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post op L5 spinal fusion

vince0133vvince0133 Posts: 2
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Recovering from Surgery
Hi my name's vince im 18 and just recently on monday the 20th my father had an L5 spinal fusion because he had a fairly severe pressure on the sciatic nerve over the past five years it been a progressive march of surgerys including a scope on both knees, and a cadaver maniscul transplant on his right knee "wich didn't take". the nerve pain he's been experiencing down his right leg seems to be gone; but i was wondering since there is no bone in the outer compartment of his knee and he needs a replacment as soon as possible how will it be possible for him to rehabilitate his "newly found" cramping muscles that restrict him from even sitting on the tiolet?

i'm the only one my father has and no matter what the pain or hardship is i have to find a way to help.
I know i have alot of questions but im just overwhelmed and could really any kind of advise that could be given
thank you very much. its appreciated


  • Hi Vince,

    So sorry your Dad is experiencing such troubles. You are good to be by his side. You are asking some good questions and you should make sure you are comfortable enough to discuss the same things with his surgeon.

    I don't know that anyone can answer the 'when' question. Lumbar fusion can take several months to heal from. I would say 6-weeks minimum and then he'll need PT. I would suspect the doctor may want to wait 6-12 months before doing another surgery in order to allow your Dad to fully recover from the fusion.

    The new found cramping...is this in his knee or leg? Has the doctor suggested a raised toilet seat? I know with fusion patients, it makes things easier b/c bending to get to the toilet can be painful.

    I had minor back surgery (well, as minor as back surgeries can be) and after my 2nd one, my husband installed a 'handicap' bar for me to help me get down and up. It was all of $20 I think. Your Dad sounds like the raised seat may be better.

    Another option may be a walker for the bathroom b/c it seems as if he may need to lean on something to lower and raise himself. It's not an easy road and you are a blessing to be by his side.

    It is a good sign that the nerve pain in his leg is improving. He may have good days and bad as he's recovering. They key now is for him to not overdo it. Walking is good. He needs to be sure to avoid bending, twisting, lifting, or sitting too long.

    Back issues are overwhelming. Having to help a parent can add even more stress but your help is key.

    Feel free to ask more questions...we'll try to offer advice.
  • Your Father is so blessed to have you watching out for him. I agree with DNice and their suggestions. Can you ask your Father to call the Surgeon if he's in need of a muscle relaxant or something to help him. Perhaps a brace would help but the Dr. should advise what may help. If your Father goes to the Surgeon for a follow-up appointment go with him and bring your list of questions. I know my Father had knee replacements each separate of course and he's done very well in the past few years. Best wishes. CHarry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • 8} thank you all of your advice has been very helpful; the cramping is mainly in his buttocks down to his leg. if you wouldnt mind i have a few more questions. Such as in his case the nerve pain is gone, but during standing and sitting, his weight bareing leg and vise versa pain in his legs and back seems to shift from the left and right side. has anyone heard of this happening or has had personal expierience?
    sorry about the 22 questions but you said
    "before doing another surgery in order to allow your Dad to fully recover from the fusion"
    that is somthing that i was not aware of. If i might ask what would you be referring to simply because i would like to know what i might be up against lol. thank you
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