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Three month check-up

TraciTTraci Posts: 92
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I will be going for my three month checkup next week. I had a triple fusion PLIF lumbar L4-S1 (I have an extra vertibrae L6) on Sept 16th and at the 7 week check up the dr. say fusion. I wear a bone stimulator 24/7 and my clam shell back brace was broken down into just a corset type brace at the 7 week check up. What do you think I can expect at this visit? Allowed to BLT? Lift? Vacuum or sweep? I also take about 40mg oxycodone throughout the day along with soma (3/day). Do you think he will want to take that from me? Thanks for your input.


  • taking pain meds at 3 months. Are you sure you need them? That scares the hell out of me because I am at 5 weeks and trying to get off my meds (have cut down to about 1 or 2 a day).

    Has he told you not to vacuum. At my two week appt I was told to just take it easy but no restrictions (nor stuff I had to do). If it doesn't hurt I can do it according to him.

    I have my 6 week (first x ray picture) appt next friday. UGH! Hoping to get cleared for work on Jan. 1

  • I didn't mean to kill your box with replies!
  • I "think" I need them. I thought that the pain meds were conservative until you said that. Do you think that I should be off of the pain meds by now. I have alot of leg pain. I do walk daily, do you? I also had specific restrictions as no BLT, so I was wondering if those are usually stopped at the three month point and if PT usually starts now. I have a slight limp on the left because of the weakness caused either by the surgery or the numbness in that foot. I cannot lift to my toes on that side, so I was hoping for PT to strenghten that.
  • Congrats on fusing. I wouldn't be worried about being on pain meds at three months out from a major, multi-level lumbar fusion. It takes a long time to feel better and can be up to a year to feel normal (hopefully you'll get to that point). If your surgeon thought you shouldn't be taking meds, he'd ask you to start tapering down.

    I actually started PT at about 10 weeks out from my fusion, but I only had a one-level done. I wouldn't be surprised if he suggests PT at this point to get your muscles up to speed. It takes a while and it's usually nothing too strenuous at first.

    It's hard to say what restrictions he'll release you from and what he'll want you to not do. For me, he wanted me to start bending a little, no twisting or lifting anything heavy, though. In the coming months, you'll find what you can lift and what kind of lifting sets you back a little. I couldn't lift a basket of laundry until about six months out and hubby still doesn't want me to. A friend of mine had a two-level lumbar fusion and she enforced her own restrictions - she refused to do anything, BLT, housework, anything - until a year post-op. She wanted to be on the safe side because the recovery is so difficult she never wanted to go through it again.

    Anyway, just wanted to chime in with my thoughts and experience. Good luck at your appointment and let us know what your doc says. How are you feeling, by the way?

  • I am sorta feeling down. Maybe the weather, but my left leg has given me a fit for the past two days. I take elavil for this nerve pain (that is what the doc decided last visit that it was) and it has helped but today is friday and on Wed we went to town (we live in the boonies) and shopped for things. We were gone about 8 hours. Maybe I did too much. Well it really seems like every time I turn around I have done too much. My mind is sorta in the dumps because of the pain and the inablility to do anything. I feel like I am not a productive part of society and I knew from the beginning that it was going to take a while but it seems so long on some days. At the last appointment, my doc reminded me that he had told me it was going to take time because I had waited a while to have it done. Not my choice but insurance choice. Took about 2 years for approval. Thanks for listening. Traci
  • to say you are taking too much. I was just surprised that you are still taking meds at 3m. I was hoping to be completely off meds by then. UGH. I am still taking meds here and there...and at night when I try to lay flat it hurts so if i really need to get out of the recliner than I need to take meds to sleep.

    I am not walking at all. The doctor told me to take it very easy. I am not going to get PT at all. What is BLT? Bending..Lifting...? I am bending very infrequently (mostly squats..lol). No lifting at all.

  • I am not allowed to bend lift or twist at all. My husband is doing everything right now. I was told to do as much walking as I could stand when I got home and at the two week appt he said to start working up to 1 mile to 1.5 miles daily by the next appt (7weeks). So I walk daily but don't do much of anything else. If in fact this nerve pain is nerves waking up then there are alot of them doing it. Well I hope that you are off your meds by them. That was not really my goal. My goal was to try and be able to live life to the fullest without pain. If that meant taking so meds -fine. But prior to surgery I took meds just to EASE the pain. I am praying now that either I can be mostly pain free because of the surgery or because of the surgery plus meds. Whatever it takes. Everyone has different things going on in there mind about want THEY expect out of the surgery. Hope and pray that you take no meds by three months. Traci
  • Best of luck with your check-up next week.
    I also wore the BGS for 6 months, and the CTscan shows i'm fusing, i am 7 1/2 months post surgery.
    But i'm still taking my pain meds, as a lot of people here are too. So dont be alarmed if you still need them a while, and tell the doctor if you do, so he wont take them away.
    Like Cathie said good chance they will get you started on PT, the 3 month part is about the right time to start for most.
    Just dont get too anxious about doing activities, until you feel your body is ready.
    Good luck to you.
  • Don't worry about being on pain medications at 3 months post op. Everyone is different. Some people get complete relief from their pain with a fusion and others don't. My doctor told me my fusion would alleviate my nerve pain from compression but would not take my lower back pain away 100%. At 9 months post op he was right. I still need pain meds daily, but my nerve pain is so much better. I am hoping to eventually get off of the medications, but who knows what will happen. All I know is that even though I still hurt and am still unable to do many things...I am still doing more than I was before surgery. So in my eyes that means it is a success. Before my surgery I was unable to walk very far without my left leg dragging and tripping me up. Surgery has helped me. I am still healing from it...I was very deconditioned before surgery because I avoided it for 4 yrs before "giving in." I am going to give myself up to 2 years. I assume it will be as good as it is going to get by then.
    Hang in there.

    FYI I had a 2 level PLIF L4-S1 on March 1st
  • Thanks Tonya for the encouraging answer. I think that you and I are on the same wave length about the healing. I had this surgery done so that I could be the best me I could be. I believed that this surgery would improve SOMETHING and I was willing to take a risk to see what gets better. I think that two years is an appropriate time frame but it seems like so long then I think back about how long I had the pain before I had the surgery so I can do it. Thanks again. Traci
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