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Hello, my name is Bonnie. I am 3 weeks today post-op. I went in for a 4 hour surgery and came out 8 hours later. After 2 MRI's we thought only one nerve was involved, but it turns out four were involved. All four totally compressed. I had a laminectomy with spinal fusions and bone grafts on L 3, 4,and 5. I have had a decent recovery, however I have had a couple of set backs. I thought everything was going great but was not aware that when you come off the steroids things change. My steroids ended on Monday and things got scary on Wednesday morning. My legs went into spasms at the hip, knee and ankles. I went to stand and could not for the first time. I became very weak...and went into a full blown panic attack. After calling the doctor, and his explanation that I needed to go back on my pain meds and I needed to calm down and I did not need to go back to the ER, things got a little better. The pain meds stopped the spasms and I finally got some rest. I can walk again and stand on my own. I never realized how much effect the steroids had. I felt 100% better on them. I have had a slight headache since Wednesday morning. Hoping that goes away soon. My doctor is telling me this is a 12 week recovery....minimum. I get up and go to the bathroom, walk to the bedroom (with a walker), and that's about it. Right after coming home, I threw a small clot and passed out...scary! We went back to ER and they admitted me for two days. Since then I didn't have issues until this past Wednesday. It just feels like its going to be a long road ahead!


  • 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
  • Welcome Bonnie
    I just noticed noone had responded so decided to take matters into my own hands. I am fairly new here myself and don't post much. You've had a hard time, take it slow and don't rush your recovery. 12 weeks would be your initial recovery in getting back to doing some everyday things but don't be discouraged if it takes longer. Full recovery can take 12 months or more and you can sometimes (but not always!) be left with some residual pain. As my surgeon said after my fusion - if he can take my pain down from a 9 out of 10 to a 2-3 out of 10 then he regards that as a success. The residual nerve pain I have is permanent but its better than the alternative. Anyway, I wish you a speedy recovery and I hope the info that Liz has kindly posted is helpful for you.

    It just hurts. A lot.

  • I am new here,like you and I am finding it helpful to know that I'm not alone.
    I didn't know what to expect as far as post op pain and recovery time.
    Reading this forum seems to help me. Good-luck to you as we all go through
    this together.

  • Here is a link to our spine surgery recovery boards that you might find helpful. The most important activities right now for you are making sure that you are up and walking, short distances multiple times per day, and alternating sitting for a bit with resting and then walking, as directed by your surgeon. Since you already had one clotting issue, you really need to also make sure that you are walking and moving your feet ( flexing them often, repeatedly so that you reduce the risk of another clot)
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