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Post Surgery progress

Hi there,

I had a Laminectomy and Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PLIF) on my L4-L5 and L5-S1 level on the 15th of February 2013 and I was wondering what progress I should have been making up to now.

I left the hospital 5 days after the surgery and was only mobilized on the 3rd day after surgery, as I was to weak the first 2 days. Upon leaving the hospital I had a bad cough so they prescribed my antibiotics, I finished the course two days ago and the cough is as good as gone.

Currently I can do the following:
Go without any pain medication in the afternoon
Shower and Dress myself (without drying myself)
Go to the toilet myself with my back brace on
Walk about 400 meters with my back brace on

Prior to my surgery I had no pain in my right leg, but since two days I am suffering from a burning sensation in my right leg (thigh) and numbness over the entire leg.
When walking my muscles get tired the longer I walk and the back pain increases as well, feels like someone pushing their wrist into my lower back.
The scar on my back itches a lot and when rolling onto my side (upon getting up) it feels like it wants to tear.

Is my recovery good enough or should I be able to walk further by now?

Kind regards,



  • Hi & welcome to the forums!

    It has been 10 years since my last fusion surgery... but as far as I remember... it sounds like you are doing pretty well actually. Unfortunately, the leg & nerve pain seem to be pretty much par for the course. You are only 2 weeks out... as you heal and inflamation goes down... that should subside (eventually). I honestly cannot remember how long it lasted. I know it was awhile... maybe a couple of months?

    The itching means it's healing!!! The itch & burn can feel pretty deep at times. Remember... they cut through muscles and all to get to your spine. All of that has to heal...

    You will most likely wear the brace for at least 3 months. The worst part is putting it on! (lol)

    Not sure how your walking was prior to surgery... but... Walking 1/4 of a mile sounds great!

    Have you begun physical therapy yet?

    My surgery is this coming Monday (March 4th). Fusing my entire lumbar spine, L/1 thru L/5 & S/1. I haven't walked 1/4 of a mile in... omg... since last April? Sounds funny to even say that! (lol)

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