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10 weeks and going backwards it feels like

johnb3207jjohnb3207 Posts: 99
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:49 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello all I had L4 L5 fusion done on Oct 21st so that would make it aprox 10 weeks give or take a day .Well for the first
6 weeks I was doing great I felt besides the not sleeping part
anyway I am waking up with severe pain and it is taking me
a long time to walk it off and It is staring to feel like
it used to before surgery except I do not have the leg pain
however I am starting to get numbness in my left buttocks area now.I have been in PT for 3 weeks now and It is not helping .Well I know it is helping my mussels which is great
but my pain is much greater in my surgery area where my bones are to be fusing.I don't want to get frustrated but I should be past this .I go back to see my Dr. on mon the 10th any ideas from anyone is this normal? Thanks all


  • First, I'm glad you're going to see your doctor soon so you can talk to him about your pain.

    However, having said that, I know that I had back pain, sometimes pretty severe, up to six months and longer after my TLIF. I'm thinking that it's normal that you're not over the pain yet considering that you're still pretty early out of major spine surgery. It is concerning about the numbness, but the back pain seemed to last a long time for me too.

    Are you still adhereing to your restrictions? You aren't overdoing things, are you, like lifting, twisting, bending, etc? Have you gone down on your meds recently?

    Even though I understand the pain being frustrating and seeming to last way longer than it's supposed to, I don't think it's all that abnormal, but again, I'm glad you're going in to see your surgeon for a checkup.

    Take care, John, and please let us know what your surgeon says.

  • 10 weeks, still early, You had major surgery on a vital part of your body. I had TLIF in June of this year. I had grade 2 spondy My sciatic pain was only on right side. I had urgery, woke up and have yet to have any more pain at all on the right side. The pain I had on the left side when I woke up was ungodly. I accused the dr of messing something up. He explained to me that my nerve on the left side had been comfy it its spot for about 10 years and they moved it in 3 hours and it was ticked off. It took a couple of months for it to settle down but at 6 months post op all is super. Give it time and watch those restrictions, Depending on how damaged ur nerves were it might take a while to repair themelves.
    Good Luck
  • I am continuing to have moderate pain in my left hip, an area I never had pain in before! My surgeon said basically the same thing that Connie's did- that he did a lot of work in that area, and those nerves might be unhappy for a while (that leg was also weak before surgery, so maybe some atrophy).

    I do, though, notice that the post-surgical pain cycle is quite different! I tend to have a lot of pain in the middle of the night, which I didn't have before. During the day I feel better. Obviously that is kind of disconcerting and disruptive, so it's no wonder that we get distressed sometimes.

    6+ months for total healing. No matter how fast it goes in the beginning, remember that this is a long-term process.

    Are there any pains that are gone that you can focus on to get you through? For example, I used to have this nasty pain going down the outside of both thighs. That's gone. When my hip hurts, I try to focus on an area that doesn't hurt anymore. Not sure if that helps :)
  • That's good that you're going to see your surgeon again on the 10th - only another 4 days.

    I didn't have any success with PT and I started at about the 4 month mark. It made me feel worse even though I modified some of the exercises. I had to lay on my bed to do some of them because they really hurt the fusion site. Might it be better to only do the stretching that the physio would have given you in the hospital, and walk? I found walking the best at the stage where you're at. It gently exercises all the muscles and I'm told that it increases circulation and thereby helps with the fusing.

    In the early stages, I had pain in other areas and it was explained to me that the body is readjusting itself to the fusion. I had pain in the thoracic area and when I was able to do some Tai Chi at home at 7 months out, it relieved all of that.

    I was about 6-7 months out before I started feeling "normal" again.

    Let us know how you go with the surgeon.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • Thank you all for your help Last day of Pt this week
    I go In an Hour can't wait for that to be over lol
    my pain is still there but from what I have been reading maybe this is normal which I hate normal then
    lol so I will just try to stay positive and see what happens in a few months ...and see what the Doc says
    Mon I will let you all know then hope you all have a great weekend :-C
  • sorry your having this pain, just a thought, maybee P/T was aggravating it
    or some of the particular exercises disagreed with your body

    good luck with your app
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