Hi, I am now over 2 years status post L3-S1 fusion with bone graft. I've never really felt pain free but I have had times of what if call good fortune.
I have 8 screws and I believe 4 rods in my lower back. I've only been on Vicodin 5/325. My doctor gives me 60 pills a month. He does renew them but I don't feel that I'm overzealous with taking them . I take them when I need them. I don't know if I should ask for a stronger pill since he's pushing for hardware removal and another fixation at L-2-3. I don;t even want to go there on that one. I have yet to see anyone write about how great they felt after hardware removal. I have been adding aspirin to my daily regimen about 4 a day and that is way too much to take every day since it thins the blood. The other day I scratched a tiny sore on my arm and it bled so much.So, i've cut back to 2.
I wish I could find someone out there who's had this surgery and feels the same way. Sometimes the skin at my lower back is so thin over the screws that if I brush it or press on it in any way I get alot of pain both in my back and in my butt
Oh well, I see my Ortho Doc tomorrow and we'll see what happens. He's ultra conservative. As long as the hardware is still sitting where it's supposed to be then I'm ok with taking 2 - 3 pain pills a day. I don't think that that is alot. I'll let you know if he cuts me off. I mean 60 pills a month at 2 every 6 hours and I get them refilled at the end of the month. I don't think that's bad.