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Am I getting so much pain from over doing things? Advice please

Hi everyone

I'm 9 weeks post operation ALIF/PLIF L5, S1. If I'm up and about for too long the pain is just agony and then completely wipes me out for the rest of the day evening. Should I be doing a little then rest then try again? What do other people do? Thank you for your advice.
C xx


  • Now I however am only 2 weeks out from a 360 alif/plif l4-s1and even doing the lightest of things throws me into a vicious pain cycle. I've stopped all that now..only doing necessary things such as bathroom trips and coffee refills... I now know to just quit trying to be so helpful because I'm the one who pays for it! I've been experiencing extreme hamstring/calf pain spams and put the decompression socks right back on!!!! My TENS unit has become my best friend for the leg pain along with the med cocktail I'm currently on. Be kind to yourself! For eveything you do will affect your mobility for life!
    Grade 1 Anterolisthesis/Spondy L5/S1 with Modic changes and mild disc protrusion, DDD, Osteoarthritis L2/L3, Stenosis, Sciatica, Herniation L4/L5. Scheduled for 360 spinal fusion/decompression July 1, 2014.
  • Frank011FFrank011 Posts: 16
    edited 07/21/2014 - 5:32 AM
    Thank you both your messages. I have taken a few steps back as my pain was getting so bad. Although since my Physio I now have severe nerve pain in my bottom and legs. I will be 10 weeks post op tomorrow and feel like I have gone backwards due to this pain. xxxx
  • Unfortunately, a flare up of nerve pain is so common post op and it is painful to endure. I remember it vividly.
    I took Lyrica which helped signficantly, and others take gabapentin or cymbalta , amityrptaline is another one commonly used to ease neuropathic pain.
    It might be worthwhile discussing one of those medications with your doctor. Just remember, if you do use any of them not to suddenly stop taking it. The dosages need to be titrated up and down in dosage. You don't ever want to just stop taking them.
  • ChelleBelleATXCChelleBelleATX Posts: 67
    edited 07/22/2014 - 1:45 PM
    I too have been having SEVERE hamstring and calf pains. Also developing masses behind both knees. Pains got so bad I was taken to the ER last night. They did an ultrasound of my legs luckily no clots but lots of buildup and definitely suspecting nerve issues. I'm being scheduled for a CT myelogram either tomorrow or next day so we will get the problem resolved. Sending healing energies your way! Keep us posted!
    Grade 1 Anterolisthesis/Spondy L5/S1 with Modic changes and mild disc protrusion, DDD, Osteoarthritis L2/L3, Stenosis, Sciatica, Herniation L4/L5. Scheduled for 360 spinal fusion/decompression July 1, 2014.
  • Hey Frank, glad to hear your surgery went well. Definitely seems fairly normal pain response so early on in your recovery. I know how hard it is to take things slowly in recovery, but it is definitely worth it to be very cautious! I have an artificial disc and a cervical fusion with a synthetic vertebra and plate/screws fixture, I am 8 months post op. Well intentioned physiotherapists and doctors will try to push you to get right into physio workouts etc, but nobody knows your body more than you do! I've had other surgeries as well, and I've learned to follow my symptoms and respect what my body is telling me. This recovery is setting the stage for your whole life with a healthy back, so don't hesitate to slow it down and focus on rest. I have found low intensity aquasize to be amazing and less painful than traditional physiotherapy and workouts, ask your therapists! All the best!

    C-Spine Reconstruction Nov 21, 2013- C4 Corpectomy & Vertebral Implant (Athlet) w. bone substitute, Fusion C3-C5 w. anterior plate fixation, Artificial Disc Replacement C5/6 (M6-C disc).

    sixdegreesfreedom.com for my story.

  • Hi guys
    My pain down my right leg has got so bad i'm limping at times. I'm having Caudal Epidural and Nerve root injections' on Saturday - My second Nerve injections this year. I'm really hoping this time I get some pain relief from them after having surgery I'm dreading going back to the same hospital (Not good memories at all!) Has anyone has successful results from the injections?
  • Sorry to say but the injections made my situation worse which is why he almost immediately opted for fusion surgery.
    Grade 1 Anterolisthesis/Spondy L5/S1 with Modic changes and mild disc protrusion, DDD, Osteoarthritis L2/L3, Stenosis, Sciatica, Herniation L4/L5. Scheduled for 360 spinal fusion/decompression July 1, 2014.
  • 9 weeks is a very short time in the big scheme of things the operation that you have been through is one of the biggest recovery from a 360 can be very lengthy up to 3 years you will fuse long before that .the issue with fatigue are not uncommon either you will still be recovering from the operation that takes around 6 months .you may find that your life will have to change to accommodate you new spine .you may find that things you could do ..you can do no longer or for a shorter duration pain can be a problem with fusions and even long after the trauma of the operation is a distance memory .you may still have altered sensations in your lower extremities you may not be able to tolerate certain things like sitting in chairs even the bed linen may become your enemy as you wont like anything touching your legs .there are many long term side effects from fusions you would do well to look them up and prepare yourself just in case .in the meantime I would take thing easy and let nature do it thing .if your pain becomes troublesome .then see your clinician to discus pain relief
  • CeeKayCCeeKay Posts: 1
    edited 08/05/2014 - 11:02 AM
    I have taken Neurontin for years on a nerve/bone injury in my neck, and now have a problem at L5 S1. The lower back pain has developed into quite the problem during activities I once took for granted which now have lingering effects (pain). The Neurontin was not cutting it, and the Dr. prescribed Cymbalta. At first I took way too much and for the first time I can recall I was pain free since - well longer than I could remember (but the side effects were not acceptable). After muscle relaxers that put me to sleep to Chiropractic, nothing seemed to work. When the side effects for the Cymbalta were so intense I was beside myself since I had not felt that well in sooo long. That is enough to make you depressed right there!
    Back to the Dr. explaining the problem, and side effects I was having, he advised to start really small and work my way up if I wanted to take the chance. I have taken Antidepressants before and from what I hear about Cymbalta, I could name a couple that would give you the same effects, 1 Cold Turkey, 2 Titrating too fast - Buzzing Brain, Jolts, been there done that. Cymbalta is not the first med that would have these kinds of effects, and as mentioned everyone's makeup is unique. I am super sensitive to Anti-depressants and other Psychoactive Med's so I have to be careful. Starting out slow on Cymbalta, having low problems like dry mouth, we stopped and kept that amount till I was confident to move on. I moved up slowly till I was at a level that did not give me side effects (used to them or effects wore off as some do) and my back pain had subsided. Wow, I am a happy camper. I know if I need to go off this Med, it is a serious matter and not to be taken cold turkey, but I hope that never has to happen. I have been so pain free, I don't need an anti-depressant, no pain does me fine. If I need to take more to continue on, I will at the same slow rate but I have never found anything that does what has happened to me on this. I still feel, and still feel pain if I hurt myself which is good to remind me I am not made of steel. But the constant pain I had learned to live with has subsided to a point that maybe it is not all 'gone' but wow I have not felt this way in years, maybe can't remember the last time.
    I am sorry to hear that this does not work for some people, and I usually don't post about items that are going well for me. In this case though I thought it well to do so since I see so many negative's - there are positive's out there. Am I worried, sure who would not be seeing all this information - and you can find these postings for almost any drug out there - pick one and check it out. Just to let anyone know no one's makeup will be like mine, physically or mentally you do literally have to shop around till you find what works for you. I have been looking for the combo I am taking for over 15 years. But now, I am glad I just did not give up and decide to "buck it up and live with it". Medicine is great when it works and is lambasted when it doesn't but sometimes it just has a way of working out. Thanks,
  • PeggyMcPPeggyMc Glendora, CaPosts: 17
    We are twins! Frank too! I just had my 360 July 24 th and 25th. L4-S1 ! Thank you for your comments, Frank too. It really helps with the recovery. This is my 3rd and 4th back surgeries....I
    I'm so done with all the procedures, meds and pain. Now, I just want to get to normal (whatever that will be). This recovery is so frustrating because I felt better about a week ago and now in the last three days, I feel like I'm going backwards. I don't know what I should be able to do, activity wise. It seems if I do anything, I pay! So coffee refills and visiting the bathroom seem to be it for me too.
    Thanks for being here, I will keep checking back.
  • Thank you for you message.xx
  • and two steps back. The only activities you should be doing are the ones cleared for you by your surgeon.
    One month out from surgery, walking , and resting are basically it as far as activity levels, no bending, lifting or twisting, weight limitations of nothing heavier than a gallon of milk was what I was told....
    Fusion surgery has the most protracted of all of the spine surgeries, and it can take a year or more for the fusion process to complete, and you really see where you are going to be at that stage.

  • ChelleBelleATX said:
    Sorry to say but the injections made my situation worse which is why he almost immediately opted for fusion surgery.
    I agree with ChelleBelleATX, I had three blocks 3 months after trying physical therapy, and each were 5 weeks apart, and I thought the first one helped so I went for the second, and had no relief, so went for the third, which was the last i could have, before surgery. If your discs are bad like mine were, they won't be helped by Epi. When I had a discogram the following year, (2013) it showed that I had no tissue holding my disc together. If this was a test preformed in the begining I would have saved a lot of time in pain, and expense and would have had the surgery earlier.

    Good Luck with your decision.
    8/21/2014 Laminectomy, double discectomy w/multiple hardware, & multi level fusion, L4,L5,S1 (PLIF)
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