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4 weeks Post-Op TLIF L5/S1- 3 questions

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,670
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:34 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Received TLIF fusion on July 14 for grade 2 spondylolisthesis at L5/S1. Post operative pain is mostly spasms in mid and lower back. although there are occasional "shooters" with the sciatic nerve. Walked out of hospital the next day after 7 hours of surgery. Have been walking every day, and began very light swimming program (treading water) after my two-week follow-up per my doctor.

Prior to surgery, pain was most severe while sitting, even for a few minutes. The more I walked or swam, the better. Surgical report showed that bone was very hard and thick, and fusion should go well. Also, L5 nerve root was compressed and facet joint was "very thin".

Have always been very active and realize that frequent movement is the best thing for maximum recovery. However, I wonder if I am overdoing things a bit.

QUESTION 1: Any lessons learned on activity after surgery?
QUESTION 2: When can I realistically expect to sit comfortably for more than 20 minutes?
QUESTION 3: Currently taking percs as needed and Soma for the spasms. Was on Flexerl, but it doesn't seem to be as effective. Anybody agree/disagree?



  • I had a TLIF on L4-S1 over a year ago but it didn't work out for me. I think you're doing really well so far. Just be careful not to overdo it when it comes to activities. This is major surgery and your body needs plenty of rest and time to heal. Follow your surgeon's recommendations and restrictions on bending, lifting, and twisting. He may let you drive short distances after 2 weeks post op. I can't tell you when you'll sit comfortably without pain. It is a gradual process and you could start off with sitting 5 minutes pain free, then 10, 30 etc. As far as Flexiril, it never did anything for me other than zombie me out. My NS had me on Valium 10mg for 3 months post op, and then I was switched back to Zanaflex. Soma works really well but some doctors won't prescribe it because they think it's very addictive when taken with another pain killer. I'm allowed 1-2 Zanaflex every 8 hours as needed for the chronic muscle spasms I get.

    I hope you continue to progress and completely recover from your fusion. Take care
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