Hi ... Been away from the Forum for a while .... Now four months since L4/L5 and L5/ S1 TLIF fusion, plus cyst removed left L4/L5, S1 right facet joint removed and cage in facet joint left L4/L5 .... How am I ? Well, I was off the OxyContin by 9 weeks but am still on strong painkillers when I need them and still taking between 40 to 50mg amitryptyline at night for continuing sciatic pain down my right leg ... The pain down the left leg has gone totally, down the right it is there most of the time and goes from mild to severe depending on how much I am doing. Typically it is worse at the end of the day.
Unfortunately I have been very hampered in walking because my right knee is very bad from arthritis ... Am bone on bone now and it has got worse since my fusion when I was taken off naproxen for so weeks. I have been told by my back surgeon that he doesn't want me to have the knee replacement until I have had a ct scan at six months. So ... Between the knee and the back life is still on the limited side and I have not felt up to travelling for a holiday.
I saw my surgeon for X-rays at three months and they looked very good .. All the hardware where he left it and some eno urging bone growth, so fundamentally the fusion has been a success.
On the plus side ... I am improving in how much I can do round the home ... Cooking, people over, going out to friends or restaurants. If I have a whole day of doing too much then I still pay for it in increased pain and tiredness, but it don't feel ill and ground down from the relentless and severe pain I had before the op.
I thought I had a good understanding of what fusion recovery would be like ...... Nobody can fully prepare you for how long it takes . I thought being strong mentally would make my physical recovery better ... A superwoman ... It doesn't! I know I am heaps better than before and heaps better than say six weeks ago, but still have the pain in the right lower back and down my right leg. I ice it, but it only a temporary relief.
So ... The point of my post is, has anyone out there had a nerve bloke or nerve ablation following their fusion surgery? How common is this? And I the nerve belt ion unpleasant to have done? You would think after fusion that a oouple of needles would no longer phase me, but it is human nature to avoid any more pain! Any advice would be appreciated.
Thanks again to all the people who were so helpful and encouraging in the early weeks after my op.