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9 weeks post ALIF/PLIF L5S1 fusion

Hi This is my first time on the forum. I'm 35 years old. I had spinal fusion 9 weeks ago and feel completely lost. I'm on Oxynom painkillers 4 times a day. Can't sit for a max of 20minutes without severe pain. Still not driving. I managed a trip to Tesco but the ache in my back is just draining. I've had my first physiotherapy session but the day after the nerve pain in my bottom and leg was excruciating. The nerve pain also still swaps from left to right? Is this normal? I had no choice about the operation as was limping with the daily pain. Before christmas I went to the gym about 5 times a week, I miss this so much. I also have a 4 year old son. I've been very fortunate to have my mum staying week days to help while my husband is at work. But obviously she cannot stay forever. Would love to speak to people going through the same. Any advice on recovery too. Xx


  • Hi there.i am in similar situation to u.Gosh it has been a rough road-still is.I have gained so much advice, support & general help from guys on this site.i had 7 level fusion& scoliosis curve correction with laminectomy too.Im 42 with a 9 & 6 yr old. I won't lie-its been hell.i hadn't anticipated how long the recovery would be & how painful and restricting. As people here have said to me- " hang in there"--" it does get easier"....I get the impression we were all under the illusion there would be a quicker recovery with instant pain relief---the surgeons seem to sugar coat the recovery-please don't be hard on yourself. Just to be up, dressed & pottering about is an achievement. Sitting for more than 5-10 mins gets me to screaming point. Not driving yet & would love a walk round tesco (lol) but know I'd suffer too much (and so would everyone around me).....so im not attempting it yet.im trying to just walk, rest, walk rest etc.......Now my kids are on holidays from school im doing a lot more walking/pottering round the house so trying not to stress so much about 'clocking up the miles' ---out of the house. As has been said to me here on this brill site---try keep positive & things will improve day by day, week by week or jn cases like ours maybe month by month. Xxxx
  • I am 11 weeks post op.Its great your mum is staying especially with a 4 yr old.my kids have been minded during the days by family & friends up to the last couple of weeks. It has been essential as I couldn't have cooked etc for them . Even now my family are delivering meals to us a few days a wk. A lot of guilt comes with that but I will be able to repay the favours hopefully. I find having a bed in corner of lounge a godsend. I can lie flat (sofa not suitable) whenever I want to - even for few mins it helps & I don't have to trail upstairs. I also find a grabber invaluable for picking stuff up or putting things in washer etc.Best of luck. X
  • So good to hear I'm not the only one completely unaware of how long and hard this recovery is! Thank you for your message I really appreciate it. It's certainly a very lonely, frustrating time. It's so true what you said about doing stuff and then others suffering the consequences. I've got to do less to stop ripping everyone's head off when in complete agony. I too have sanctuary on my bed, it's the only place I am comfy. I tried the sofa but just sobbed in pain. Keep in touch xxxxx
  • I had not seen that information or videos, really good to watch and read. Thank you xxx-
  • Hi,
    I am 10 months post ALIF on the L5S1 area and I hate to say it, but I am still not out of pain. I have been through water therapy and PT and I still don't have relief. The surgeon has referred me back to a spine specialist, but all he has done is more injections. I am going this week for another MRI to see if something was missed that is still causing the pain and numbness.
    I just know that you should follow your doctor's orders exactly! Go to the PT and do the stretches they tell you to as much as possible. My surgeon wanted me walk as much as possible after surgery and that always seemed to help it feel better.
    I did a bad thing and went back to my "sitting" job only 2 weeks after surgery, I now know that was the worst thing I could have done. I wore a brace though for a few weeks and that helped, but as I write this now, I have an ice pack on my back.
    I sure hope that you and JoJo can both feel relief soon. Good luck and go easy, my dr did say it could take up to 6 months to heal, I just wish that was the case with me.
  • I am 30 months post ALIF and will always be in pain
    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
  • The total recovery from fusion surgery can exceed a year, and the nerves can take even longer. Up to two years. Nerves only recover at a rate of 1-2mm per month, and depending on how long and how severely they were compressed prior to surgery, as well as them being moved around during surgery can cause the pain to flare for months post op.
    Have you tried any of the nerve pain medications to see if they help? If not, it is something to consider talking to your pm doctor about giving a try.
    Many of us have found that those medications do a great deal with easing neuropathic pain.
  • Good to read your comment above. I've started gabapentin 300mg a day with amitriptyline, diazepam, and Oxynorm 40mg. I'm hoping the Gabapentin starts to help my nerve pain. I'm also having Caudal Epidural and nerve root injections on Saturday, my previous injections before surgery did nothing? So fingers crossed they help. Keep in touch xxx
  • Oh I meant to say my Consultant has stopped all my physio, stretching and at home exercises. I'm post op 11 weeks now and feel like I've gone backwards a bit. But Really hope your feeling bit better? How did the MRI go??? xx
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