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9 weeks post ALIF and in loads of pain

Hi all fellow back surgery friends! My name is Lindsay.
I had my surgery July 3rd. 3 days before my 30th birthday! That's how bad I wanted to get better. I am now 9 weeks post op. I felt better for a good couple of weeks. I went to my friends birthday party and hung out with my other friends. I did wash and cleaned. But not bending or lifting. I would drag the basket. Now in the past week, I feel like I felt the first week after surgery. My back is killing me. Maybe I am doing to much, but I'm so tired of sitting around.
I do take pain meds Oxycontin but all they do is put me to sleep. I also take Valium for a muscle relaxer. What does everyone else take? I'd definitely like to try to change these meds, because I'm so tired of sleeping. Also any tips would be wonderful.
I am going back to the Dr in October to get a Xray, see how everything is going, and see my screws. Hopefully then I can begin physical therapy.
As I said please any tips and any help would be appreciated! Thank you!


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    I am sure that you will find your time on Spine-Health very rewarding. This site is a powerful and integrated system that is dynamic and continues to grow.
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • It is imperative that you follow the post op restrictions and instructions given to you by your surgeon until he clears you for those activities. Doing too much, too soon, or doing things that you aren't supposed to can put the outcome of the entire surgery at risk, such as pushing a loaded laundry basket. Isn't there anyone who can take on these chores for now?
  • Hey Lindsay,
    first off, I hope you are doing better by now. I had surgery on July 9th of this year (ALIF L5-S1) so we are in the same time frame. I am 10 years older than you but I was in real good shape prior to my fusion, well as good as you can be with a messed up back :-) I felt pretty good the first 6 weeks and then the nerve pains drove me up the wall.

    I also can tell as soon as I push myself with the exercises or activities around the house or with trips in the car that my pain will increase incrementally. Sometimes I am in pain for no particular reason. I now realise that this is part of the recovery and healing process. Personally I stopped with the muscle relaxers 3 to 4 weeks after my surgery. I know they are nice for sleep but the problem is that you are still not getting stage 3 and 4 (the good deep kind) sleep.
    Muscle relaxers like Valium and Soma trick your brain and that's all there is to it. I went through a Spine rehab program that included lots of patient education for chronic pain patients prior to my ALIF, hoping I could avoid it. Look into it online, I am sure there is good info about that or even here in the forums. I am not a doctor or healthcare professional, but personally I believe that while there is a time and place for those meds, they will not help us get better after a fusion.
    I am still taking Oxycodone 4 to 6 times a day to control my pain and to allow me to do my exercises, but I feel 10x better once I got off the Valium and Soma. My physical therapist actually taught me a simple breathing exercise and that does me more good then any of those muscle relaxers. Good luck and remember to focus on the healing, I have to remind myself of that daily.
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