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Maximummy TLIF 2 level .... Worried I've 'done' something

Hi ... Had 2 level TLIF exactly a month ago today. Some good days, some mixed days some terrible days .... Normal.
Still get very tired very easily and down time is around six in the evening when I take one 10mg OxyNorm to get me through to bedtime and my slow release OxyContin.
Yesterday a friend came and drove me to a local garden centre, a five minute drive ... Finding the odd car journey difficult,
He took the trolley, picked up the plants, put them in the car and out onto my doorstep ... All I did was point. Came home and had my usual after lunch nap which I do every day, do not resist it. By around five I felt 'different' and by nine when I went to bed was getting small back spasms. Woke up around 4am and though nowhere hurts if I touch my back, somehow I began to wonder how it feels of you get something 'out of place' like a cage or screw or rod coming loose? Took a diazepam to calm the spasms and wAs able to fall asleep.
This morning just very sore, still a few spasms and nervous to move, though logrolling out of bed was ok and walking fine.I decided to have a very quiet day, perhaps rest a bit more.
If something major happened,would I have a severe or 'different' pain?
Seeing my surgeon Wednesday evening for post op follow up. Hoping several things .. He will allow me to stop the Heparin injections, take off the compression socks which I truly hate now. He has not asked for an X-ray ... I know there won't be much to see in terms of bone growth, but so you think this is worth asking for a scan to put my mind at rest?
Also .... As I said, still get very tired and suddenly it is almost ok one minute And then exhausted the next for no obvious reason. I read here about how much walking many people are doing. I have tried to walk a little daily, but after about ten minutes, though I feel fine when I am actually walking, it seems to mKe the pain brew up later in the day as. Get tired. A couple of times I have walked 20 minutes or so and the had a terrible time later.
Had tried, unsuccessfully to reduce the 10mg slow release OxyContin twice a day down to the 5mg ... No way Nd M back to the 10mg. Also taking 2mg diazepam three times daily to help muscle tightness. Not bad right side, but left hip/buttock/lower back still very tender ... I had more work done of the left, so perhaps this is why.
To everybody out there just like me ... I am learning that recovery is both physical and mental ... I am finding it hard to ignore what needs doing I the house and hate being so dependent on my husband, who has been wonderful but is getting annoyed with me for caring about the house! Have great support from friends who come over and allow him to get out, so not too bad for him.
Does all this sound normal for one month post op? am I still expecting too much ... And when will the next bit of progress come along? In your experience do you think it will be a while before I can reduce the painkillers .. And a while before I can walk further and a while until sitting anywhere for more than five minutes gets easier???? I eat my meals half sitting down and then have to stand up.

L5/S1 fixed rod fusion, right facet joint removed, disc removed, cage and bone graft, Spondylolithesis adjusted, 5mm, nerve decompression both sides
L5/L4 flexible rod fusion, cyst taken out of spinal canal, disc retained, cage in left facet joint with bone graft,
Nerve decompression and veins under nerve freed and cleaned out
Age .. 58
Any advice and encouragement a help for my confidence!!!!


  • Yes, it sounds perfectly normal to me. There were times when I'd wonder if things had "come out of place" too, but from what I've heard, you'd just about have to fall out of a plane for things to come undone. Every day is a new day with a new ache or pain and you worry if you've done something to upset the hardware. But as you get more active, you use more ligaments and muscles....muscles you haven't used for while. But now you have hardware in your body that your body is trying to get used to. And there's not only new hardware in your body, there are some angry nerves that have been moved around and manipulated. Is it any wonder we have all of these pains?

    As for your ability to walk, I was the same way. I would read all of these posts where people who just had fusions were walking a mile or more at one month (or less!) Post-op. That wasn't me. Every time I'd try to walk any distance, my hip felt like it was bone on bone and my back just couldn't take it. Walking in circles around the house was as much as I could do.

    You're only one month out. You have a very long ways to go. You'll get there, but you're going to have some bumps along the way.

    Happy Friday!
    Synovial cyst removal in 2008. L4-L5 facet joint.
    Lumbar fusion at L4-L5 in December 2013. TLIF posterior entry
  • Thanks RubyTuesday ... Taking it very easy today and about to have a sleep .... Still very sore but no more pin than usual gore this time of day ... 3/10. Tomorrow is another day and at lest he sun is shining here in London!
  • and especially when you get to the one month mark and you are out of the acute, intense immediate post op pain and are feeling a little better, that is the time when patients tend to overdo it, and push their boundries......for men, they are in a hurry to get back to work, the gym, doing what ever recreational activities they were doing prior to their injury, and for women, it's back to work, family and household obligations, and of course, the kids, pets, etc......
    The surgery recovery period is a lot of mental stuff as well, since sitting around doing nothing is tough for anyone to do, and when we have been in pain so long and now are finally starting to feel better, we feel the need to address those things we have been putting off.........but don't........NOT YET
    Believe me, they will still be there, still need to be done when it is time for you to get back to the land of the living....doing those things too soon, only compromises your recovery.....and I found that learning a new skill, knitting or crocheting, or reading a good book that I wanted to read really helped with the mental stuff too.
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