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5 month post-op PLIF L4/L5

mel v.mmel v. Posts: 59
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:47 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hi everyone, Just wanted to stay in touch and up date you on my recovery. Slow and boring....enough said. I am 5 month post-op and doing well. I basically have no restrictions with the exception of never shoveling snow or lifting heavy laundry baskets again. I am still in P/T for another month, just cut down from 2x a week to 1x a week. Am getting to the gym 2 or 3 times a week, sometimes just to stretch and do cardio and other times to do more. For the past 3 weeks or so, I've had a flare-up. Not too, too bad. It feels like a "charlie-horse" knot or muscle tightening just left of my scar. It's pretty constant. I take advil for the pain, but I break down in the evening and take flexeril or darvocet before bed. Hoping will diligent P/T work that it will go away soon. I have my 6 month check up Nov. 19th with my ortho-spine surgeon. I don't expect any surprises. I feel a little stuck...as far as moving forward and feeling stronger like you are in limbo or something. I'm tired of talking about recovery and surgery etc......I just wish I had a perfect spine again. Sorry to lament :( Feeling sorry for myself today. Anyway, chin up everyone, hope tomorrow finds you in less pain than today. I am doing very well by all standards and would do it again in a heart beat. Cheers. Mel V.


  • I'm glad to hear you're doing so well. You don't post often but I'm always happy to see a post from you come through.

    Reading between the lines, I'd guess you don't have the energy you expected by now. Is that why you're feeling sorry for yourself? Or is it because you don't have a perfect spine anymore? I'm 3 weeks post-op 2-level PLIF and doing well, too. I'm resigned to the fact that my spine will never be perfect again--it has been forever altered. But the thing is, my lumbar spine before surgery was a total mess! I wouldn't go back to that situation for anything! I dealt with that for 37 years--enough. I'm moving forward with confidence that even though my spine is altered, it will be better than my natural spine which was (still is) breaking down on me.

    I hope you continue to do well and keep coming back to the forum to check in. Cheers to you, too! :)

    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
  • You're right. It's not where I expected to be. Thought this would all be behind me (no pun intended). Five months seems like such a long time, I logically know it is not but a drop in the bucket of life. Just one of those low days a guess. Onward as they say. I'll keep in touch. Nice to hear from you too. mel v.

  • Think back to where you were before your surgery.
    Think of the pain that you were in. Remember how that felt?
    Think of all the restrictions you had on your life.
    Think of the anxiety you felt before your surgery.
    Think of how you felt when you woke up.
    Think of how you had to turn over in bed and get up out of bed.
    Think of showering and washing your feet and getting dressed.

    Now, don't you feel like you have made massive progress?
    I have had days just like you, when I have felt so fed up with how long this recovery is. Then there are those set backs, that make us feel like we are losing any progress that we did manage to make.

    When I think of how I was, I can't help but realise that despite all my problems, I am soooooo much better than I was.
    I hope that I have helped you. :-) (and not depressed you!)

    Take care and try to be patient. :D
  • I'm also glad to hear you're feeling better but totally understand your frustration. I've been having a bad flare in both my cervical and lumbar areas for four days now.

    The thing is, these flares come from trying to live a normal life. What I mean is, with my lumbar at 10 months out, it's been really bad since I was at my brother's house on Sunday and we spent a lot of time sitting in a chair, then going out to the back porch and standing on concrete, then walking on concrete, then going into the kitchen to help with dinner, then sitting down again. It all seemed so benign and normal, but I know that if I'd just sat in the leather chair my brother set up for me (so I'd be most comfortable with my back problems), I'd probably not be hurting so bad. That all seems so simple, but apparently my lumbar thinks it was some sort of major trauma. Stupid lumbar spine.

    My neck was my own fault - I fell asleep with my head forward in my recliner for a couple of hours on Friday night (really not good for someone with a plate and 8 screws) and then fell head-first into the countertop in the bathroom on Saturday. Those were my own problems I created. Plus, I have additional problems above my fusion.

    I just wonder if we'll ever be able to be "normal" again. Didn't we have fusion to fix the problem, i.e. pain? I guess if we just have stability, we should be grateful, but it's hard to come to terms when it's not as great months later as we hoped it would be.

    Take care and I hope you get to feeling better. Sometimes we know what will create a flare but we do it anyway or inadvertently and then have to pay dearly for it later.

    Good to see you posting.

  • We posted at exactly the same time and I didn't see your post before I posted mine and I just wanted to say that I love your upbeat attitude.

    You've put such a positive on Mel's issues and made some very good points.

    Nice post with a great message. Thanks.
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