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8 Weeks Post Plif L4-S1 Back Pain Question

Jan PJJan P Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:50 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am now 8 weeks Post PLIF with screws and rods, bone graft, etc.

I am having pain in my back along the side where the fusion is. It's like someone socked me in the back. Not sure if this is normal. Periodically, my back will hurt,usually from doing something stupid like twistng or reaching. But then it will go away, like a sore muscle would. However lately, seems to be a daily problem.

I have been trying to back off the Vicodin and Tramadol and cannot totally stop because of this pain - as well as leg pain. I was taking 1800 mg of Gabapentin - got down to 600 and now going to go back up to 900 to see if leg pain eases.

I try to walk twice a day for 20-25 minutes each time, but generally only make it once, because my back will start hurting again.

Just wondering if anyone has any thoughts on what this can be. I did put in a call to my NS and waiting to hear. I do not have an appt to see him until Feb. 28 (3months post) at which time he will do my first X-ray.

Thanks for your help.
Jan P.


  • I dont have any ideas for you, except maybe a flare up, which can happen. It did to me. It is something your Dr can only answer for you, and check to see that everything is in place. Be careful on the BLT, it is very important right now, as you are in a critical stage of fusing. Take care, and keep us posted. Hugs, Robin
  • My opinion? You are still in the early days yet.

    I remember having odd things happen, odd pains, strange nerve stuff and just plain old weirdness happening all the way until about 10 months post-op.

    I also had a L4-S1 fusion with rods and screws. No bone graft, but I did have complications that made my situation not-so normal.

    Talk to your NS, but don't worry a lot.

    It seems that the more I worried, the more it hurt. I'd see the NS and he'd say it was nothing and low-and-behold, a few weeks later he was right. That particular pain gone.

    Here's to nothing...

    Hope you are doing better soon.
  • I am three months out and still have the occasional ache and pain. At 8 weeks I was still on regular meds and feeling exhausted (achy) if I did too much. Hang in there and take it easy.

  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    You are still VERY early in the healing process and some recurrence of past symptoms or even new symptoms may be normal. Anything you are worried about should be something to discuss with your surgeon when you see him/her next time. I had many kinds of pain that would occur, some that stayed for a few days and others that occurred for a day or so and then went away only to result in different pain. Are you taking it easy and wearing a brace (if you were provided one)?
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • Very normal in my experience. 8 years after I still get weird pains on occasion. 8 weeks not a very long time. Muscles still healing.
    4 level posterolateral fusion L2-S1 with rods and screws and cadaver bone. Spondylolisthesis, spinal stenosis, scoliosis, sciatica, DDD, facet disease and arthritis. September 2002

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