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What is normal

Hi, I had a micro for L5-S1 in Nov. So I'm 7 months post op. Leg pain is gone but I have flare UPS in my low back. It really depresses me and I feel defeated. I walk 3-5 miles a day, stretch and work my lower back. I've never talked to someone who had this and its hard living in fear not knowing what's normal. I had 2 more mri in April bc I was have small pains and nothing was found. The hardest thing I do is drive but I take breaks along the way. I'm just scared of the pain I lived with for 3 years coming back. Any positive stories are welcome. I'm 30 years old


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,859
    edited 06/18/2013 - 6:10 AM
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    Ron DiLauro


    Dont even worry about trying to define normal right now. 7+ months is still not a long time post surgery. Lets assume that the doctor was satisfied that he did their job and any follow up visits have been positive. From your MRIs, it sounds that way.

    So, now so much is up to you. This is the toughest part of any spinal surgery. The doctor has the easy part. You need to change/modify your lifestyle. You need to follow all the directions/restrictions/limitations that your doctor laid out for you..

    Exercise, eating habits, resting habits all play part on how you are going to go on from here. There are thousands of post surgical spinal patients that do wonderful and enjoy a complete and long lasting life.

    Here, many times you will here from people who have NOT had surgery yet or had some problems with their surgery or their post surgical regiment. Donb be scared from some of the horror stories. Yes, so many are true, but keep in mind, how many others have been here, posted, now feeling great and moved on.

    When in doubt of something you should do or do not, something you can take or can not, talk it over with your doctor. Make sure they approve first. Here I am almost 35 years after my first spinal surgery, I am still doing ESIs, having MRI's looking to another spinal surgery do the road and a hip replacement to aid my other 3 complete joint replacement.

    I didn't do all the things I should have I tempted fate and perhaps lost at times. But I have the best family in the world, the best attitude and support from my close friends and so many right here on Spine-Health.

    So much is really up to you
    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
  • I just spiral into a cycle of fear every time my back hurts bc I'm expecting the sciatica to follow. What's funny is that the pain isn't that bad but the depression that comes with it compounds the intensity. I just want to know if others experience this too as I'm the only person in my small community and work group that is going through this
  • i am a new member just like you. i've been visiting the forums for awhile as a guest, though. i know exactly how you feel. my first surgery was last oct and was also a micro (w/lamnio/unilateral decompression). i recovered well, but things went south very quickly in mid-january. long story short, i had a second surgery (l3-l5 fusion, facet joint fusion, bilateral decompression) in april. i felt like some kind of sick joke had been played on me! i now question every single ping or pain that is not "normal" with this particular recovery. after going through so much pain and doing everything that we can do to insure our success in recovery it would be abnormal not to feel these worries. keep doing what you are doing: walking is one of the best things that you can do for yourself. you know your body better than anyone else, let it guide you, too.

    oh! just in case i freaked you for a second, my nuero surgeon said that i was in a very small percentage of people that ended up with the results that i did, ie needing further surgery. and i still have a huge amount of faith and trust in him...even though i was in his 5%. maybe it's because he says we are married for life now! i hope that you have the same trust and faith in your surgeon, too, and that you find some comfort here :)
    with courage to endure...
  • Thank you for the encouraging words. It literally made me feel good. The back pain has greatly diminished and that pinch in my right butt cheek is coming back, but that's an old friend that doesn't bother me as bad. I can deal with him via a foam roller. I hope you find relief as well as all on here. I'll keep ya in my prayers.
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