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Six months out

terryberrytterryberry Posts: 3
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I have been following this group since my surgery 11/09. I had a two level fusion. Still on Norco, one in morning and one at night. Occasional Skelaxin as needed. Going in to my sixth month. How many people are still on pain meds after six months? I feel like it is taking a long time for my back to recover, much longer than I anticipated.


  • Glad you decided to join in the conversation.

    I cannot give you any statistics, but it is common, or at least, not uncommon, to be on pain meds at this point in recovery.

    You might enjoy reading through a thread I started several months ago:


    And, you'll notice that there is a section of the forum devoted to "Recovery after Surgery." Many people feel just as you do, and often think something is "wrong" because they are not progressing as quickly as they thought they would. Usually it is the expectations that are out of line...not the healing.

    A two-level fusion is a BIG surgery. It will take the first year for the bones to knit together and begin to feel strong. Hopefully, you will feel more close to "normal" prior to then.

    Don't be shy about posting with your questions. Many of us have had a fusion and are available to share our experiences with you.

    Take good care,

  • I am six month out from a one level fusion and im still takin norco and soma once or twice a day. So you are not alone.
  • I'm one year three months out from my 3-lvl cervical surgery and almost four months out from my lumbar surgery and I've been on Norco since September 2008.
  • You don't mention what your activity level or restrictions are at this point? Are you in PT? Also if you have other problems that might be the source of the pain.

    Recovery can take a long while. And patience is hard. If you share more about yourself you might find someone with similar issues or concerns.
  • and still on hydrocodone 5mg at noon, oxycodone 7.5mg at night. Soma 2-3x daily.
  • Thanks for posting that thread again...really needed to re-read that today...
  • I had a laminectomy in 2000, one level fusion L5-S1 in 2002 and two levels above L5 last November. I work in an office and it requires alot of sitting. I do leave office at least once daily and walk. I would love to be able to bend over and then straiten back up without the terrible muscle pain. How can I strengthen my muscles in lower back without PT?
  • This fusion (360 L4-5) is my second surgery in 2 years. I had L3-S1 decompressions etc 12/07, broke my foot 10/07 from footdrop.

    I have been on Narco 10/325's since mid 07. During my surgery in 07, they realized there was much more damage than the MRI showed and it wasn't fix able. So when I went in for my first post op, I realized, I would be rehabing only to get strong enough for a fusion.....

    Hang in there!
  • I am 6 months post op one level fusion and still need codeine some nights if I am to sleep. I often wake in the middle of the night and want more too. So.... maybe it takes longer than we expect to get "better".
    The pain I have now is mostly back pain, not leg pain, and at least the drugs work on that sort of pain. I can't help being thankful for that having spent such a long time pre op swallowing all the meds I could get with no relief.
  • At the risk of repeating myself, let me remind all of you that recovery from fusion surgery can take a LONG time -- much longer than most of us think it should. Most surgeons shrug off most complaints as being a normal part of recovery until after the one year mark has come and gone.

    Also, it is very normal during that year to begin to feel better and think you've turned the corner, only to wake up and feel like you've regressed by several months. Progress in recovery is rarely forward in a straight line. Most of us take several steps forward, and one or two back. The problem comes when you suddenly find that almost all your steps are backward after a period of forward progress.

    If you have nerve pain, it can take a very long time to feel like you are making progress.

    Having realistic expectations for recovery are really half the battle. This is MAJOR, complex surgery that involves our core posture, balance and to some degree, nerve center. Many dynamics are involved here and it can take awhile to all get sorted out again.

    Do yourself a favor and realize that patience is your most important ally. Be grateful for what you can do today, and look forward to what you will be able to do six months from now. It's a waste of energy to get frustrated over what you cannot do yet. Try to maintain a positive attitude. It will carry you a long ways during recovery.

    As my husband's grandmother would say: "Thus ends the sermon for today...."

    Blessings ~


  • Well spoken!!! How in the world did you become so insightful...you are amazing!

    My recovery has been exactly as you have stated. There are so many days when I am unable to process the fact that it takes so long...so hearing you articulate it in this fashion is incredibly comforting to me.

    If you have read any of my posts this week, I have been very retrospective and bit melancholy...LOL Maybe it is just hormonal :-)


  • Hi Terryberry

    I'm 6 months out and there's days when I need Oxycodone for the back pain.

    Sitting still is a problem for me, so can understand that it will be causing you extra pain. Good that you're getting out and walking each day. Are you able to get up from your desk more and walk about the office?

    Hang in there and keep taking your meds for as long as you need them.


    ** Thanks for the sermon Gwennie :)))

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