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WHen does PLIF get better??

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:35 AM in Lower Back Pain
I have been watching this site for awhile, people seem to have a lot of knowledge and know exactly what I am going through. I am looking for help in healing- is there anything else I can do? I am a 38 yr old busy & active mom who had PLIF Dec 23, 2008 to repair a rupurted disc L5/S1. The healing process right after surgery was okay, not too bad but when does the pain end? My disc slipped in October 2008, I sought treament for a month, then went to ER on Thanksgiving 2008, they put me on steriods and pain killers. I was diagnosed with DDD. I went in for two MRI's and finally met with my surgeon mid-Dec, by then it had ruptured and surgery was immediately done. Its been 8 months, 3days since my surgery and I am in pain EVERYDAY. I have been on Norco (vicodin) since November. It hurts to sit, bend, walk anything for any length of time kust kills me. I went back to work part-time, I had a new job just prior to surgery with the hopes of going fulltime. Now since surgery- I can't. I work at a desk and sitting for more then a few hours hurts so bad, as it is I have to stretch, stand and move every hour. I cannot bend, household chores I once enjoyed- I hate! I feel like a burden on my family- they have to do so much cause Mom can't...My low back aches all the time, my legs feel numb at times, and I overall just feel like crap. I have to get up in the morning 2 hours before my children so I can take my pills, drink my coffee and lay on a heating pad...all so I can handle making lunches, getting ready for work and getting my children ready for the day. My Dr. told me to come back for my one year check up in Dec. and that this is normal- this healing takes a year to a year & a half. Seriously...does it really? I go to the gym, I am trying to walk and help strengthen my muscles, I just wanted to see if there is anything else I can do.

So tired of living in pain. :(

Sandy, Oregon


  • one thing you can do is dont give up. try different things. years ago when i was your age and in terrible pain i tried a group stretching class. it was tough keeping up but i kept at it. back got stronger and i lost some weight.
    another thing to stry is swimming or even walking in water...have you been through physical therapy.
    have you tried the chairs that you lean on? maybe switching back and forth every half hour from one chair to another would help.
    also i'll give you some hope in that improvement can come over a year from surgery >:D< >:D< >:D<
  • Welcome aboard, I do know how you feel, the first thing I notice is that your morale is low, you sound like you are very depressed and if that is the case try chating with some of us, we might be able to cheer you up, remember you are not useless, there are several things you can do, it just takes us longer, it makes us stronger to. We can adapt to doing things different, you may still have a long way to go but that is where we come in, when you start feeling bad, get on spine health and yalk to someone, we all know how pain affects us in everyday life, and maybe we can help you through yours. I also think pete is right maybe some aqua therapy would be good for you, swiming is a great excercise. Try not to overdo it though, sit down and talk to your Dr. and tell the your concerns and see what they suggest. Keep us posted and feel free to pm any one of us if we can talk you through a bad bout of pain, hey it works for me , I have met some wonderful people here, some that will be lifelong friends. I am sure you will meet some too. Let us know what we can do for you, and pick your chin up , look your fears in the eye and face them but do not put yourself down, we are all equals no one is better than anyone else. Good Luck dear I am rooting for you.
  • Sandy,
    What really drew my attention to your post,is your feeling of being a burden on your family.I felt the same way for quite a while.I believe that quilt and shame towards ourselves creates more physical pain.You did nothing wrong.You had surgery.It sounds as if you are doing everything you can to heal and take care of your family.I learned how to appreciate myself and all the work a working mother puts into one day.It does take most people at least a year to recover from a fusion.It is one of the biggest most invasive surgeries you can have.I have had to modify all the behaviors you mentioned-sit,bend and walk.I walk more,sit less and bend when only absolutely necessary.Your physical therapist will teach you the best ergonomics for activity.Staying in one position for very long increases our discomfort.You are only 8 months post op-and doing great.The pain is different for everyone.Give yourself credit for all you do each day.This surgery can take you in a different direction than you had planned-sometimes a better one.There is something else you can do-pat yourself on the back!!!Let someone take care of you for a change.
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