Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

L5-S1 8 weeks post op sciatic nerve pain down backache up

Frustrated, anger, depression and impatientce are words to describe where I'm at.

July 23rd was my surgery for a grade 2 unstable spondylitis thesis, mild degenerative scoliosis, and broad based disk protrusion. Let me preface that I'm typing this on my iPad in bed, late at night because sleep is not coming.

A transformational posterior lumber interbody fusion, laminectomy at L5-S1 was performed.

I "expected" to be back up and running in 4-6 weeks. I am surrounded by testosterone, construction, athletes, law enforcement, blue collar "no whimpering" world. I live on my own and have a "high maintenance" home due to 2 large working dogs not getting their exercise and needing daily care, ponds, and an aquarium.

I did a lot of things wrong out of the gate, some unbeknownst to me, some due to my in home care needed to go home, some due to unforeseen circumstances. I'm still using my walker vs a cane. Still cannot drive much less get into certain vehicles, mine being one of them.


1) sciatica nerve pain down.
2) gaberpentin 600mg pills down from 3000mg to 2400mg, considering lowering it to 2100mg
3) workers comp nurse home visit showed me how to better get thru my daily activities and doing them as best to the Drs orders as possible
4) a massage therapist and good friend helped with similar advice
5) I do have weekly help up to this week for the ponds and aquarium
6) recent walks for my dogs, from a neighbor has helped
7) I have a solid treadmill that has helped with my walks


1) I have twisted and turned, bent and reached, since I could
2) I over walked on the treadmill until the nurse came by (week 4), instructions read: walk 30 minutes or as tolerated, I thought 30 minutes was a minimum and as tolerated meant "or more, if tolerated"
3) not lifting more than 10# doesn't mean it's okay to do upper body work, even if less than 10#, cabled gym for safety, wearing my back brace, and being careful to use full body core process.
4) one of my dogs was skunked at an hour not friendly to ask for help. Washing her and all she touched. Washed againg, when the hour of courtesy had a neighbor come by with all the needed ingredients. Basically all movements prohibited went out the window and I paid for it dearly for a couple of weeks after in the back.
5) same dog suffers from anxiety and phobias that were instigated when hallway smoke alarm low battery indicator went off. Dragging a heavy stool in the middle of the night, reaching for the alarm and attempting to blindly figure out how to unplug it, as I'm vertically challenged didn't fall within Dr instructions either.
6) 3 calls and speaking to the Dr assistant(s) gave me confidence that nothing would "harm" my surgery section. 3rd call, and nurses visit turned on some light bulbs that I may be a patient that needed better information as to the FULL EXTENT of her surgery and the fastest way to recovery, is by doing less, more rest, better ergonomics, and using my drugs with better regulation. I received major kudos for beginning a journal.

I believe I'm healing and the surgery was the right thing for me. However all my misconceptions of the instructions given, and the extent of my surgery, along with the "watoosy" movements prior to ergonomic lessons and deskunking, etc. I believe has set me back in the healing process. I never finished watching the videos or reading the extent of what would occurr during my surgery, as they made me ill. So, I never realized that the surgery, basically strained every muscle, tendon, ligaments, etc. down my spine and all the instructions are there to allow THOSE to heal. If I strain what was strained even more, my healing will be set back. Like a sprained ankle, which is weight bearing, and takes forever to heal, and once you think it's healed, a small oops on a pebble can set you back almost to day one......so can "unnecessary" movement along the spine.

My nerve damage, I believe is healing and bouncing back quickly, because the speed of decline was fast and caught immediately. I expect to stay on pills to help me manage the pain as the nerves come back. I never expected my back to shoot up to near unbearable pain. I'm using heat and back on Valium, about to begin soma (60 pills of Valium since July 23rd and tonight I will finish the bottle).


Anyone else, find great relief from their surgery, over did it, strained their back to the point of averaging an 8 out 10 pain? Sleep is most affected. Walking is great exercise for it, but too much, and I go backwards. Heat works to lower the pain by relaxing the back, as do meds. But meds make me drowsy, I fall asleep, wake up, usually twisted, and pain back up to an 8. I did this to myself, I get it, now. I still have a home to uphold, and the longer I'm "disabled", less help is available. I do not have funds for a dog walker, gardner, etc. my treadmill broke but the part I hope is the problem, is on its way.

How long can I expect my "stupidity" and aggressive/competitive nature to get better, AKA counter productive actions, now 50-75% corrected, before I can feel better. Get into my own car, drive, do for myself again? At week 8, I figured I would be driving, at the very least, walking down my steep driveway and getting my mail! BTW I estimate correct body movement at 50-75% as daily home up keep, and when tired I feel my back (even in the brace) curving like a gymnast on her dismount. I hope it's better than that, but my back pain remaining high tells me I'm probably on the mark.



  • cactusredccactusred Posts: 46
    edited 09/16/2012 - 12:24 AM
    Hello, I can only say so much of what you are having to deal with is the main reason I have not yet had my surgery. I also have spondylolysis at l5-s1, with foraminal stenosis at same and shot facet joints. Can't lift much anymore that is heavy, sitting causes discomfort, bending over I can't do anymore.

    My job can be fairly heavy physically, I am in the process of a divorce, the home which was on the market for 6 months, finally sold last month. I drive a stick shift truck, my family does not live in this town that I work and live in.

    So, I've been trying to get my ducks in a row before I give in to this TLIF. Sold the house, wife is taking the 3 dogs and 3 cats with her, so I know all about pet care just being healthy is work. Finish the divorce, been trying to get a office type of transfer to get me out of a physical job for when I return from a surgery, and finally, I want to go look at some new trucks, because trying to drive a stick shift after surgery, will be months before I could even attempt that.

    I too am on my own, with no family here, it will be damned challenging. I do have a few friends, and maybe you do too. You have home health,. which is probably what I will need to do, even though I'm just in an aprtment now. Maybe you can get your neighbors to help with the pets, walk em a little here and there and I realize that isn't quite the same, I had border collies so I am very well aware of attention needing dogs, lol. The smoke alarm thing, well that's a tough one, no one wants to listen to that all night but yet you are not in a position really to do much furniture moving, shotgun maybe, lol. Maybe have a friend change the battery's in all of your smoke detectors the next time they come over, should take about 5 minutes.

    I also can relate to the skunk issue, our dogs had gotten sprayed 3 times, and I was in charge twice to get the funk out and that's the whole wash, rinse, repeat, cycle, drained me, let alone after this kind of surgery, man you gotta heck of a dilemma going on here. Probably not too many people lining up to wash your dogs after they got sprayed, that is such a nasty smell. Again, the shotgun comes to mind, for the skunk not your pooches, ha.
  • I am thinking that surgery recovery is similar to construction projects. Take estimated down time and costs and double/triple that, and you will be closer to reality. I squirreled away some money, with consideration of disability coming in at 1/2 of paychecks, thought of what I may need and forget/not covered such as grabbers and movie subscriptions, utility bills being higher since I would be home using it, etc.. I calculated 8 weeks over my estimate of 4-6 weeks. I'm looking at week 8 and not seeing any date given as to when I might begin to return to work. My Dr's appt. today was rescheduled to mid-next week or the following if the only time given was a time I couldn't go.

    On the good news, soma is working better for my back pain over Valium. I'm too drowsy on 1/2 pill, so wool try 1/4. Can't wait to get into my car next.
Sign In or Register to comment.