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5 Weeks Since Lumbar Spinal Fusion - STILL IN PAIN

ValerieKVValerieK Posts: 11
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:00 AM in Recovering from Surgery

I am now 5 weeks post-op from lumbar spinal fusion of L5-S1. I am still having horrible pain in my legs & back. First getting out of bed, I can hardly stand. I did have nerve damage before surgery, that the surgeon had to repair. He also advised that he had to cut out a whole lot of scar tissue.

Is this continual pain normal? Has anybody experienced similar issues?

I am also running a low-grade fever & the area where the incision was made is very hot, while the rest of my body is cold. However, there is no redness.

Maybe I'm just freaking out, but I'm a little worried about all the pain. I take Lyrica for nerve pain twice daily, oxycontin long term twice daily, oxycontin short term, 4 times daily and also baclofen for spasms.

Just looking for other's experiences.



  • You are definately not alone! I am 8 weeks out from a fusion with surgical revisions and I sound exactly like you! I've had 3 major surgeries though in the past year so was attributing my slow recovery to that. My surgeon's office has told me that due to the physical onslaught my body had taken in the past year, it WILL take me two years to feel better.

    I have to be reminded of that two year thing ALOT because I don't like it one bit. Sigh...
    Dec10 Fusion due to grade 2 spondylolisthesis and sciatica. L5/S1. Failed.
    Aug11 Hardware Removal, Dural Tear, Foot Drop
    Dec11 Salvage fusion at same place. Also a failure.
    August 2012 Spinal cord stimulator
  • Glad to know I'm not alone... thanks for your comments & good luck! :)))
  • The mention of a low grade fever is troubling to me. Does your surgeon know about this fever? If not, I'd be calling him soon. Infections are all too common when hardware is used in the body.

    Now, if there is no infection, then I'd tell you that being 5 weeks out from major surgery like a fusion is still very early in the process. Recovery can take a year or even two so hang in there.

    Emergency surgery in March of 2006 for spinal infection of L 2 and L 3. During surgery, discovered I had Cauda Equina Syndrome. Spine became unstable after surgery and had 360 fusion with 10 pedicle screws, plates and rods in April of 2007.
  • I am just about six weeks out from a revision. My ALIF in 2009 didnt fuse and the bone cracked(?), So they did a PLIF and added my own bone and rods. I am still having horrible leg pain and a deep achiness in my feet, I live in the mid west and I am hoping when it gets sunny and warmer I will start feeling better. Hang in there like they said you are early in the recovery process although its difficult try to follow drs orders and be patient! Hang in there:)

  • Hi all, first timer writing, but I have read many of the comments and have taken much support from the shared experiences... But...
    At 54 I am now fours weeks out from a TLIF between the L2 and S1 vertebrae... I have suffered with various versions of back pian for many years - all self-inflicted through rugby, snowboarding and mountain biking - but I have had to wait some considerable time for the op as I have been also recovering from Sarcoidosis and other autoimmunity problems for the past seven years - heart, lungs and eyes primarily. I have effectively written off this period of my life through chronic ill health and severe constant leg and back pain. Soooo the TLIF operation and it's successful outcome are very, very important to me... My 'worry' (such as it is) is that while my left leg (the one that had previously caused me most discomfort!!!) is great, recovering nicely and pain free, my right now seems seriously compromised. I still have intense and constant pain thought the leg, with extreme tenderness and sensitivity. I try to walk a half decent distance every day, but my right leg does NOT seem to be improving and I am still reliant on strong medication to relax and get some sleep (tramadol, Gabapentine, morphine sulphate etc... etc...)
    Is this usual?
  • i am not too sure about the fever .but i am 8 weeks post ALIF {l4/l5} and i and still in a lot of pain but my consultant says its normal .i am about to try pool walking .maybe you could try it ?{the pain is from your spine being stretched and the nerves going mad .it will settle down but your back pain may not get better it all depends on how bad your spine was when operated on .good luck
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
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