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after a fusion

It's been two months since my fusion which involved a cage, rods and screws at L4-L5 with a little shaving of the transforminal bones above, and STILL no relief from my sciatica. I current wear a velcro brace as was told to wear it all the time except for sleep. I was also told to walk. Well...I do. Still no relief. Still on Neurotin, Flexiril, Klonopin. Will I ever be better?
Brenda Hull


  • I think u should consult your doctor. I had a fusion at l4 l5. I had continued pain afterward turns out I another herniated above my fusion.
    Discectomies 05/08 and 04/11, fusions L4-5 Feb 9,2012 and L3-L4 June 28,2012, Staph infection washout 3/2/2012, Bulged L5-S1. SCS trial on January 17th, 2014, which was a success! Permanent SCS on February 20th.
  • Sometimes after the fusion some will not get the relief they thought, would happen. But that doesn't mean it won't get better. Keep in mind your body went through a major surgery and needs time. How much are you walking in a day, besides your normal walking, do daily task. There is a program on the net called 10,000 steps, which you can use as a guideline. I have seen others require a injection post fusion to get the inflammation down. Have you discussed with your surgeon that your not feeling any better than prior to the surgery? They do need to know, so they can make sure the hardware is in tact, and it is not on their end. Surgery is not some magic pill to fix it, we have to do our parts in communications and exercise too. It is important for you to keep the pain levels down, so your body can recover from the surgery, itself.
  • tamtam,
    Thanks for the reply. Greatly appreciated. Walking dilligently and doing daily tasks, maybe over doing it. I'm back at work and occassionally stand so I'm not sitting all of the time. Post op x-ray is tomorrow, can't wait to see the results. I see the surgeon on the 23rd and will discuss why I have no relief and am still taking so many meds. I will ask for an injection. Perhaps he can get close to that sciatic nerve so that the back of my leg and buttocks don't feel like they have a blowtorch on them or I don't have to take a bath in lidocaine gel.
    Brenda Hull
  • RTgirl2011,
    Thanks very much for the reply. Seeing my surgeon on July 23rd. Was the herneation caused by the surgery or did they simply miss it the first time out? I get re-xrayed on the 29th. Maybe something will show up then. Did you have to have ANOTHER fusion done? I'm kind of scared as I developed blood clots in my leg and lungs after the first surgery.
    Brenda Hull
  • we DON'T use any back supports because it prevents the core muscles strengthening.{i would remove it .but that's my own o[pinion check with your medical team before you do anything]as for pain you are very early in your recovery a fusion at that level is a massive operation and can take years to recover from .i get back burning every morning and my legs and feet swell ever time i do any exercise of bending .{my consultant told me its something to do with the sympathetic nerves?}.many people forget that a fusion is massive a and long after the scar has faded the insides are still healing .if you are worried maybe its time to see your consultant and review your medication ..i also use a high end TENS the only chair i can get comfy on it a recliner propped up with 4 strategically placed memory foam pillows .anything else {chair wise hurt like hell and make my legs and genital area go temporary numb !!} again my consultant tells me that all my symptoms are part of the healing proses ..its a long haul my friend //hang on in there {i am nearly 8 months post op}still on massive amounts of narcotics for pain as i have permanent damage from previous poor quality surgery .but theres nothing can be done about that .
    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
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