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After L-5, S-1 fusion...how long before you can sit comfortably?

Oc DodgerOOc Dodger Posts: 3
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:57 AM in Recovering from Surgery
I am at 6 weeks post op, and I Still can't go back to work because I can't sit without pain. Can anyone tell me if youbhad the same L-5,s-1 fusion, and how long you were out of work and how long before the sitting pain stopped?

Thank you all in advance, it makes me feel better that other people are going through the same thing.


  • Hi. I am now just over 12 weeks from my L5-S1 fusion. I found it took about 4-6 weeks before I felt really comfortable sitting down. However, I found sitting in a car difficult and still do find that a bit of a problem if it's for more than an hour (I haven't tried driving yet). I also find sitting forward on a chair while using a computer causes me a bit of back ache after only about 20 mins, especially if it is a hard chair like a dining chair. The pain eases if I lie down flat. My back felt ok until a couple of weeks ago when I had to do some artwork on the computer and sat for over 2 hours without realising and that has set my recovery back somewhat! I have gone back to trying to sit, stand or lie for no more than 20 mins at a time although this is difficult. The thing that really makes my back ache is leaning forward and stretching out to get something ie leaning to prune stuff in the garden.

    Hope this helps!


  • After my first fusion~L4-5 360, my surgeon limited sitting for the first 3 months. I went back to work at 14 weeks, not because I was ready, but because I was out of FMLA.

    Sitting was still an issue. Someone on this site recommended "the Back Joy". It is a seat insert and it really helps. You can use it at home, in the car or at work. I got mine at Bed, Bath and Beyond, but you can also order them online.

    I am 5 weeks out now with my second fusion, L3-4. This surgeon doesn't want me sitting more than 20-30 minutes at a time, and when I do, rarely am I comfortable.

    You may want to try decompressing your spine after sitting for prolonged periods.

    To do so, you want to lay on your back, with your hips bent to 90 degrees, your knees bent to 90 and your arms in line with your trunk.

    It is hard for me to lay on my back, so I usually do this laying on my sofa, with my legs elevated so my hips are at 90 and my knees bent and calves/feet resting on cushions. Try to stay in this position for 15-20 minutes to decompress and unload your spine.

    Hope this helps. Wishing you a full and speedy recovery!

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