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One Week Out From PLIF L4-S1

StacyAnnSStacyAnn Posts: 50
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:46 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Well, I cannot believe it has been a week already since my second surgery. This time around I feel stronger, less exhausted. I guess that comes from being in PT up until surgery vs a month of medicated haze on the couch last year. It seems weird. Don't get me wrong. It hurts. But I was expecting worse.

I do seem to have some movement deficits in the left leg that were not there pre-op but I was told there was a lot of work on the left side. Hopefully, the new problem is just temporary as the swelling subsides.

The most annoying thing is the new brace. Last year it just wrapped my abdomen. This year it also has a piece that attaches to the right thigh by a bar to stop me from twisting. Anyone ever wear one of these? Any ideas on how to get it to stay on properly? The leg piece seems to keep moving up and down and needs frequent readjustment.

I see the surgeon Friday. Will post any updates. Its great to have the support of this board, knowing there are others who understand what I am experiencing.



  • That's terrific that you've got through the first week.

    One of our members had a brace like the one you're wearing. I don't think he comes on the forum regularly, so I'll contact him and ask if he can help you with this.

    Looking forward to your next update.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • Well, the beginning of the week was great. Since yesterday, I have been in agony! There is pain in my back down my left leg that is excruciating! Saw the NP at the office today and she ordered a CT and MRI, which were done. Now I wait until Monday to see the doctor. I am taking 20mg hydrocodone every 4 hours and am still uncomfortable. Flexeril doesn't seem to help either. Started another medrol dose pack in case its swelling causing the pain.

    If anyone has any ideas on how to make it through the weekend, I am all ears!

  • You were going so well during the week. Have you moved awkwardly or is the brace not in the right position?? I haven't heard back from the other member who had a similar brace as yet, but he hated it.

    The NP sounds right on the ball, so hang in there until you see the doctor on Monday. In the meantime, rest and ice, and I hope the Medrol and the other meds will take the edge off your pain. Have you got some nice relaxing music that you can listen to? Have you got someone looking after you or that you can call on?



    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • Howdy StacyAnn,

    I'm sending you positive thoughts in the hopes you are only getting muscle spasms as the nerves come back to life! Please keep us posted on what you find out. Support *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • But I am not doing much except laying around. Found stronger pain pills from last year before surgery and using them now. I think the steroids are helping because I can move the left leg with less pain but if I stand on it too long or sit on a chair, the pain starts building up again.

    Thank you for your support. My loving husband has been waiting on my hand and foot since he came home from work yesterday. My mom, who had taken me to the doctor, got some groceries so the kids could have sandwiches and snacks. I am lucky to have family and friends who are willing to hear me moan.

    If it is the steroids helping, I dont want a taper. I will take them everyday to avoid the pain of yesterday. I know the docs won't allow that but I can dream.

    I have stolen my Ipod back from the kids so I can listen to my music and relax. :-)

  • Glad you are better today. Hopefully you will begin to feel better in a week or so.

    As I recall, the first 2-3 weeks were really bad for me, and after that period I was able to back of on some of the strong pain meds.

    Take care,

  • I hope your pain continues to resolve and that nothing new has crept in to sabbatoge your recovery. Even though I know that every person is different and no two surgeries or outcomes will be the same, I'll still be watching your recovery with interest since I'm going to be having L4-S1 PLIF myself. Sending positive thoughts your way!

    2009 Foraminotomy C6-72010 PLIF L4-S1Multi RFA's, cervical inj, lumbar injLaminectomy L3-4 and fusion w/internal fixation T10-L4 July 17Fusion C2-C5 yet to be scheduled
  • I understand how you are feeling. I'm about 6 weeks post-op from a 2 level fusion at L 3/4 & L 4/5 with bone graft and metal inside. The most frustrating time was the first 3 weeks and wearing the brace. I had my brace long before surgery and it has hard supports in the back and both sides so I can't turn. The thing that has helped me the most with the brace is when it starts hurting on my right or left side I just need to remove it and lay down and ice the back. I've been living with an ice pack for 6 weeks, but I do get relief between that and the pain medicine, and recently my Dr. put me on Neurontin, and that helps as well. I have Osteoporosis so I can't take the steroids which probably would have helped me at the beginning. Hang in there, and don't push yourself too hard.
  • Surgeon and I discussed what has been going on and the lack of forward momentum even with the medrol dose pack again. Since it appears something is putting pressure on the nerve, he is going in to find out what and hopefully put an end to my misery.

  • Hi StacyAnn

    Even though you have to go back to the OR, it's good that your surgeon is concerned and I hope he'll find out what's causing pressure on the nerve.

    When you're able to, let us know how you're getting on.



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