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AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:39 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Spinal fusion L4-S1: 3 and a half weeks ago.

Please let me know what I can do to reduce my fatigue.

How can I "strong arm" my body past this fatigue??



  • You need to take the time to rest and heal. Spinal fusion is not an easy surgery. You will not recover in three and a half weeks. Walk when you can, rest and let your body heal.


    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • I agree with Linda. A fusion is a major surgery and takes a toll on your body. It will take time to heal. Your fatigue may be your body's way of telling you to slow down and take a rest. Listen to your body and don't overdo it. Take the time you need to in order to recover fully.

    It's a lot easier to take the extra time to heal properly than to have to go through another surgery.
  • Is very common - its a major trauma to your body, you need to take time to recover. You probably might be a little anemic too; I got over the fatigue between week 4 & 5 so hang in there!
  • Well, needless to say, it is a very individual thing. I was exhausted for months after my one level fusion. I can remember that I would only schedule one thing per day as I couldn't handle more. By the time I showered, dried my hair, put on makeup and dressed, I was ready for a nap!

    It is very normal to be exhausted for quite awhile. Many people discover their level of Vitamin D is low after surgery.

    You don't mention if you had an open surgery. If so, it is a BIG surgery. There are multiple layers of soft tissue that must knit back together,new bone that must grow to make the fusion solid, etc. You will find that it will take up to a year for that fusion to be solid and strong.

    What you can do for yourself now is to rest and walk, rest and walk some more. Do not try to rush the process as it will only cause more harm than good. It is better to keep the healing on a slow and steady trajectory than to be in a hurry to do something and then find yourself having to backtrack and repeat some of the healing process.

    Healing from lumbar fusion is the tortoise's race to win. You'll get there eventually. It may just take longer than you thought it would.


  • Hi there,

    I agree with everyone above, especially the fatigue part.

    However, vitamins and and trace elements play a major role in wound healing and in addition to Gwennie's point about vit D, there are three in particular which aid wound healing:-

    1) Vitamin C
    2) Vitamin A
    3) Zinc (trace element)

    As you know, vit C is in fruit; D is in fish, eggs and milk (+ sunlight converts inactive to active D in skin); A is found in carrots and eggs whilst zinc is found in things like wheat germ and bran. Some researchers believe vit E is also important.

    Personally, I'd take a tablet every day!

    Good luck with your recovery and take it slowly.


  • I am almost 3 weeks out of surgery from a PLIF L5-S1
    and i am exhausted.All i want to do is sleep.I know its not meds because only on vicoden..

    I have never been so exhausted.I also am glad that people say walk rest walk rest.I take little walks a house down or so not much more.My surgeon told me he
    wanted me to take it easy for a little bit..

    Remember Slow and steady wins the race...I am taking
    iron a multi vitamin and some B-12.
  • Nutrition, nutrition, nutrition. Take a look at what foods you are eating (or not eating) and make certain it is a well balanced out plan. If possible see if your doc will give you a referral to see a nutritionist. Seeing a nutritionist, was a tremendous help for me.

  • I am 7 weeks out from open TLIF L4-S1, and am just now feeling like I'm starting to get back to my normal energy level. I've eaten very healthy since before my surgery (healthy enough to lose 20 lbs in 2 months :D ), take a great multi-vitamin for active women (it is high in A, B complex, C, Calcium, D, E & Zinc,-all of the things OS told me to take -plus it has Glucosamine, Chondroitin & MSM). I have worked my way up to walking 5-7 miles a day, am no longer on any meds, and haven't needed meds for pain since shortly after the surgery. However, despite all of these things, I just felt weak and tired ALL THE TIME for the first 4-5 weeks. Everyone else is right, it's a big surgery and takes time to heal and recover from. Try to be patient, eat well, get the vitamins/supplements you need and get plenty of rest. We all understand how frustrating it is to feel so tired for so long, but hang in there. It will get better, it just takes a lot more time than you might think.
  • and I STILL get so tired. Its a long recovery- eat lots of fruits,veggies and protiens. In addition to healing, I am sure you are still on pain meds which will slow you down as well. I hope you get to feeling good soon!!~
  • I agree with all the previous posts, but want to emphasize the most important factor, time, time , and more time. Even when a fusion surgery turns out to be text-book perfect, it is still a major trauma and recovery requires a long time. I know, it took me about a year after my 3-level fusion, that could not have been any better. I had a smooth recovery, felt very well, had no pain, yet my stamina was very low. I started to do something with full of pep, than all of a sudden I had to sit down as I was exhausted, But it gets better, little by little. So be patient.

    Best wishes,

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