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talia22ttalia22 Posts: 15
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:41 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had 2 level PLIF l4l5 S1 on Jan 15th i started feeling better about 2.5 weeks after being home. I was taking ms contin 60mg 4 + times a day and 10mg percocet every 4 hours haaving not had my post op and really no clue at the time of what i should be doing as far as how long i should stand,walk,sit and lay i just really think i started doing to much. well i went to post op feeling ok but he didnt seem to care about anything other than he did a great job the xrays were perfect and now its up to me but still did not tell me what that meant. YES i asked he simply doesnt answer with actual answers. he wants me off meds now, not totally but he wants me taking only percocet 4 times daily NO MS CONTIN or anythig else... thats insane.right? i am not willing to do so. am i wrong? he said i will be and should be in pain or the surgery is not done right. also he did say i should stay in bed lying flat 10hrs a day is that right? for 8 weeks. with lots of walking but its icy outside so i cannot go out and my house is tiny so i will literally be walking in circles-how much of teh day should i be walking,sitting etc...can i cook,drive? he didnt mention this stuff and when i told himi had a list of questions he said oh no questions that just means you dont trust me.huh? no it just means i dont know what hte hell to do and i am so nervous of messing the fusion up. i am doing alot of normal walking thru the house-the only thing i dont do is bend over and twist that causes pain.however my left side is shooting paints in my leg and hip. is this normal for it to start up again? and if so should i just take it easier than i am?
ALSO I have asked on other areas of the site but i have a appt with the dr who was giving my meds to me b4 surgery (he is my reg DR) and very understanding) and since my surgeon has made it clear he will not be giving me pain meds i dont see why i shouldnt get them from my reg. dr and explain taht i DO WANT TO WEAN just not that quickly..does that seem ok?


  • Wow. You ended up with an interesting character for your surgeon. I can't really comment on what your doctor told you, but I can give you some guidelines that seem to be fairly common among spine surgeons.

    The two most important things are to avoid activities that involve bending at the waist, twisting, reaching up overhead or to the side, and lifting anything heavier than about a gallon of milk. You should not do any of these things for at least the first three months. You should not be trying to clean house -- sweeping and running a vacuum cleaner are VERY hard on the lumbar spine. The other thing you need to do is walk, as you already know. This is the best exercise after spinal surgery. It gets the blood flowing, oxygenates the blood, and most important, it stretches out the spinal nerves. This helps to prevent scar tissue from attaching to the nerves.

    You should not be sitting for more than 15 or 20 minutes at a time. Some doctors limit it to sitting only when eating meals and in the bathroom. Sitting puts 30@ more pressure on the discs so it can be very harmful to get in the habit of sitting to work on the computer or watching TV while healing.

    Regarding healing -- it is a LONG process. You may see signs of bone growth as early as three weeks, but the first three to six months are very important. You should really try not to bend, lift or twist during this time. The fusion itself will not be set up solid for about a year...so it is important to pay attention to how you move, use good body mechanics, watch your posture, etc.

    I live in a frozen climate too and had surgeries the last two January's. It is hard to get the walking in...but do what you can. You want to try hard because you don't want a lot of scar tissue attaching to those nerves. Walk around your house. Get someone to drive you to a mall, big box store, anywhere there is an indoor corridor where you can walk.

    You can probably start to drive any time now if you are not on strong pain medication. But you should limit it to short trips and try not to be in the car a lot.

    I would be surprised if your surgeon really meant you needed to be in bed for ten hours. I think he was stressing that it is important that you limited sitting or slouching on a couch. When you aren't sitting or walking, it is best to be flat on a firm surface, or slightly propped up as you were allowed in the hospital.

    Hope this answers some of your questions. Glad to hear you are doing well. Just be patient and know that recovery will take some time. It is important to take your time and let your body heal. Don't push and try to do things before you are ready. It will just cause a flare and put you back in your recovery.

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