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Frustrated with not being able to sleep on my back or side

RachelSRachelS Posts: 16
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:01 AM in Recovering from Surgery
I'm six weeks out from my L5/S1 TLIF. I am still sleeping in my recliner at night. I have tried to sleep on my back with pillows under my knees and my sides with pillows between my knees, yet nothing is working for me. If I'm lucky, I'll be able to sleep two hours before I have to go back to my recliner. Even then it's not really worth it because I'm so achy and stiff after those two hours that I end up wishing I'd just slept in my recliner to begin with. I just want to be able to lay down to sleep again so bad. Any ideas as to how long it may be before I can do that again, or is anyone else having the same problem as me? Other than this issue, my recovery is going really well and I don't have any complaints at this point.


  • It took me about 8 weeks to be able to sleep on my right side. And that is only side I can sleep on after 2 years And still only able to sleep on my right side. That is if you call 4 hrs a night sleep.
    My prayer are with you

  • I'm sorry you can't sleep any better than I can after two years. It's amazing how much this surgery changes your life. I have lost sensation in my left leg and foot as well, and that is a huge problem for walking. My therapy is currently focused on the left leg, but I wish there was something I could do for sleeping in bed like a normal person again too. I am thankful and thrilled for how well I am doing, especially this soon after surgery, but I wish some things were going just a bit better for me still. Thank God I have a very supportive husband and family. Lots of encouragement from them and they are as understanding as they can be (my dad has had multi-level fusions, so he really does understand. He's 10 years out and still has issues).

    I will pray for you as well and hope you start to feel better. Thanks, Jim.
  • it took me 6 weeks to sleep on mt RHS .before that i was sleeping on my recliner on my back .and i hated it as my mouth got so dry it was awful .i can now sleep on my LHS on my recliner but in bed i tend to sleep on my RHS with a pillow in between my knees ,but i can still only manage 2 hours then pain still wakes me .i thought that after the ALIF {3 months ago } things would have been different .but thy are still the same as they were before the operation ,in fact sleeping is worse i have been up 3 times tonight and last night i was up all night after an hour in bed ..i think sleep and bad backs go hand in hand ,some can manage to sleep well and others don't ..unfortunately i have not had more than 2 hours in the last 16 years ...i spend most of my time napping on my recliner ..i sleep when i can ..its a bumper !!!
    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
  • Yes, last night I was finally able to sleep on my side for longer than two hours, but it was still in my recliner, so I was not totally sleeping in a complete laying down position. While that's a start, it still isn't the same as lying down in bed. I've been sleeping in my recliner since surgery, and my husband has been sleeping on the couch so he can be near me. I'm sure he's just as ready to be back in bed as I am, but I also know he won't go to bed without me. So sweet. This back ache and pain is very annoying as I did not have either before the surgery. My back pain was pretty much nil; it was the leg pain and then numbness once the disc really blew. Sometimes it was just nicer having a bum leg and no back pain. ~X(
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