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L5 S1 9 weeks post op and still in agony is this normal?Any advice welcome

I'm new to the forum. I've had Spinal Fusion 9 weeks ago and still on painkillers daily.
If I go out for a couple of hours I then suffer all evening in agony. Is this normal?
Any advice would be brilliant.

Thanks Claire



  • I've had 2 replies now and it's made my day. It's certainly a very lonely, frustrating time this recovery. C xx
  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    edited 07/17/2014 - 11:41 AM
    Members will respond to your post when someone can relate, has something helpful to add or just moral support, click on subscribe on your first post of your threads

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Hi & welcome Claire. Recovery from surgery is a physical & emotional roller-coaster. 9 weeks is still pretty early, everyone I know who's gone through fusion surgery is still hurting at this point. It's great that you can get out & about! Pace yourself & follow all of the post op instructions. Please don't expect too much of yourself. My friend has just had her 3rd spinal fusion yesterday (different areas). She's put herself through all of that again because she knows it was necessary & so worth it for her in the past. Just think how far you've come already! What areas did you have done? I hope that you weren't suffering for too long before.

    Chronic pain can be incredibly isolating. I'm glad you've found us. Have you checked-out the recovering from surgery forum? It's usually a busy one. I'm sure you'll be able to find some members who are at a similar place in their recovery. I hope you've got a great support system to help you through. I look forward to seeing you on the forums. Stay strong. ;-)
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • what type of fusion did you have ALIF /PLIF /TLIF ?? ALIF is the worst to recover from you recovery will depend on many things .first was this your first surgery /did you have nerve damage before the fusion /how old are you and hows your health .if you're healthy and it was your first surgery and you did not have any nerve pain {altered sensations on your legs and feet prior to surgery then recovery should be in the months bracket rather than years .however if it was a second /third surgery and you were in pain and your health was not too good and you're the wrong side of 40 then recovery will be on years fusions are done for spinal stability and not pain relief {any pain relief would be a bonus} it took me at least three months to get over the initial surgery the first 6 weeks I was unable to bear weight anything would defeat me ,its been 30 months now and I have just discharged for my orthopaedic consultant as he can do no more for me I have arachnoiditis and CEQ along with other spinal problems and my ALIF was my 3rd operation .as far as recovery is concerned I am about a s good as I am going to get and that's not good .I am in pain continually and unable to do many thing even wearing clothing is a chore as I can't stand anything on my lower body .my spinal problems have been made worse by initial poor outdated surgical techniques .so for me having surgery in the early 1990s was a bad move but I had no choice .I just have to suffer .I hope you recover quicker and don't forget its still very early in your recovery stage ..a few good items like a recliner and a grabber and a raised loo seat all help with recovery ..make sure your doctor knows your still in pain as he /she may review your pain meds .all the best
    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
  • Frank011FFrank011 Posts: 16
    edited 07/19/2014 - 2:15 AM
    Thanks for the messages, great to hear from other people. I had L5S1 ALIF/PLIF was in hospital 5 days as had massive problems with my bowels - Never experienced pain like it along with my back pain too! I'm 35 and attended the gym most days until after Christmas when the pain got so bad I was limping and couldn't go out long. I've got terrible nerve pain which alternates between legs and deep into my bottom. They have told me to take more amitriptyline with my Oxynorm, although I'm still waiting for some relief. My physio tried Acupuncture this morning? I'll have a look on the recovery forum. Thanks again hopefully speak soon. Claire x (UK)
  • Hi Claire. I had a L5-S1 ALIF/PLIF a year ago. I'm doing much better but still have to rest, elevate, and ice. 9 weeks is really early to be up and about all day. Resting, stretching, and icing are very important through recovery. I'm a 33 year old NMT and work with a chiro, so I follow the doctors orders to the tee. If I get a little ambitious and do too much I get inflammation with severe pain. I get the most relief by laying on my back with my feet and legs slightly elevated, and icing in 20 min intervals. If Laying on your back isn't comfortable you can lay on your side, which ever one is better, with a thin pillow between your thighs and knees, also ice. At this point it's really important to take it easy and rest so the body can heal itself. Hope you start feeling better soon.
    Trisha Butler
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