the doc for a new MRI or CT scan. Good luck Jak. Sorry you are still having problems.

  • Thanks for the replies and advice.

    I admit I am very lucky to be this well off with so few problems considering how I was prior. Well worth having the surgery done.

    Let me clarify the pain isn't like sciatica, or not like how I had it before. It's like a quick jolt then gone. But in any case perhaps a CT or MRI is in order to check everything out, we will see what he says this week! :)
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