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post-op pain & depression

LunaLLuna Posts: 8
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:02 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am two weeks out of having a replacement disc & L4-L5 fusion. I have more pain now than before my surgery. I am starting to get depressed. I feel like I am trapped in my house and I can't do anything for myself. I am thankful that my kids are able to take care of me. But I feel bad that they have to fit me into their busy days with school and work to do this. I have been having twitching in my arms and legs. and burning in my thighs. Yesterday I went to get out of bed not realizing that my leg was numb and started to stand up and almost fell because it decided to not work. Are so many complications normal after this kind of surgery? Everyone I talked to that had this surgery highly recommended it. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone!


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,843
    Two weeks out is no time what so ever.
    Talk to others here who have had the same surgery and see how they are months after surgery.
    You will see how many would always recommend it to anyone
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Maybe it being my first surgery ever.. I might have gone into it with too many expectations. Thanks for the input.
  • As Ron said, 2 weeks is a very short time in this long process. I had fusion of L5-S1 and 3 laminectomies in July of 2010. I was just getting out of the hospital at 2 weeks. It is a very long and frustrating process. I also got depressed. It isn't exactly easy to recover from major surgery. Try to keep your spirits up. Remember if the depression starts taking over your life, reach out to your doctors to help. Good luck and try to be positive.

  • You are only 2 weeks po from a major surgery. You can't expect too much now. Don't be so hard on yourself. I was very depressed also not being able to do the little things that are so trivial and so sore. Remember it's all downhill from here. Don't expect much only 2 weeks out. Get well soon, Kevin
  • i am 4 months to the day {29 dec 2011} from my ALIF and like you ..i went through a sudo depressed feeling i say sudo as its not true depression its more a reactive depression and like people keep telling me its going to take time and i will have to be patient ..in know that's not much consolation but i do know what you are going through and its not much fun .,i am also trapped in the house and full off pain ..even worse than before the operation but this is NORMAL ,hang on in there its going to be a long road .
    tony {UK}
    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
  • I agree with what everyone said. I have had 3 and I am still in recovery from my last one in Jan. Hang in there and remember everything you are going through is normal. Best of luck
  • I am nine months out from my seventh disk replacement since 2006. I have had four knee surgeries as well in there with a full knee replacement and a fractured tooth with a bone graft. It has been six years of having other people wait on me and do things for me. I am a type A, multi-tasking, high achiever and it's been very hard to deal with.
    I must say though, C6/7 has fused. My X-LIF90 in L4/5 after the third surgery is fused. I am now waiting for C5/6 to fuse after the third attempt. It is at this point where I am the most depressed as I feel I am caught between feeling like I can do things and can't do things. I have just returned to driving but I can't look behind me very well to back up. I can't go grocery shopping yet by myself unless it's to pick up something small. I am also significantly anemic so I am exhausted and feel worn out. Working with the GP on that.
    I am sorry to whine but I feel happy to have found this site. Hopefully, someone will understand why it's hard to sleep at night; wake up when you turn over; a hug is painful; bumps in the road are hard to deal with in the car; regular activities are impossible at this point...I imagine it will get better with MORE time...I hear that all the time.
    I do not talk about it as people don't understand.
    Thank you for listening.
    My most recent surgery, July 2011, was a third surgery to replace a second broken implant in C5/6 - there is now a cadaver bone with two plates and screws on top of C6/7 which has fused.
    My most pressing question is why is it taking so darn long to feel good. It seems to go in cycles. I have a good week and then three bad weeks. All I want to do is sleep. I live out in the country far from people so it's not easy to just walk around the neighborhood and see people which I find hard. (Hubby had to have land - so, we tried it).
    Anyway, I will come back to this page to hopefully find words of wisdom and support.
    Thank you for your time....
  • I had my surgery 6 years ago L 5/6 s1 laminectomy and fusion I am still not able to go out , other then to the dr then it takes me 3 days to at least be able to walk around the house , that is the extent of what i can do. I need more surgery and i am too scared to go for it L4 the dr said was very bad thats why i am in so much pain .Talk about depressed , in one way I am very lucky I have someone that comes in 3 days a week , she was with me for the first 4 months 24/7 .I live in the den i finally told my husband to put the hospital bed in one of the spare bedrooms I had to stop feeling so much like a patient but that was only 6 months ago.
    I decied to try the stimulator so we will do the trial in the next month . I am open to ANY OTHER sugestions to get a normal life back ,life goes on without us and i dont know about anyone else but i feel so very alone i thought a forum would help.
  • My husband just made a comment this evening that he was amazed that I actually went back to the doctor to have the rejected/broken implants replaced. I asked him what else I would do....? I couldn't walk around with the pain that I was in. Good gravy!
    I had the X-LIF90 on L3/4 and L4/5. I had minimum invasive surgery by a doctor who used to work in the military on pilots etc. He does cutting edge surgery and I am very happy to have found him after seeing about seven other docs who basically said - "well, you're getting older (I am 51 now). Anyway, they were stupid answers and I didn't buy it.
    Anyway, both implants fractured. I then had four screws inserted to see if they would fuse. It did not. So, doc went back in and replaced the implants. After about a year or so, I was watching TV and noticed that I was moving my hips to the music...my fusion had fused. I still have aching but no where near the pain I had before. So, the doc fused my lower back, straightened it from scoliosis and twisted it around since it was turned toward the front. I have always been athletic and involved in many sports in high school and college. It was a fall down the stairs when I was 37 that set all of this in motion.
    When C6/7 fragmented, the doc also did minimum invasive technique thru the front of my neck and you can hardly see the incision. However, C4/5 have not cooperated as well and that is where my pain is now. The right side of my body is basically numb, aches, spasms etc. I have a full body x-ray every three months to ensure fusion this time and the cadaver bone is working. I think the old time medicine is what works for me.

    I also have the problem of doing an activity and then have to recover for several days. I am now at a point where I can ride in the car without my collar and I can drive to our little town a mile away and do a few activities. My stamina is about 2-3 hours and then I have to nap to recover to do dinner. When I "hit the wall", my family, steps in and sends me to bed.

    I would suggest that you might want to find a doctor, unless you love yours and he is up to date in technology, and redo your back. My doc redoes errors all the time. My incisions are on my left side and are about 3-4 inches long and are glued after surgery. I leave the hospital the next day and recover at home. I am up and walking around the next day as well.

    I would absolutely get L4 fixed and have a three level fusion. They have made so many advancements in back surgery now and you can't live like that.

    I am frustrated because like I said I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. I want to walk my dogs every day and take a shower without having to take a nap afterwards.

    My son (studying Neuroscience, PhD) explains that my body has been through so much and has to do so much mending and building that it's like going through growing pains. But, I want to work, I want to go out with everyone, I want to hike etc.

    It is depressing and it gets old. But, I am glad that I have found this site as it helps so much to be able to talk about it. Since I don't have a big bandage wrapped around my head, no one understand how it hurts.

    Anyway, I am rambling. Sorry....I would absolutely go for the fix on L4 though. It will be painful in the beginning, but in the end, I think it would be good.
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