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Maximummy .... The journey continues

All kind posters who are so helpful and encouraging. I am now 10 weeks post op, bilateral fusion L4/L5 and L5/S1 TLIF with nerve decompressions, disc out and cage in, cyst out, veins cleared and right S1 facet joint removed .....

I am, on the good side, no longer taking any OxyContin and am down to lesser drugs as and when I need them up to four times a day, but do still need the nerve pain drug Amitryptyline and am told it will be the last drug to go ... Just as well as on the worse side, I am having quite a lot of sciatica down the right leg. Immediately post op this went for about a month .... But I know from everything I am reading that this is not unusual ... Just frustrating and not easy to put up with. Could it be that the more I am able to do now is making this worse or is it just the nerves regenerating and will happen even if I lay resting all day?

Last night I made dinner for friends ... Only two people! I didn't rush to get up in the morning, did some very easy things to eat and the rested in the afternoon. I did the cooking and my husband did all the washing up, laying the table etc and got out any pans and dishes I needed and made sure all the food I needed was not down at the bottom of the fridge so I didn't bend.
Felt fantastic doing what I enjoy .... Today will be a quiet day with no grandchildren until tomorrow to give me a restful day.

This morning the downside is I I woke with leg pain at 5.30 and feel tired and base of my spine also sore and aching .... Still paying for what I do the day before which is a bit demoralising but like everybody says here on the forum, any progress is still progress and something I could not have done a week back.

I am still in the corset which is just as well because I find I can move more easily now and I have to remind myself not to BLT ..
As I said, the sciatica has been getting worse andI also have sore calves and some tingling, numb toes etc. The same two toes have been numb from the start but I can feel the floor so not worried.

I have a very bad arthritic right knee and this is stopping me walking much and the stairs are very difficult. I am not walking anywhere near as much as many others on this forum are which does worry me and unfortunately I have put weight on since the op so I feel I am dragging a heavy load. It is hard to be motivated to eat more sensibly when you are in pain and feeling down! I have been told I have only one third of the cartilage left in my right knee and now it warrants a knee replacement ..... Very depressing as I am only 58 and wanted to avoid this as long as possible. However, I feel what is the benefit to me of all I have been through with my back and the very long recovery from that still way ahead when I cannot walk from my blasted knee? !!!! I have had the knee drained of fluid five times since last November .... I was take off the Naproxen when I had the op for six weeks ... Back on it now but I can see the arthritis in my feet and hands and knees did not like being off it.

Seeing my surgeon for follow up and X-ray on May 21st and hope then he will let me ditch the corset and start some Pilates type exercise to get back I shape ... I have found a trainer who specialises in rehab for backs and has had fusion surgery himself. I hate the thought of it all, but am better when actually doing it and I realise my chances of a good result here will be better if I make myself do it.

Stiff upper lip needed as we Brits say ... Just get on with it!


  • I know that the nerve pain was most likely the worst part for me, post op, aside from the immediate acute post op pain........it was relentless and I couldn't even put a shoe on without the stinging, burning, hot coals happening, if I so much as tried to slide my foot into my shoes..... It went on for months for me, and was so draining.
    It might help to talk to your doctor about upping the amitryptaline a bit, to see if it eases the pain a bit more, or changing or adding some lyrica.....the tingling is a good sign, meaning that it sounds as though the nerve pain is improving because you can feel the floor under your foot......doesn't mean that it is easy to deal with , that's for certain.
    As far as your knee goes, spine problems tend to make our gait worse, and when you have existing issues with your knees, they tend to get aggravated by the spine problems.
    Hang in there, you are getting there, each day.......soon, hopefully, you will be posting that you are surprised by how far you have come since your surgery and are glad that you did it.
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