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Post-op Muscular Recovery Timeline??

Lala329LLala329 Posts: 283
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:37 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I'm now nine weeks post-SI joint fusion and feeling great from the surgery. The fusion site is rarely painful anymore, and my "old" pain is gone. If it weren't for some muscular issues I think I would really be feeling relatively good.

I've been doing physical therapy for about 5 weeks now, and I'm really having trouble with some muscular imbalances as I try to get more active. I think it's a combination of deconditioning from being laid up, as well as issues I had pre-surgery from years of chronic pain.

My question is, what is a reasonable time frame for muscular recovery? I know it took 2+ years for me to develop these problems, and I'm hoping that now that the underlying instability has been corrected surgically I'll be able to rehab the muscles with physical therapy.


  • It's so hard to really estimate the time for recovery. There are so many variables that go into the mix. Actually the best person to ask about it, should be your physical therapist. The PT should be able to evaluate the muscle strength, size and tone and give you a better idea of what it may take for you.

    Wish I knew what else to tell you.

  • Hi there, Each person is different when it comes to any surgery. I have had 3 different operations on the spine in different locations and they all are painful and the muscles do take along time to heal. After my fusion It took a year to feel better. After my lumbar diskectomy it took about 9 months to heal. Recently I had a cervical laminectomy posterior. After 5 months It was suggested by my PT that I find someone to do medical deep tissue massages. I have been doing that since the beginning of September and it has really helped. my neck muscles are really improving. so maybe some massages would help increase the muscle healing for you.
    2005-ACDF with Corpectomy at C3-C-5.
    2006-L4-L5 diskectomy.
    2009-Cervical laminectomy at C3.
    Steroid injections series x 4.
  • I am almost 6 mos. post op from a posterior cervical foraminotomy, 2 levels & also dealing with moderate to severe muscle pain from it. I started PT 4 mos after it. The tens unit & ultra sound did wonders - released a bunch of knots, but I quit going after 7 visits because I felt they did about all they could. Today I'm going to get another medical deep layer tissue massage. For me, those help the best. Maybe you should try that. Shortfuse says it helps her too. It releases toxins, increases blood flow & oxygen in the blood, therefore eliminating some muscle pain. Helps with the healing process. A heating pad promotes healing too. Use it throughout the day. Our surgeries take a very long time to recover from. Hang in there! We've made it this far.
  • Whenever I would start questioning my surgeon, he would always tell me that it took me a long time to get to the point where I was before surgery, and it would take time to regain everything that had been lost.

    Patience is a huge virtue when it comes to recovery from any spinal surgery.

    It's wonderful that you are healing so quickly from the SIJ fusion. That surgery can take forever to heal, so it sounds like you are well ahead of schedule.
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