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6 week Post Op Laminectomy/Fusion L4-5

JonyJJony Posts: 2
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:55 AM in Recovering from Surgery
Hello everyone,

I began reading these boards a few months before my surgery, so I felt like I was prepared for recovery... I was.. sort of. The first 2 weeks were horrible, worst pain I could have imagined. Thankfully, at 6 weeks, I am doing much much better. I take 1 pain pill a day, usually 8-9 pm nearing bedtime. There are times where I feel I could do with another pain pill, but make the choice not to. My doc does not want to renew the script for pain meds at the next visit. We will see where I am by then. I am walking at least twice a day for 25-40 min each time. I am getting around OK, still slow on the steps, haven't used the walker in at least 2-3 weeks. I am getting quite frustrated that I cannot bend yet, and "over" this whole recovery thing in general ;p I just want to feel 100% asap! My doc is expecting me to go back to work after our next visit on 9/12. At this point, I do not feel ready to go back, hoping that changes by the 12th. How soon did you all return to work? Did you go back because you felt 100% ready, or did you go back because you needed to get back to work? I am fortunate that I am on disability insurance, so I can recover without the financial stress.
Thankfully my family has been pretty supportive and patient with me... even when I drop things that I can only watch fall to the floor and not get ;0 Can't believe I am going to write this, but I actually do miss cleaning!
I am still having trouble sleeping.. turning over and changing positions is stil painful and difficult for me. Are you guys getting a good nights sleep??
Anyway, looking forward to hearing from you guys.


  • Hi,

    I had L4/L5 fused a couple of years ago, a 360 fusion and I know what you mean about the first few weeks of recovery. At first I could not walk to the end of the driveway and then I made it up to 7 miles a day (not all at once) by 3 weeks. I hate walking but since it was all I could do I had to like it!!

    I got the ok from my doctor to go back to work 3 weeks after surgery. I was in pretty good shape before surgery and I think that helped my recovery. It was a little rough at first but I was fine.

    I started back swimming after the incision healed. I really like being weightless.

    I sleep with a wedge under my legs which takes the stress off my back. I still use ambien when I need it.

    I have had several more fusions and am still on pain meds. I get off the oxycodone and vicodin as soon as I can as I do not like them. But a person needs to be out of pain to heal so you need to take something for the pain.

    I still can't bend over so have learned to squat down to get things. I am not always graceful but am functional. You will find ways to do things.

    Good luck in your recovery.

    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
  • i am 7 weeks out today. went to doc yesterday and th ebone growth is already starting between l5 and s1.i also am down to bout one pill a day and feel much improved. glad to hear you r doing well. as far as work,i think it depends on the job type.
  • Welcome to spine health. Glad that you have "officially" joined us after reading the boards for a couple of months.

    Sounds like you are doing well 6 weeks out, hardly taking any meds. It can be frustrating not being able to bend, and to watch things drop, but you are doing the right thing with your restrictions. As Jani said, as time goes on, you will learn new ways to adapt to doing things without the possibility of hurting (ie crouching)

    Going back to work really does depend on alot of things. How your recovery is progressing and what type of job you do. How physical it is, and whether you have the option to get up and move around if you have a sit down job.

    When I sleep, I still wake up every two hours or so and do the slow rollover and repositioning of pillows.

    Wishing you all the best with your recovery. Look forward to hearing more from you.

    >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
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