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7 weeks post PLIF

MLT01MMLT01 Posts: 172
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:49 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello Everyone,

It has been a couple of weeks since I posted something..I thought I was actually seeing the light at the end of the tunnel so to speak..The past few days has been awful!!!

I'm having allot of sciatic pain in the leg and electric shock feelings from leg to the foot.I'm having allot of issues just with sitting! Back on pain meds these past few days..Not sure what to think..Called the Dr and I go Tuesday for x-rays..A little concern that the hardware may had shifted AGAIN!!! Is it normal to still be in pain 7 weeks out!!


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


  • It is quite normal to still be in pain at the 7 week mark. We are all different, however, I know how hard it can be to compare our own recovery with others.

    "If so-and-so is doing so great, why not me?" can really get you down, try not to go there, your recovery is just that: YOURS. Of course if at anytime you feel that something is questionable then call your Dr. to discuss your concerns.

    I've had a 2 level PLIF and I can tell you that at 7 weeks post-op I still needed my pain meds, was on all kinds of restricions and was no way near "recovered".

    Unfortunately it seams that way too many people seeking guidance here at S-H have not been given the reality of what surgery can do for them. That the recovery process is a 1-2-3 phase/easy peasy and easily obtained. Well, I am here to tell you that it is not!

    Sometimes surgery is necessary to stop the progression of nerve damage, doesn't mean the pain goes completely away.

    I know cath111 (hi cathie) has posted this information quite a few times. Maybe we need to have it reiterated once a month or so, just for all of the newbies coming here looking for help. My surgeon, bless him, never sold me a "happily ever after surgery story", and wow, am I glad he did.

    Once again while talking about my mess of a neck, he advised me what he would do surgically when I am ready, or when permanent nerve damage is knocking at the back door and he made sure that he was clear that the fusion could only help some issues, the all of the pain would not leave.

    Maria, I hope I didn't bum you out: I just think the truth is better than a sugar coated fairy tale. Listen to your body and take care of yourself.


    There will be good days, so-so days, and unfortunately some really crappy days. Knowing this and mentally preparing for it is helpful.

  • "Ditto" to what Lisa said. I remember having some pretty awful days (pain wise) and I couldn't understand how other members (who had less recovery days) than me were completely off there meds.

    Try to remember the structure of your spine/hips/pelvis is all changing. All of the ligaments and muscles are being stretched and pulled, not to mention the actual fusion process. It takes time. Keep taking your meds as scheduled (stay ahead of the pain) and walk when you can to build back your strength- that is the best advise I can offer. Some days will be better than others and you will probably over do it (if you are like me putting you right back to where your at).... >:D<

    Feel Better,

  • Hi Maria, It is normal. I was still having pain @ 3 months, then @ 5 1/2 months I had some strange back spasam that lasted 4 weeks and vanished as strangely as it appeared. Just now @ 7 months post-op feeling very good 90% of the time. Most days, completely pain-free. Healing is a weird thing....everyone does it a little differently. Be patient. I know that's not what you want to hear. Try to have a good holiday, and don't worry so much. Fingers crossed for a complete recovery. Merry merry, happy happy. Best, mel v.
  • especially if you overdo it. I am on my ass after two days of holiday stuff and I did too much. I kept thinking at 8 weeks I should be better. Actually, my stamina is horrible (get tired quicker) and I get really achy after a long day.

    Hang in there.

  • Hang in there, and me and many others are watching your recovery, and I am promising to post a biweekly update myself for people about to go thru what I may have just did, just like I'm watching you go thru what I may be in a few weeks.

    I have no words of wisdom, as you are 5 weeks ahead of me. For me, surgery wasn't so bad, hospital staff was a nightmare, and my wife is an angel. But even still, the small aches and pains remind me that i'm still healing, and walking is becoming a chore in this wintry mess in illinois. The kids don't understand why daddy won't play with them, and I suppose these are the blues that everyone talks about while healing.

    Well, enough about me. I just wanted you to know that you're posts help others, as well as helping yourself, so please keep posting and be sure to let us know how you are doing, good or bad.

    Chin Up, Kevin
  • Thank you Mel,

    I know it's a day by day and a week by week progress! Thank you for your support!! Merry Christmas and a Happy Healthy New Year!! :)

  • Angela,

    So true! I find on my good days that I do allot more, laundry,emptying the dishwasher ect and by afternoon I'm beat and hurting!! Just think we are 8 weeks closer to recovery! :)

    Merry Christmas!!!

  • I hope and pray that your recovery will be smooth and quick. It's great that you have a support system! What would we do without our caring spouses!

    Yes, the blues are very normal with these types of surgeries. My kids are better this time around also because they are a year and a 1/2 older than the last one!

    Please keep us updated. Remember you will have your good days and then some days you will feel like you went back a few days! Stay positive,rest when the body tells you and try to enjoy this time of taking it easy!! Remember we Spineys are here for each other for support and encouragement!!

    Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy Healthy New Year!! :)

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