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l5 s1 fusion

i will be having surgery on 19th of may how long will i need to take pain medicine after surgery?


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    Everyone is different so there is no one answer but other members experiences will give you an idea what to expect

    Welcome to Spine-Health and how to get started here


    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • I had ALIF at L4/L5/S1 dec 2011 and I am still on strong pain meds now the fusion is done for spinal integrity [to keep the spine rigid ..any pain relief is a bonus the reason for fusion is to protect the spine and keep it from any abnormal movement ..I was under the false impression that I would be pain free post op ...I was wrong ...fusions are done not for pain relief ,,my consultant told me that I would be three years recovering ..but since the operation things have been so much worse I have leg and foot problems and as a male it can affect you ability to have sex [fact read up on it as I don't want to talk about it on here ] not that you will want sex after major surgery !! .if this is your first surgery and you are fit and well you may fair better that I did as I am in my late 40s and the fusion was my third operation .. my history is complex .my recovery has been painfully slow ..there are many examples of peoples recover and experiences on here it may be worth reading what they have to say .beware of optimistic .comments ..like I was back skiing in 3 weeks !! .you will be in pain post op and you will need help for at least 6 months regardless of your existing health or age .there is a good thread on here about post op ;;must haves ;;well worth a read ..one good bit of kit is a decent recliner if you can afford a rise and recline one {electric} it will serve you well not just post op but in general I live on mine {ebay have many almost new ones on there usually bought by relatives for an older relative ..many of them sadly did not get much use ..and the relatives normally want to get rid so its good news for you as they normally go for half price ..I know a few people that have bought a 1500 pound recliner for less than 300 I even saw one go for 50 pounds ..also a grabber and raised toilet seat will help and if you have a shower a decent hand rail I use a high quality suction type you will find loads of information on fusions on here which one are you having ? {ALIF/PLI/TLIF} GOOD LUCK
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • i have had 4 fusions from L3-5 the last one done 2 years ago. it is me but due to the amount of surgeries and the scar tissue built up and the nerve damage i have been taking pain meds for 13-14 years now. the first fusion helped but i took pain meds at a lower level than now. it depends. the rule of thumb is 1/3 get better, 1/3 stay the same and 1/3 get worse. worse case senario, is a life time of pain meds depending on what your pain doctor feels. so give it a while and you might not have pain but expect pain for up to 6 months after a fusion but that depends on how you heal and feel.
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
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