I have been lurking here on and off for a while. This forum helped me become well informed about potential treatments for my back pain. I appreciate reading everyone else's experiences!
I had a TLIF at L5-S1 at the end of June 2009. I had been in increasing amounts of pain until I simply couldn't function. While I'm not sure I could have ever been fully prepared for the amount of pain involved in the fusion (for the first two days after surgery, I just cried....that was with the morphine pump!), I am so glad I had it done. Within a matter of weeks, I was functioning better than I had prior to surgery. I pushed myself and was back at work in 4 weeks. I still am very careful about bending, lifting, and twisting, but am able to function pretty well. My body still lets me know if I'm overdoing it...and I have learned to listen!
Post op, I was taking neurontin, Robaxin, and Hydrocode 10/500. The neurontin didn't do anything for me, so I stopped taking that with my surgeon's okay pretty quickly. I am now 7 months post op. I weaned myself off the Robaxin completely about a month ago and have transitioned to 7.5/500 Hydrocodone 3 times a day. I had an appt with my surgeon today (got rescheduled for tomorrow morning) and knew I would run out of meds last Saturday. I thought I'd be fine for a couple of days without, so I didn't call for a refill. Clearly, I was overconfident. I am in a lot of pain. I have a good friend who had a fusion at the same level I did a year prior and she said she was taking meds regularly for about 9 months. I am curious....at what point did others who have had fusions stop taking pain medication regularly?