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8 weeks post revision of failed fusion

EmilyEEmily Posts: 112
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:55 AM in Recovering from Surgery
Hello fellow sufferers

I am now 8 weeks after my two stage alif and posterior revision of my failed plif. I am still wearing a hard brace, and will for the next 4 weeks.

I have virtually no pain at all except for the graft site that can be niggly at times and had a muscle flare in my one buttock that settled very well with Kinesio taping!

On doctor's instructions I am exercise- walking an hour every day and slowly increasing my sitting tolerance which is now up to 2 hours. The rest of the time I amble about and lie down . I am still avoiding all BLT (as far as is possible) although some bending and twisting seems inevitable.

At my 6 weeks followup there was a tiny bit of bone growth visible and the cages were in position and have not sunk into the soft bone. One screw does have a halo and may be a bit loose, but the NS is not worried about this. It did, however mean that my bracing had to be extended. Yuck.

So. A success so far!! If everything fuses just as it is today I would be thrilled with my outcome!

Swimming and cycling is forbidden as yet, but will be reconsidered at the 12 week appointment.

I think the keys to my great outcome are these:

A really positive attitude. I am determined to get well.
A very skilled NS who hates to fail
Keeping still for the first two weeks after discharge with getting up for meals and bathroom only.
Getting off oxycontin asap (that stuff messed with my head and clogged me up no end)

Right now I take 50 mg Tramadol twice, or three times a day, Tylenol 500 mg three times a day, and diclofenac 50 mg two or three times a day. I also take a Vit C and Zinc supplement daily, and a Magnesium Vitamin B combo three times a week.

I did not believe the physio when she said it, but I look forward to the burning ceremony for the brace. But I believe it has kept me from doing too much or moving in the wrong way.


  • Glad to hear you are doing so well!!!! I am 4 weeks post op cervical fusion, mine was much less extensive than yours, but I know the frustration of not being able to do things you love (Like the swimming and cycling). I wasn't able to do it for a while before surgery, so I guess I can wait a little longer!

    Brace burning ceremony? Kind of sounds funny. Do they seriously do that?
    ACDF C4-5 June 23rd, 2011

    Another surgery in the near future. I am 26 years old.

    Current Meds- Norco 7.5/325, Cymbalta 60mg, Gabapentin, Adderall 20mg
  • Probably not really. But I can identify with the sentiment!

    Good luck with your recovery, Donnabe!
  • sounds like you are doing very well :)

    My surgeon is against diclofenac as it inhibits fusion, has yours not mentioned it?

    No one from the hospital had mentioned it to me until i saw my surgeon at 6 weeks, when i said i'd been taking naproxen for a week, and he told me to stop. I had read on here about the no to nsaids, but as the surgeon hadnt said it, i continued.

    hope you continue to recover well
    L5/s1 discectomy & decompression 2009
    ALIF l5/s1 2011
    Awaiting X-ray & consultant to see if fused, but experiencing a lot of pain again :( 2013
  • I asked both my surgeon and rheumatologist about NSAIDS. They were both of the opinion that there is no evidence in humans that it inhibits fusion. This apparently comes from animal studies.
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