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AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:37 AM in New Member Introductions
Hello everyone,
I had postier lumber interbody multi-level fusion (3/4/5)on Sept 22,2009.
It has been almost 4 weeks from my surgry and I have been feeling like crying every day out of frustration of my lack of freedom.After reading some posts I am relieved that this is normal.
The pain from the operation was really bad the first two week however the constipation from the pain meds became such a problem that at 3 weeks I stopped taking them. I have been on extra strenght tylenol every 5 hours for the past week and I am (so far)able to deal with the pain. After reading some of the post I feel truly blessed that my recovery is going so well.
I had no idea the the recovery time could be up to one year!!!
I am really scared that I will hurt my fusion as I start to be more active. My doctors do not beleive in the body brace. Does anyone out there have any advice?


  • I can really relate to your dilemma. It's weird but when our surgeons tell us preop that we will be healed in just a few weeks to months we tend to believe them. I wish that they would just give everyone the worse case scenario. I would rather expect the worse and be prepared than to go into it thinking it will be a piece of cake. My only advice would be to follow docs orders to the letter and try not to worry so much. Stress can actually ad to pain and add to healing time. Good luck with your recovery and please keep us posted.
    BTW- If you look at my post under pain medication about constipation you may get some ideas about helping with that and maybe be able to take your pain meds when needed. Most of us here know that the constipation associated with pain medz is no joke.
  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. congratulations on an excellent recovery!!! :D cheer up and stick close to the forum! you will learn what to expect and talk with others going through what you are.. good luck and follow your doctor's orders!! =D> Jenny :)
  • about the constipation- holy mother............mine was so bad the first week that I stopped taking pain meds- I laid in bed for 3 days and cried from the pain, sweated profusely through it but was determined to go to the bathroom before I took a single pain pill. Things got to movin and the here I am almost 6 weeks out and here I go again- I have upped the fiber in my diet, I walk a lot and drink lots of water - I am starting to cut back on my pain meds too so go figure! Its so miserable- I am sure I don't have to tell you that huh?? I hope you get some relief soon! good luck and may your recovery be a speedy one!
  • Boy, can I relate to everything you are saying. I am scheduled for PLIF surgery (L5/S1) on November 4th. Believe me, I am counting the days down because of the amount of pain I am in. I am taking Percocet (7/325) for pain, and I have to take two pills every four hours just to manage. The constipation I am experiencing is horrible! I am getting to the point where I have to take 2 Ex-Lax tabs just to be able to have a BM. I have tried taking Mira-Lax daily but it doesn't work for me. I am scared about getting hooked on a laxative more than getting hooked on Percocets, as laxatives can cause a "Lazy Colon" and your bowels become dependent on using them to work normally. I will remember your suggestion about the Tylenol after surgery, but I am totally dependent on the Percs at this point because my sciatica is so bad.

    I can totally relate to your feeling of "lack of freedom". I am unable to work and am basically house-bound. If I am up off the couch or bed for more than ten minutes, my sciatic pain is so bad that I am in tears. I do as little as possible, which frustrates me because I led a very active life before this happended to me. I have two children, and my husband has really picked up the load with regards to the housework and such. He is out now doing grocery shopping, and has been gone for three hours!(LOL) Just isn't used to it :) If I am feeling like this now, I can't imagine what it will be like post-surgery (pain and feeling cooped up)

    I am really scared of the pain I will experience after my surgery. I have read many posts that say the doctor will give me enough meds to keep me comfortable, but it's still scary. I will wear a brace, so I will be unable to hurt my fusion as long as I wear it. It sounds like you wish you had one. Just try to be aware of your body mechanics (no lifting, twisting or bending-- b l t)

    I hope you start feeling better soon. Is your constipation better since scaling back on your pain meds? I will keep you in my prayers. Feel free to pm me anytime. Since you're new, that means to send a private message. I'll tell you, this pain forum and web site has been an absolute blessing to me. It has provided me with information, support and the reassurance that what I am feeling and experiencing is perfectly normal. Take care and be well :)

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