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5weeks post PLIF and still hurting??

MLT01MMLT01 Posts: 172
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello Everyone,

One of these days starting to get a little discourage :''( I'm 5 weeks post PLIF and still not ready to conquer the world. I went to the store with my hubby and couldn't last more than a 1/2 - 1 hr.

My energy level is so low and the more tired I get the more pain I get! Sorry for venting!!


spondylolisthesis at L4-5; stenosis,
Lumbar surgeries 1999 L4-L5
Lumbar staph infection 1999-2000"
Meningitis x5 in 1999-2001
Brain shunt 2000"
Brain shunt removed 20001"
ALIF/PLIF fusion 8/5/09
Failed fusion and Failed Hardware
PLIF Fusion scheduled for 10/29/10


  • I felt exactly like you did..I know it is discouraging. Around week 4 or 5 I was teary at times too. Just from frustration. You hear recovery can take a year or more but that time goes slow during the early part of the recovery.
    Just know you are not alone. I have a 2 level PLIF on March 1st. I am finally back to work as of Nov 1st. It is still a challenge everyday..and I am very aware of how I move...I am still on a wt lifting limit of 20lbs.
    This is a hard time of the year to be recovering so early..just because I know you WANT to be able to shop for the holidays. Be patient with yourself...give yourself time to heal...
    It will come...just think...next summer you will feel so much better.

  • Hi. I am at 5 weeks as well. I had L4/5/S1 on November 3rd. I woke up today (third night in row in bed...yeah) feeling pretty good. But it is now 2:50pm and did nothing except folding some laundry..and I am tired and have horrible leg pain. I just took pain meds which I haven't done during the day for about a week. I have been only taking them at night. To your point, I haven't left the house at all except for thanksgiving and I was on the couch most of the day. I can't imagine standing around I would be wiped out. I am afraid honestly. I am going for my 6 week x ray tomorrow and seeing the doc on Friday. I want to go back to work on January 3rd and need to get some stamina!!!

  • I've been reading articles about recovery. There are a few here on spine-health that are interesting!


    is one. Anyway, they all indicate that exercise is the only way to a complete regaining of function, including aerobic exercise. Have you started a reconditioning program yet?

    One article here on S-H suggested getting a pedometer and setting daily goals for yourself.

  • My physiotherapist, who is a spinal specialist and wonderful! ;) , told me that if I do nothing else, walking is my best friend. I have definately found it to be so, as long as I don't overdo it.

    It increases blood flow and oxygen to the spine to help healing and fusion. Works those muscles to strengthen and rebuild where necessary. If you can get outside into the fresh air for a bit, it makes you feel like part of the world again and really lifts your spirit.

    Maria, I think we have probably all felt like you are feeling. Although we thought we were ready for a tough recovery, it just takes sooo looooooonnnnnggg!

    You vent away - we did, so why not. :)

    Try to think back to how you felt before surgery. Were you in pain? Was your life limited? Were you nervous of the surgery?

    Now, aren't you glad that you are 5 weeks into your recovery. That is 5 weeks closer to your better life. That doesn't mean that there isn't still a long way to go, but you are on your way.
    Now try to relax and enjoy the ride!!! OK, I agree you can't really enjoy it! :S But you can enjoy the lovely company that you have here to travel along with you. :*

    Try to think of the things that you are looking forward to doing next spring/summer and write them down. I did that, and it cheered me up. Now, I am able to start crossing some of the things off my list. That feels wonderful! <:P

    Keep healing >:D< >:D< >:D<
  • Walking is exactly what my NS preached at me. I walked several times a day for 7 months without fail, and I felt it helped to give me more general stamina that Angela was talking about needing more of.

    I remember at 4-5 months out that taking a shower took so much energy that I would have to lie down for 10 minutes or so afterward before I could dry my hair and keep going.

    Do what you can, eat nutritional foods, drink water, rest well...

    One of the forum members told me that I would see a big difference after 12-16 weeks, and found that to be very, very true.

    Good luck, and take care:-)

  • Jellyhall,

    Thank you so much for the encouragement!! Tonight I feel much better mentally! What would we do without our spiney friends! It helps to have encouragement especially by those you have been in your shoes.

    So looking forward to the weeks, months and years to come! :)

  • Thank you Tonya for your encouragement! I know it's only still the beginning and I need to be patient!

  • Recovery is hard and your energy levels are going to be down for quite a while. Do listen to your body.

    Walking is the best and as Jelly said "It increases blood flow and oxygen to the spine to help healing and fusion".


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • I know this sounds like a repeat of everyone, but I had my first fusion in Dec 08, and are having another one next Monday. You are very early in your recovery, and it is a very HUGE surgery. It will take time to get energy levels back. But just look at progress from Week to Week or Dr visit to Dr visit. You remember how you were right after surgery? Well, you are alot better now than that, I am sure. So keep your chin up, and keep walking, just baby steps. Try to increase things slowly, so your body wont feel so overwelmed. Good Luck...We are rooting for ya!
  • Thank you iowarobin I know sometimes we need a reminder! :)

    I hope you have a successful surgery next week and a quick recovery! You will be in my thoughts and prayers! please keep us informed on how you are doing. We Spineys need each other for encouragement and support!

  • I had my lumbar fusion in Sept/10. This week is my 3 mo check up. I do still remember at five weeks asking my spiney friends on this forum was I every going to not feel so tired. They told me to hold on, which really is all I had to do, but hearing it from them gave me some confidence that it would get better. Well they were right, my stamina is so much better and yours will get better too. Just wait and see. I am still not ready for a day of shopping but I can go out for a couple of stores before the tiredness and pain begins. I think they go hand in hand. Take it easy. Traci
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