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L4/L5 and L5/S1

So glad to have found tis forum. I had my fusion on 11/26/13. Was in the hospital for 6 days due to a spinal fluid leak. Has anyone has a change in their close up vision after surgery. My recovery is doing very well. I am trying to not take my OxyCod . My pain is surgery pain. I do have pain in my butt! I am walking about 1/2 mile every other day. Any suggestions . My husband said I am doing to much and sometimes forget and do bend or twist. How harmful is that? Looking forward to sharing experiences


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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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
  • My doctor was very clear...Do not bend, lift over 10 pounds or twist for three months. Personally I think you should try to walk more. I was told to walk every day. I think I was up to over a mile a day by one month post op. I'm 3 months now and try to go 2 miles.
    Artificial disc at L5S1 for 10 years. Had 3 Level lumbar fusion and Laminectomy on Sept 27, 2013. It was an OLIF (Oblique Lumbar Interbody Fusion) with cages, BMP, rods & screws. Norco, Plaquenil
  • I agree with ADRJen. I know it's hard not to bend or twist, but those restrictions are in place for a reason. I'm 24 years old and it's so awkward being in a store and having to ask an employee to get something for me that weighs over 10 lbs, but I do it because I don't want my fusion to fail. Also agree on the walking, by 3-4 weeks post-op I was walking 2.5 miles a day 7 days a week.
    10/28/13 - ALIF, PSF, decompression at L4/L5 and L5/S1
  • SarahLindeauSarahLindeau Posts: 767
    edited 12/31/2013 - 7:33 AM
    You're only 24? What's your story? How did you come to have a 360 at 24? I will agree with you about the embarrassment having to ask for help, but at least I can play the "girl" card, even though I probably shouldn't. I started asking for help over a year ago lifting things, etc. feel guilty about it, but I've had days where all I can do is crawl and i would do anything to keep that from happening again.
    2015: Thoracic protrusions C7-T1, T3-4, T6-8
    Dec'13: 360FusionL4-S1 w/bone graft
    2013: 3x2-level disc injections: 12mo surgery postponement
    Dec'12: DiscogramL4-S1
    Sep/Oct'12: Bi-lateral Rhizo AblationsL4- S1
  • I had DDD and annular tears at L4/5 and L5/1. The tears were large and I had pretty bad left leg pain because the insides of the discs were leaking onto nerves. I tried and failed conservative treatment for about 10 months. My surgeon said the discs looked like they came out of someone much older after surgery. No idea what caused the issues.
    10/28/13 - ALIF, PSF, decompression at L4/L5 and L5/S1
  • I too had problems with eyesight after surgery. At first I thought it was caused by the medication and inability to concentrate but I couldn't read the print on the back of DVDs or cooking instructions on food boxes etc. I went to the optician who explained that during Anaesthetic the muscles in the eyes relax and sometimes don't bounce back which causes inability to focus properly. I now have my first pair of reading glasses!
    Best of luck in your recovery, hopefully 2014 will be a great improvement for you.
    DDD. Married,Mum of 2, Age 45: 2007 & 2008 L5/S1 Discectomy
    April 2013 L5/S1 Anterior Fusion
    & L4/L5 Artificial Disc Replacement
  • How long was everyone on meds after their fusion? Also.we're you able to sweep? I am going on Jan 6 for my first exray. Am I cutting my meds to quickly? Today I only had two oxycod all day. Did anyone start physical therapy. I am nervous about going back to work. thanks everyone
  • HybridhattieHHybridhattie Posts: 72
    edited 12/31/2013 - 4:14 PM
    You're still very soon after surgery but if I can offer suggestions, do as little housework as possible. I know it's tough letting your standards slip but you're not doing yourself any favours by doing anything that puts your spine at risk. I got a battery operated long handled sweeper that's really light for little areas like kitchen crumbs. It keeps me sane!
    Really you want to give your back the best chance of recovery so lots of little walks were recommended to me? Did they suggest that to you in the hospital? Every second day sounds too little to me but may be what you've been instructed to do.
    I started hydrotherapy ( just walking and gentle upper back exercises in warm water) at 3 months. I still go 3 mornings a week and I love it. The more walking I do, the better I feel.
    As regards pain meds, follow your docs orders. I'm still taking panadine forte and Lyrica but have greatly reduced the dosage.
    When are you going back to work? Remember fusions take a long time.....
    Wishing you a great new year.
    DDD. Married,Mum of 2, Age 45: 2007 & 2008 L5/S1 Discectomy
    April 2013 L5/S1 Anterior Fusion
    & L4/L5 Artificial Disc Replacement
  • Everyone is different, but I was off pain meds 4 weeks or so post-op. I was able to stop taking my nerve meds around 5 or 6 weeks post-op. I won't be doing physical therapy, just lots of walking.
    10/28/13 - ALIF, PSF, decompression at L4/L5 and L5/S1
  • Hi Hybridhattie: Thats a great idea for the sweeper. The funny thing is they did not suggest much tome when I left the hospital. I had a doctors visit two weeks after with the PA and she told me to continue to take it easy and continue with the meds. I will look into the hydrotherapy.. I go back to the surgeon on Jan 6.He will then talk about going back to work. I am looking at going back part time maybe the wk of 13th Jan. I am an office manager and my boss is anxious for me to come back. I am luck , I can do work at home. Most days I am out and about, such as BJs or shopping, so getting walking in that way. I think I fel so good, that I forget that I have had major surgery..Thanks for your advice. Happy New Year to you too.
  • It sounds like you are doing amazingly well so soon after such big surgery.
    Only a few days till you go back for a check up. Have your questions ready, I needed to write them all down so I wouldn't forget.
    Stay strong and take care of yourself.
    DDD. Married,Mum of 2, Age 45: 2007 & 2008 L5/S1 Discectomy
    April 2013 L5/S1 Anterior Fusion
    & L4/L5 Artificial Disc Replacement
  • Thank you for your comment about the eyesight! I could not text anyone without lots of effort and now I know why. I can also highly suggest hydrotherapy - I did it three times a week for 6 weeks last January when I was trying to postpone surgery for as long as possible and it was wonderful and the most effective form of PT that I have ever had! Building my my core muscles helped me get back to a good starting point, as my muscles and ligaments had done so much overcompensating and my tightening to try and protect my unstable spine. After my 6 week post op, I will ask for a new referral to the hydro pool.
    2015: Thoracic protrusions C7-T1, T3-4, T6-8
    Dec'13: 360FusionL4-S1 w/bone graft
    2013: 3x2-level disc injections: 12mo surgery postponement
    Dec'12: DiscogramL4-S1
    Sep/Oct'12: Bi-lateral Rhizo AblationsL4- S1
  • I am glad to find someone else that had vision issues. It is getting better. I can't wait to ask my surgeon about the hydrotherapy . I hope they have it in my area. I have not had great luck with traditional PT.
  • Irish girl here too so I get you on the "get up and go" attitude.
    Why is it so hard to give ourselves permission to do nothing especially when we know it's the right thing to do.
    Ladies, look after yourself and don't feel guilty.
    Sarah, don't be afraid to ask people for help especially with the little ones. I know who my true friends are now and I have some surprising new ones that really stepped up when I needed it most. This difficult time will pass but sometimes you need to spread the word that help is needed. I emigrated a few years ago so family and friends were thin on the ground.

    Another thing that helped me was not measuring my progress every day. Just look at week 1 and again after 2 weeks and so on. It's amazing how your body will recover and how much better you will begin to feel.
    Hope you get sleep and rest.

    DDD. Married,Mum of 2, Age 45: 2007 & 2008 L5/S1 Discectomy
    April 2013 L5/S1 Anterior Fusion
    & L4/L5 Artificial Disc Replacement
  • odouglassoodouglass Posts: 264
    edited 01/01/2014 - 4:06 PM
    Hey There!

    Sounds like you're doing great after major surgery. I am 26 and had a L5/S1 fusion on 5/1/13 and I was out of work for 8 weeks. I did a lot of walking and followed the orders of no bending, lifting of twisting as I did not want the fusion to fail. Keep working hard through recovery and you'll be better than new in no time! :)

    Olivia Douglass
    MIS TLIF L5/S1 on 5/1/13
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