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5 and a half months check up -progress feedback

nelnnel Posts: 402
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Recovering from Surgery
Hello all,
As I am sure many of you know I had PLIF of L5S1 on 16th October 09. I found the first 5 months pretty hard going over all. Much more than I had expected (as my previous posts reveal!). My surgeon had told me that as I was relatively fit and active pre op that my recovery would be easier - all I can say is that I am glad I haven't had to have a harder one!!
Anyway I saw him today for my 6 month check - he is away when my real 6 month date is. My x-rays look good and he is pleased with my progress.
I am now back to swimming my mile - I took it steady and built up from 8 lengths in December to the 64 I did this Tuesday!
I have to say that I suddenly felt a load better about two weeks ago. Suddenly it seemed that all the pain and stiffness around my middle halved at least! I didn't quite dare believe it but it has stayed gone.
I have been suffering with some hip/groin/thigh/leg pain since the middle pain went but it is intermittent and seems to happen mostly at the end of the day when I am tired. I asked my surgeon about it today and he said it was due to scar tissue forming and that it should settle down as the scar tissue matures. Having read a few threads on here re scar tissue I really hope he is right. I suppose that at the moment I am not too worried as it is intermitent. Of course, it is making me uncomfortable in bed (again) so I am not sleping properly but all in all I feel so much better than a year ago (it is a year today that I first went to my GP about the sciatica) that I can live with that!
So I am going to continue to increase my activity - walk a bit further, swim a little faster but keeping it steady. I have really learnt the tortoise and hare lesson with this recovery. I have spent too many weeks rueing one hour's worth of stupid pushing it!
So, I wanted to thank all of you for your support and encouragement over the last few months. I don't know how I would have coped with everything without you all.



  • I just saw your post. This is a new area of the board and if I don't see something under the "new forum topics" on the side, I often don't see it!

    I'm so glad you had a good check-up and that you have been able to increase your swimming. I know how important that was to you in early recovery.

    Just remember that it takes a year in most people for the bones to knit together. Exercise helps make that fusion even stronger...so you are definitely helping yourself by going slowly, but steadily.

    Drop by from time to time and give us an update on your success! We love to see good news.

  • Hi Gwennie! It took me a month to find this section!

    Having posted the above I had an awful Easter! I am thinking it was only a muscle spasm but oh boy! I had leg pain (front of thigh), groin pain, hip pain and it wasn't hardly touched by the hardcore meds! I felt like I had teleported back a year!
    I went to see the physio today and he is of the same mind in as much as it was probably a spasm.
    It has retreated a bit now but I still feel a bit sore and the pain does increase by the evening. However it hasn't reached the same levels as on Sunday so I am fairly optimistic.
    I think I might not tempt fate in the future with any more posts saying how well I am!
    Needless to say I haven't swum at all this week and took a break from walking on sun and mon but did an easier and shorter route the last two days.
    Anyway, I hope to keep improving and that this was a momentary glitch!
  • Hi nel,

    So sorry to hear that you had a set back after finally feeling as well as you did. Hopefully, it is indeed just a spasm and it will subside soon. Just keep trying to remain as active as possible without pushing it. You are doing yourself good taking your recovery slow and easy, I plan to do the same thing as recover from my surgery. Slow and steady wins the race!!
    Take care and stop back by to let us know how you are doing. I wish you all the best!
  • Nel,

    I am sorry to see your setback. But as we know too well, those happen following this surgery. I am in the middle of major set back and hoping for the best. I start aquatics therapy Monday and I am really looking forward to that bouyant feeling of swimming again. I wish I had started earlier in my recovery. Keep up the good work and don't let it get ya down. Keep posting so we can see a success story :)

  • Thanks Trasee. Gwennie has PM'd me with her ideas about the muscle causing my pain (psoas) and I think she is right. I have started doing some stretches for it and feel a little better.
    These set backs do get you down though don't they. Especially after the long time it took to feel better!
    I hope that your setback resolves. I am sure it will take longer than you expect - it always seems to for me anyway! If only the docs could prescribe patience - for us, our families and our colleagues!!
    Best wishes to ya!
  • You're 3 days ahead of me! Sorry you had a setback, but it's not easy to be patient, especially in the first 6 months, is it.

    I thought I'd try my light hand weights again after a break of a couple of months, and they really upset L4/5 and so back to the Oxycodone for a day. Since then, I've been pretty good and just walking and stretching.

    I hope you're going forward again and will be back in the pool.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
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