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Had L5-S1,L4-L5 fusion 9 weeks ago- feeling anxious

MindyMMindy Posts: 2
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:41 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am new to Spine health and found the website very useful.
I am 35 and after 4 yrs of lower back pain on sitting and standing, they discovered I had DDD 3 levels, S1-L3-4.
After many discograms with different results, I had DIAM 2 levels Nov 2007 which had a small but limited improvement in my symptoms, followed by IDET in July 2009, which exaggerated my symptoms (this was the worst and very painful procedure).After all this, I underwent a double fusion TLIF S1-L5-L4, 9 weeks ago. Immediataly post op, I had surgical pain but no back pain at all for the first 4 weeks. It felt great, fantastic to be out of pain, very stable and I could feel resistance to certain twisting, bending forward movements.I did have to still rest and lie flat every 2-3 hours which was a huge improvement to pre operatively. My walking was slow and steady and had no weak legs,or any other complications post op. So I was very pleased I had the surgery
However at 4 weeks post op I got up off the floor twisting slightly a few times, within 3 hrs my usual back pain returned upon sitting,standing and walking, and had now weak legs upon walking which I never experienced pre operatively. Like pre op I have to continually lie flat every 20 minutes and for msny hours at a time. I have been like this now for 5 weeks and it shows no sign of progress, the more movement , sitting and standing I try and do the worse it gets. I cannot understand how my progress has decreased considerably. Has anyone had a similar experience post op? Is this hardware/instrumentation failure? My surgeon has recently taken a nother lots of plain standing spinal xrays and can see no difference.
Would be grateful for anyone's sdvise on this


  • Welcome. I had a 2 level PLIF a year and 2 months ago. I guess I dont understand how you were on the floor? And usually the Dr says not sitting only to eat or restroom for a few months.
    Did your Dr give you any restrictions? Usually the is no bending twisting or lifting for a few months also. When your Dr did xrays, did he give you any reccommendations for what to do? Also, when did you see him/her? Do they know that it is still this painful?
    I am no Dr but can tell you that at 4 weeks I would never attempted to get on the floor. It would be very stressful on back to get back up. If you have seen your Dr within the last couple weeks and they know what is up, I would continue to rest and walk. Try not to sit longer than to eat or bathroom. Dont bend twist or lift either. See if a couple weeks of just resting and walking will settle it down. It could be you strained muscles that are weak from surgery. Anyway, if Dr has seen you recently, give it a couple weeks, if not call them and let them know. Good Luck! Robin
  • Welcome to SH. I have to agree with Robin, I would have never attempted to get on the floor at 4 weeks post op, I am 5 1/2 months post op and still wont.
    Did your doc not give you the no bending lifting twisting instructions most of us get? I had a back brace to remind me of that the first 3 months, but not all docs order a brace.
    I think it is good that you have seen your surgeon again and he thinks it will be OK, I would double check with him on any restrictions, and adhere to them very strictly so that you can heal properly and with minimal setbacks.
    I think we all have setbacks, so dont be surprised if you have another one. Like Robin said, hopefully yours is "just muscular" even though that can be very painful, it will usually heal well.
    Please keep us posted, we are here to support you through the healing process.
    God Bless and keep You... healing,
  • Thanks for your replys. Yes looking back it probably wasn't sensible to keep getting up and off a hard floor immediataley post op. Unfortunaely I have adopted this postion for the past 3 years as it always gave me better relief than lying on a soft bed and, it almost became second nature.

    Ypu'll be glad to know I have stopped this habit and have rested up over the past few weeks. Unfortunately the pain is a horroble compressive burning type pain, it has not subsided and is quite localized around the L5-S1 area. if I try and walk the pain gets worse and I get weak legs.Wheras at 4weeks post op my walking was slow but very comfortable. Getting very worried and frustrated now. I have an appt with the surgeon 1st March. I have a feeling he will just say its a complication of having a double PLIF!
  • I am glad that you quit doing the floor sitting. When you go to the Dr, just let him know what happened, so he knows what to check out. I doubt that you did anything as the hardware is very strong but he still needs to know what you did. Good Luck and hope it goes well. Let us know the results of the appt. Good Luck!
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