I posted some time ago about how I ditched the pain pills and was going OK without them. This was a little premature, and pain came back after a few days.
I had a fusion done on the last remaining disc (L5) that I had left to me, following extensive fusion as a child. Since there's very little movement and it's vital it fuses well, I've been advise to be *very* careful for 6 months.
Immediately after post-op I was in a fair amount of pain; I'd put it at a constant 3 out of 10, which would jump to say 6 if I was out of bed/standing/sitting for too long (say longer than 10 minutes).
At the 3 month mark, my doc said I could start hydrotherapy - so I went along to the local pool and saw a physio. I told him I wasn't allowed to bend/twist, so he gave me some basic exercises to do:
* Walking in the pool, forwards, backwards, sideways
* Leg lifts whilst holding a handrail
It's a bit over a month since I started, and I am nearly, oh so close, to being totally pain free. I stopped pain pills about 3 weeks ago and haven't looked back. If you're recovering from surgery, please consider hydrotherapy; I maintain it's the "kick in the pants" I needed to really start healing right.
My first visit was scary; I didn't think I was quite ready, but until you get in you'll always think that, I reckon. And after my first session... I felt like I needed to slip into a coma for a few days! But looking back, it has worked for me.
I just wanted to post my experience with it. If you're a few months post-op from fusion and still have pain, speak to your doc about gentle hydrotherapy.
It worked for me.