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When do you feel like your old self again??

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:34 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hey. Just wondering when everyone started to feel more like themselves after surgery?
I had ALIP on July 13 and think I should be feeling better than I am. Or able to do more than I can. I have seen that I am a bit better than I was. I can handle going out shopping for about 30-40 minutes. But usually by then I am in so much pain I wonder if it was worth it. Yet if I stay inside 24/7 I feel too caged in and get depressed.
How far should I be able to walk at this point? Should I be able to handle more than 30-40 minutes of shopping before being in tears? I tried driving a very short distance this week and MAN did it HURT. Won't be trying that again.
I know everyone heals at their own rate...but any help would be great.
I don't want to push it too far or do too little.
My first appt with the neuro since surgery is next week.


  • I am still less than 2 weeks post op from ALIF & ADR and I can walk pretty well for about 20 minutes. I am taking my first car ride today so we'll see how it goes. Did your Doctor release you to drive? You have to follow the Doc's directions for sure...

    Good Luck
  • of your spine did you have worked on? Lumbar, cervical? I will never feel like my old self again. I'm a different and stiffer self, but I'm not in constant excruciating pain, so that is a big plus. I manage to get through a day fairly normally, but there are no more long walks, no running, no carrying things after I shop. I need to park near the door, hang on to the carriage mostly when shopping, and only lift things directly from the cart into the car. At home, I generally need help getting things in the house. I'm better, but I'll never be my old self again.


    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • I think you're doing quite well if you can go shopping for a half hour this early in your recovery. I am assuming you had lumbar surgery...if wrong, you may want to disregard my comments! @)

    Some surgeons still tell their patients a particular amount they must walk, but most just leave it up to the patient. I would say to walk as far as is comfortable. If you have no repercussions the following day, walk a little further...and slowly build up. It is important to remember that recovery is a long process and it is not a competition. You need to develop patience as pushing your body to do more than it is capable of usually results in a set back or a flare-up.

    It is more important to walk several times each day rather than taking one longer walk. The importance of walking is to supply fresh, oxygenated blood to your spine and to keep the spinal nerves stretched out. This helps to keep the development of scar tissue down, too.

    You will need to be very careful for the first three months...no bending, twisting, reaching, pushing, pulling or lifting anything heavier than a gallon of milk. Limit the amount of time you spend sitting and riding in or driving a car.

    Learn to listen to your body. Rest when you are tired. Try to find that magical balance between doing too much and just enough!! If you overdo one day, take it a little easier the following day. Before you know it, you will be feeling better, although it does take quite awhile for your normal energy to return. I felt quite a bit better at about four months...but, as you noted, we all are different and I had a different procedure that usually takes a bit longer to recover from.

    Hang in there and keep a positive attitude.
  • 12 months and don't expect miracles .you will always be left with some deficit in your back /neck {where ever you had the surgery} after my first operation it took about 6 months to get back to normal ..ish ,,i have always had back ache ever since ..BUT since that last operation 20 months ago i have not really recovered and i am still unable to do most things and i am in a lot of pain ..so you can't tell .i just hope that you heal better than me
  • thx guys.
    I had ALIF (not P like I had said in original post sorry) (anterior lumbar interbody fusion) on L5/S1
    I go see the neuro for the fisrt time tomorrow. So I am hoping to get a better since of progress and expectations on recovery then.
  • Hi,
    I had surgery on March 13th on C5-6 C6-7, then on July 23rd. had surgery on L5 S1.

    The surgery on my neck on C5-6 C6-7 still gives me some problems, but the headaches that I had before, is completely gone now. I still can't turn my head all the way from side to side or front to back, but I did not have to take any pain medicine after the first week.

    My back surgery on L5 S1 is a different story. My back is doing pretty good in the pain area, but I had a bad nerve in my back down my right leg and I am still on pain medicine every 4 hours for the pain from it. I hope this will get better as time goes by.

    So I guess it depends on what we have had done to our body and how how body takes it.

    Good luck to you.

  • Ditto to what Gwennie said. Your body just underwent a major trauma(surgery) and it takes a lot of time to recuperate. Also, don't focus on your "old self." Focus on what you can achieve with you new self. I think it sets your mind up for disappointment if you expect to be your old self anytime soon.

    Keep going, do what you can, remember there will be ups and downs. You will feel good one day and overdo it, then feel bad and swear you'll never overdo it again. Then, next week, you'll feel better and overdo it! It's a huge lesson in patience. What did your surgeon have to say?
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