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I need your help!! 5 weeks post op now

xMARxxMAR Posts: 125
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:37 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi everyone this site and forums are new to me but I've been reading all your posts and find you all very helpful so I decided to join. I'm a 50 year old male and dealing with a bad low back for years. Anyway, I am now 5 weeks post op (surgery Sept.8th) from a 4 level anterior/posterior lumbar fusion with hardware. L2-S1. My incisions are healing well, but still very painful abdomen and low back. I've been walking with a cane about 2 blocks a day. I've been doing ok, but now have aching in left and right buttocks and hips when just a couple minutes after walking. Am I trying too much at this time. Haven't started rehab and I go to the surgeon in 2 days. During surgery in the anterior portion a blood vessel was nicked and I spent 4 days in ICU getting blood transfusions. I don't remember the first 4 days at all, but I did get to go home after 7 days. Could anyone give me some advise on my walking and encouragement. I know we've all been through a tough surgery and recovery. Please let me know what to expect. Sorry for being so long winded!!! Thanks so much,


  • I just wanted to add from my previous post. I don't want to scare anyone from a fusion surgery. I shouldn't have mentioned the complication I had, but there are risks with any surgery. Mine was extremely rare and please don't let this scare you from having what you need done to live a more happier life than dealing with back pain. I would do it again if needed. The medical staff is A1 and there is nothing to worry about, well, when can I have a drink of water!! Thanks for reading my posts and don't be afraid. I'm sure our outcomes from healing will far out way with the pain before any type of treatment. Kevin (xMar)
  • Welcome to this great site! I was more or less flat of my back for 6 days in hospital. I'm 59 and if you are like me you have arthritis. The more mobile you can stay the better you are. When I first started walking after getting home, I experienced the same type pain as you described.I am up to over a mile a day walking and when I first start I stll feel those pains in my hips but it soon goes away. Mine, I think was just a matter of getting the rust out! Praying for a speedy recovery and less pain ahead. God Bless!
  • In my personal opinion, the first few weeks postop are for healing and not exercising. Of course you should be mobile around the house, but if it hurts and you are walking the streets, you should listen to your body and stop. You had a pretty major surgery! I wonder if you stopped and rested for a few days then slowly started doing things if it might help.

    Also, you might ask your doc about starting water physical therapy. The pool takes a lot of stress off the surgery site as well as adjacent joints. Maybe your doc would even recommend some massage, heat treatments, etc. for comfort from a physical therapist.

    Again, just my personal opinion, but I think you might have overdone it and need to listen to your body a bit. Immediate postop, your muscles do need a chance to heal. I have to say that your positive attitude and motivation is going to help you so much in your recovery.

    Please let us know what your surgeon has to say.
  • You had one level more than I did fused -- I feel I had it tough and I can only imagine how you're feeling. I think ERNURSE is right - you might be pushing a bit too hard. I had crutches when I came home and after a few days I set out to walk around the block. Well, I got half-way around and really wanted to be home NOW! Either way I went, I still had a half-block to walk back. I barely made it home. After that, I kind of walked up the block and back in case I felt weak and wanted back in the house. Maybe you should walk a little less far but maybe go once in the morning and once in the afternoon -- short walks (I know, 2 blocks isn't that far, UNLESS you've just had major surgery, which you DID) are sometimes more beneficial than trying to do a bigger distance at once.


    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • I tend to agree. These early weeks are for healing. Walking is good, but for short distances only, once or maybe twice a day.

    Since you've already got this pain, my advice would be the same as Isteller and Ernurse, give it up for a day or two then try again, increasing little by little.

    From my reading, most of us have little setbacks like this in the early weeks which we worry about but in time they resolve themselves and then we forget they even happened.

  • month post op today and I have still have pain in my left leg, hip and foot. I am still swollen and NO ONE knows why........Anyways ERNURSE is right- maybe you are pushing yourself too much too soon. I know how hard it is to simply do nothing when you feel much better. The first 2 weeks were hell for me and then like magic the 3rd week I felt like a whole new person. My back pain is way less then it use to be and I am hoping the my left leg and hip issues are the nerves coming back to work again.

    Good luck and I hope you find answers soon!
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