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L3 to S1 fusion 6 years ago

I had L3 to S1 fusion 6 years ago with great results for about 3 years. Now I can barely walk a couple of blocks without severe pain. I have a spine stimulator and take Nucynta which help a little. I really want to walk more. I have 2 large dogs that need it and a truly enjoy walking. I know I can swim but I also need to walk and stand for work.

I have gone back to my surgeon and he said fusion is good and he can't do anything. My pain management doc has done Si Joint injections that didn't help pain over my lower spine. I just don't know what to do now. It seems like my only option is to ask for higher dose of Nucynta. Any other suggestions?


  • Recovery from spine surgery is no easy task, and the more you continue to work toward recovery, the better chance of you having a good one.
    Swimming helps because of the bouyancy in the water, and walking back and forth helps strengthen muscles due to the resistance of the water. Start with shorter walks, and then increase the distance and difficulty as you build up strength. Sometimes returning to physical therapy can help guide you into the right stretches and excercises to get muscles moving again.
    When is the last time that you had any imaging done to see how things are in the spine now? Are these symptoms new or have they been around since your surgery?
  • I have benefited from hydrotherapy and swimming as well, especially when I was miserable and too sore to do anything else. I did PT for 2 months and was just discharged and am self managing. Core muscle strength has helped me so much and I do Pilates and walk as well. Hope you feel better soon.
    2015: Thoracic protrusions C7-T1, T3-4, T6-8
    Dec'13: 360FusionL4-S1 w/bone graft
    2013: 3x2-level disc injections: 12mo surgery postponement
    Dec'12: DiscogramL4-S1
    Sep/Oct'12: Bi-lateral Rhizo AblationsL4- S1
  • ljhlljh Posts: 10
    edited 07/29/2014 - 2:19 AM
    I start physical therapy again today. I am really having difficulty standing up straight and know I have lost strength over the last couple of years. I had lots of films done very recently and the hardware is still in place, though I broke a vertebrae above the fusion. It's been cemented via kyphoplasty. I want to walk my dogs and be able to stand at work. I am afraid the only option left is to ask for an increase in the Nucynta. Thank you.
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