I am 4 weeks post op from ALIF at L5-S1. I've had discectomy done twice (2002 and 2012) The last one didn't help any so we did injections and that offered no relief so it was on to the fusion. So far I haven't reached that point where I'm feeling any relief. My surgeon acted like I should have felt relief immediately. I'm still having lower back, butt, and all the way down my leg into my ankle and foot pain (all of this on the LEFT side) I've read and been told it could be quite awhile before I get any relief. I was told I would only be in the hospital for 24 hours and was in there for 4 days. I used a walker for the first week and a half or so. I can now move around without it, I'm just very careful. I mostly lay flat in bed with ice. I do get up quite often to walk around the house and have started sitting up in a chair that my Home PT set up for me when he came to visit immediately after surgery. I also do the exercises my PT gave me.
About 4 days ago, I was laying on my side and I reached back to turn my heating pad on. I guess I wasn't thinking and twisted too much. I felt a sharp pain in my back that shot down my leg. Every since then, I have had the worst pain in my back. (I still had the same amount of pain in my back/butt/leg/foot as I did before this surgery 6/10. This new pain has been added to a new place in my back, and when I move it goes up to about a 8/10) I was giving it a few days before I called my surgeon because I don't want to be one of those people who constantly call the dr with small issues that go away after only a few days. This definitely is showing no signs of letting up) The worst part is, they just moved my meds down from hydrocodone 10-325 every 4 hours to Hydrocodone 7.5-325 every 6-8 hours. (Previously to surgery I had been on percocet 10-325/6 hours since June of last year. My surgeon prescribed that for one week after surgery then refilled me with hydocodone 10-325/4hours the last 2 weeks. These really didn't do the job, but at least I was somewhat comfortable so I dealt with it.) Now that they changed me down again, I'm getting no relief. Especially with this new pain. Over the weekend I was taking more than I was suppose to and now I'm worried I won't be able to get a refill when I need it. I've been taking pain meds for a little over 2 years now. I look forward to the day I no longer have to rely on them just to be able to get up out of bed in the morning. That day just doesn't seem to be anytime soon. I feel that at the age of 36, I am too young to be in this kind of physical condition.
When I walk, I am bent over to my right side like a little old lady. I can't stand up straight. And each time I take a step with my left leg, it feels like someone is stabbing me in the lower back on my left side. Hopefully I can get some answers tomorrow when I call. I knew this surgery was going to be a long recovery, and I was prepared for that. This new pain really has me worried and I really hope I haven't done something to mess it up. I just don't feel like this pain is something I should be having…
Has anyone else injured themselves while recovering from a fusion like this? If so, what was your results? Did it heal on it's own or what? I know everyone is different, it's just good to not feel quite so all alone thru this. No one understands unless they have been thru it. Especially doctors… they seem to think that everything goes exactly like the "book" says it should. That's just not always the case.