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2 weeks out from L4 L5 fusion

harleygirlhharleygirl Posts: 4
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
So I'm very new to this forum stuff, although I've been reading this for months. I was diagnosed with spondylolethesis back in March. PT, meds, exercises, injections...I've done it all. Finally 2 weeks ago had the fusion. Honestly...no one could have explained to me the horrific pain in those first 4 days. Yet here I sit 2 weeks out and I'm amazed. The pain in my butt is the worst from the bone graft, but I'm dealing. I am doing amazing with my PT now, 2 times a day here at home. I walk all over the house, I have been to the store 3 times, just to walk and be around people, I've very careful to never twist, bend, turn funny....I work very hard to stay focused, but I need to hear from people as far as when I'm going to feel like normal is in sight. I bought my first Harley last summer, I'm 46, my harley is my life and I'm so afraid....it will never be the same for me. I need to know that normal is achievable again....thanks for any input. Only people who have experienced nerve pain, leg pain, this surgery pain, this recovery, can possibly understand where my head is at right now....thanks!


  • I had my fusion on the 9th L4/5/S1, and I'm glad to hear your doing so well. I know what you mean about the first 4 days!! I'm in the same boat you are except I'm not doing PT yet. I have my appointment today to get the stitches out, and maybe set up PT. Like you I'm doing great as well. I'm walking 1/2 mile a day, and am getting ready to do that twice a day. The only pain I have is the muscles that they cut/moved during the surgery. For me the hardest part is my sleep pattern is still messed up, but I manage. Like I said I'm really glad to hear your doing so well! Keep it up, and you'll be on the Harley in no time.

    **Edit- congrats on moving from lurking to active, there are a lot of great folks on this forum, and there is a lot of good advice, so nice to meet you!

    Best wishes,
  • I had the same diagnosis and fusion back in July of 08. How I remember those first few days, ughhhhhhhh lol. I am definitely better than I was before surgery and don't regret my decision to be fused.

    I have other medical conditions that made my recovery a long and difficult one. Unfortunately, I am having new problems with the level above. But, as so many say here, recovery is unique. I do hope you'll be on that Harley again with no troubles at all.

    Best to you,

  • I am 3 months today L4-5 ALIF, I am still waiting for MY normal!
    I did have unique complications that I'm still dealing with. Never thought, I'd say this....here goes ..... I wish I could just go back to work!

    Good luck on your recovery, try not to get ahead and out do yourself. If you read back posts, we all do it, at one point in early stages....and then kick ourselves on the setback.

    My hip (bone graft site) didn't bother me until month two, I had so much pain everywhere else to contend with. My legs are worse post op, which is probably not the norm.

    Welcome to SH, I'm sure you will find lots of support here.


    Ps, are you in a brace?
    Hope you get to ride again soon. I can't even think about sitting on my husbands bike. Not in the near future. Maybe soon.
  • now i'm approaching week 4. This SUCKS! hip still hurts from graft, I accidentally bent over the other day IN my corset and that didn't feel good, I'm tired, and I want to go back to work. I go in for a couple hours a day and I get SO tired!!! This is hard, wish I could sleep better but atleast it has improved. I shouldnt complain, I'm doing well I suppose. I can't say I would EVER do this again and I pray daily that I never have to consider it. I get to start driving again this week, that will help me I'm sure, just to have that freedom. I had my stitches out 2 weeks into this and the scar isnt horrible. PT is done here at home, 2 times a day I do a list of stuff they gave me to do. I walk a lot, just around the house and I walk up and down the basement steps, a LOT. That feels good! We have snow here so I can't walk outside. Considering going back to the gym and using the treadmill, see Doc on the 23rd and i'll ask him then if that is ok. Nice talking to you and keep in touch. It helps to talk to others who KNOW, truly KNOW this pain.
  • boy I hope you don't have to go thru it again. I pray I never have problems again. doing a little better every day, just have NO patience at all for this!!! I want to be better NOW. Trying to hang in there.
  • I am almost 4 weeks out now and yes in a brace. I sleep in it, scared to death to take it off. I take it off to shower and when I do....I hold so still. Really hard for me...patience. I have none! My hip hurts all the time, my back doesnt hurt so much as it feels super tight. I do my exercises daily and it wears me out. I work about 2 hours a day when I can but wow do I hit a wall. I'm trying really hard to take my time, but this is just NOT me. I'm on the go always....so this is tough for me. I will be on that bike as soon as the snow is gone!!! That's a while away :) May at the earliest! I can make it, I hope.
    I can't believe your legs are worse...my leg is so much better. The pain I had in my right leg was horrific for 8 months...I lost feeling from my knee down and it's coming back and it feels SO good. My butt hurts though...all the time, but I know its the graft so I dont worry too much.
    and I know about wishing you could work...I wish I could work all day...driving me nuts. Atleast I can drive again later this week!!
  • I was 46 when I had my fusion last winter. Your experience sounds a lot like mine and fairly common in general. The pain the first few days can be really be something huh? What struck me about your post was your bike. Me too. I love riding and after the surgery, obviously that was out of the question. When I could walk out of the house, I'd go out in the garage and crank my bike up and just listen to it! Crazy huh?

    Now, 13 months later I still haven't gotten my 'normal' entirely back. A lot of it is back though. As far as my bike..well my surgeon absolutely forbid it for the first four months (understandable). After that, he really didn't like the idea on account of if I have an accident - well, it might not go so well for me. But, it wasn't expressly forbidden! So, slowly I'd ride. My first ride was to the end of my rather long driveway and back to the garage. Wow, that felt great. Over the next couple months, I'd ride a little farther and a little farther. I found that riding without my brace was then and is now, very painful. So even a year out, I like to put my brace (the hardshell TLSO) on when I ride. It keeps the little road shock from my back and I think it'll have to help a little if I should go down.

    Best of luck on healing..take it easy on yourself. This is a long road, this recovery. PM me if ya wanna talk bikes & backs and how all that works out.

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