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Recovering from surgery

ftripledfftripled Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:45 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am recovering from a double fusion/bone graft. I really dont remember the hospital stay,but now I am home & WOW am I bored. Im still very uncomfortable. My skin in particular is EXTREMELY sore. I have pain meds, but have the tolerance of a horse and Ive been using ice alot. Anyone have any other recommendations? Im by myself, so i can only do so much. I know you're supposed to continue daily activities on a limited scale, but I am exhausted and I cramp up really quickly. The brace they gave me hurts me so bad I can barely talk myself into wearing it.Im very small & its very heavy and rubs my skin. So,after all this chatter,just want to know if anyone has any advice. Thanks


  • Did you have a cervical or lumbar fusion? Your first few weeks are going to be rough. Just take it slow. Get up every hour or so for a short walk around the house, then rest. Its hard to do anything else but watch movies, TV or listen to music while on a lot of pain medications. I love to read, but couldn't focus.

    Do you have any family or friends that can come by? Make sure you are drinking plenty of fluids and eating nutritious meals to help with the healing process. Can you take a tub bath yet to maybe help with your sore skin? If you have no one to help you, your insurance may cover having someone come in every day for a short while.

    Keep us posted on your progress.

    Best wishes,

  • surgeon has told me that post surgery i must keep active BUT stop before i am hurting too much also he told me to up my pain killers when you know that the thing that you are about to do may hurt you .also swimming and pool walking may help you .but if you are in pain and can't cope with it you must not suffer ..go to your doctor and re asses your pain medication
  • Welcome to Spine-Health. There are a lot of articles and videos on this site that you can explore and the forums have wonderful, caring and supportive members.

    I'm also wondering if your fusion was cervical or lumbar, but it sounds like lumbar. I always wore a t-shirt under my brace so it never touched my skin. As for it being heavy, you might want to talk to your surgeon about an alternate type brace that's not so heavy. I assume your surgeon prescribed the brace, so maybe he'll work with you to get one that's not quite so heavy.

    Yes, the boredom. We all know about that during recovery. You can't do much, so what can we do to keep ourselves "busy" without going outside of the restrictions? For me, I love games and puzzles, so my hubby got me a Nintendo DS that had lots of games. That kept my mind busy and I'd tend to get lost in them. I didn't like the ones that get your heart racing (fighting games), but solitaire, puzzles and hidden object games were great. And there's always catching up on movies that you haven't seen yet.

    You didn't say how far out you are from surgery, but walking is very good for spineys after surgery, starting to walk around the house then increasing as you can. My puppy was my best helper in that he wants to go to the park across the street every morning, so off we go. We started short little walks then increased and I'm still getting him out every morning.

    I wish you luck in your recovery. Take care of yourself and keep us posted.

  • to Spine Health. The recovery is a long, slow process that we spineys are so familiar with. Boredom is a big problem. I love to read, however I could not handle anything too "heavy", just couldn't concentrate very well.

    A laptop comuter has been an immense help. After my first fusion I didn't have a laptop and now I can't use a desk computer, too painful. You can go on any TV network website and most likely catch up on their shows. 30 Rock was great for uplifting my mood. If you have a netflix account they also now have free movies/tv shows you can see.

    Some people use this downtime to catch up on hobbies, finish a project or start a new one.

    Taking frequent breaks to walk, whatever you can handle, helps break up the day. Give youself time to recover, it will get easier. We're here for support when you need it.

    Take care,


  • I have days when I feel bored, but I am grateful that I am recovering during the summer, when I can get out in the sunshine for my walks, and enjoy my garden.

    I am also very grateful that there is no pressure on me to return to work before I am ready.
    My surgery was 19th March, and I will hopefully, be returning to work in September, when the new school year starts here in the UK.
    I know that there are a lot of spineys who have to return to work before they are really ready.
  • I can totally relate to to the bored syndrome. Also to the brace hurting. I had a lot of swelling near my incision for a month after surgery, which made my brace very tight and super uncomfortable. So I went out to GAP and purchased a few undershirt-type tank tops to wear next to skin and then put brace over it after bringing the brace back to surgeon's office to be re-adjusted to fit better while the swelling was happening. I'm into my 7th week of recovery and started fusing last week. Have to be good. Many have suggested charting activities that you like to do every day. Ice cream sundae with friends one day, girlfriend visit the next, hair appt. the following day and so on...... So you have something, even if it's little, to look forward to during the day or during the week. Stay focused. First 3 months are very important to follow directions... Cheers. mel v. :))(
  • I can understand also about the brace and the boredom. I had surgery 10 days ago and the brace seems to be more uncomfortable now. It seems to come in direct contact with the incision. I've tried to put a cotton shirt on, then the brace, and another shirt on top. That seems to help a bit. Hot as all get out, but it helps.
    I thank goodness that I'm an avid reader because that is the only thing that seems to occupy my mind and time.
    My mother has taken a vacation from work to stay with me and that is a blessing. I am fortunate to have a lot of help. I am staying with my parents for a while because they have much more room for me to walk outside along the cement driveway. I live one block over from them so my husband and children come frequently and usually on of my children stays overnight. That in and of itself is a true blessing because it has given me quality time to spend with them, uninterupted by that little thing called life.
    It also brings them peace of mind because they can actually see me. My girls tend to worry about my every move, so now they can see me up and around and not bedridden. I've had back surgery before when they were much younger and I think they had those memories stuck in their heads. To a small child, even a little thing seems enormous sometimes. (although it wasn't a small thing, the back surgery that is) :)
    Best of luck to you. Listen to your body and your intuitions. Your body will tell you when it's had enough. I've probably spent 70% of my time so far on my feet, walking, walking, and more walking. That seems to be the only thing that is keeping my muscles from tightening. I've also heard it's good for lessening the scar tissue that is likely to appear in the surgical site. I had extensive scar tissue, and subsequent removal with this surgery. In the process I had a dural tear and the headache to accompany it. No fun! So I'll continue to walk as long as my feet and back allow me to.
    Hope it goes smoother for you! One day at a time...baby steps...
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