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Just thought I'd say "Hi", it's been a long time....

Sparky123SSparky123 Posts: 133
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:34 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Not sure if anyone is still on here from when I was on here last, but I just wanted to say "Hi" and give you a little update.

As you can see by my info below, I had my surgery in December and to say it hasn't been fun is an understatement. I went through the normal pain that comes with this surgery, but the recovery has been a lot longer than I thought it would be. You see, I have a very physical job and if I would ever go back to it (which I haven't yet), I have to meet physical requirerments to return to work. Well, it doesn't look like I'm going to be able to do that. I'm still in some pretty moderate pain, even almost 8 months since the surgery, and my therapist is just about ready to recommend that I have some sort of permanent physical restrictions for the rest of my working life. I've been going through work hardening therapy for the last 5 weeks and that just seems to be making more pain for me. My surgeon has said numerous times that I shouldn't go back to my job and that I should find another line of work. At least this was a workmans comp injury and I'm covered that way, but finding a new career? That should be fun.

I still glad I had the surgery, the pain before was just terrible, but this new and completely different pain has sure been an adventure. I'm sure me and my family will get through it and this pain will hopefully go away someday, but to anyone who is thinking or definitely going through a surgery like this, be prepared for a long/hard fight.

I hope everyone that was on here when I was last on is doing well and "Dealing with it", and I hope every new Spiney out there is fighting the fight!




  • Hi Sparky, sorry to hear about your continued pain. I often wondered how you were doing. I have been following this forum for over a year now and followed your surgery and post recovery. You were doing so well. I am waiting for a tlif minimally invasive L4/L5. I live in Canada and have been on the neurosurgeon's list since July 29/08. Yes that's 2008. He is the only one that does MIS in my area. Does your doctor know why you have continued pain? Is it a muscular pain or is it nerve pain? How are you with day to day activities? Sleeping, sitting, walking etc.? Does it only come on with increased activity? Did you fuse completely? Yes as a spiney I am "fighting the fight", but it sure is hard sometimes. The pain, the wait and the questioning if this is the right thing to do. Wishing you all the best. Thanks for posting.
  • I had my 2 level PLIF on Dec 11 of 2008 also. I have also had a struggle with many things. Not all back, I had pnuemonia for 2 months in April. My top level is pretty well fused, but my bottom has a way to go. I am having extreme pain yet, but am being tested the 17 to see if it is from the hardware. I think it is, becasue it hurts more when I am active.
    Have you fused? How has your reocvery been? It would be nice to talk to someone that is at the same time frame I am.
  • Since this was a work injury and I'm going through workman's comp, I had to go to a doctor for the insurance company so they could see exactly how my progress is. Well the Doctor for them said it wan't the strongest surgery he has ever seen and he would like to have seen more bone growth by this time. He has seen some, but not enough. He sent a letter to my work and the insurance company about the appointment, but didn't send one to me or my lawyer (my lawyer is still trying to get a copy). My boss ended up calling me the day he got his copy and said "Wow, it doesn't look good." He didn't have the note in front of him so he couldn't tell me it word for word, but it didn't sound good.

    As far as pain goes, I'm pretty sure its mostly muscle, but I do have some sharp/sticking pain if I bend too much. The first thing that comes to mind when I feel that is "Oh no, there goes a screw." I pretty much have some level of pain all the time, but it definitely gets worse with more activity.

    Like I said before, therapy is rough, and I try to walk as much as I can. Sleeping has been rough too, it takes forever for me to find that good spot.

    Thenade... Yeah, I was doing pretty good for awhile, but I think it was mostly because of the pain pills. Even after I stopped taking them regularly, I think I had enough in my system along with Advil to make it feel pretty good. But since I started this work hardening therapy, it has been kicking my butt. Basically "Work Hardening" therapy is a regular workout (weights, jogging, stretching) for 3 to 4 hours a day for 3 days a week. They are just trying to get you back into "Work shape". Well I think anyone that has had back surgery, hasn't done much for 6 months, then suddenly gets thrown into that... they are going to feel like I do right now.
  • Welcome back! I remember you. You have given me much inspiration and advice in the past and I really appeciate it. I'm sorry to hear that you are still in pain. It is a terrible thing. I myself am now on medications daily, and have been told now that I'm inoperable. So I applied for social security disability. We will see how that goes.....

    I'm sorry you have to find a "new career". But I am also a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. Perhaps your old line of work just wasn't meant to be for you, and you will find something better soon.

    Take care and welcome back!!!!


  • I had my surgery right before you did, back in November. I too am glad I had my surgery, but I have had to come to terms with a lot since then. There are some things I will never do again. I can't ever run. I can't lift anything much more than 20 pounds. I can't walk and carry something for very long. I can't sit for more than about a half hour at a time. I always have to be moving. I'm about to be 55. I didn't expect to be this decrepit until about 75. I can imagine that if I had a physical job, I wouldn't be able to do it anymore either. Luckily, I have a desk job and can get up and move as often as necessary.

    I hope WC pays to retrain you in something else. Something that you like to do.


    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • I remember you too -

    I got a scare in December when I tried to go back to work too. Luckily it all worked out, I do not have a strenuous job by any means.

    I totally understand what you mean when you say the the PT is making you worse! Have had that happen several times. Right now PT does not want to see me until I can see my Dr. again (ankle, not back) it kind of sucks.

    Start picking your brain for what you would like to try - sounds almost fun - almost.
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