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2 weeks and 1 day post-op

jswitzerjjswitzer Posts: 3
edited 10/10/2014 - 8:55 PM in Recovering from Surgery
I am just past the 2 week post-op L4/5 fusion. My surgery was 09/25/2014. This has been the week i actually ventured out in a car. I went to the Store with my mom and was very aware of my stamina. (When i felt I had enough, I went and sat in the car while my mom finished shopping.) My 4 year old daughter had a dentist appt and i rode along to make sure my mom could find the office. The trips out have been exhausting, but it truly felt good to get out of the house. This is the first time my mom has not been with me. She has taken my daughter camping with the rest of the family last night. My husband works full time, so i was sorta on my own (he works from home and I try not to disturb him).

Walking has seemed to help tremendously for me, even if they are just the short trips to the bathroom. I have walker for longer walks outside and a cane for when i feel extremely fatigued and need it. I only seem to need my pain pills and muscle relaxers at night now. My follow up is 10/20/14. I can't drive until i have it.

Everyone asks me how the pain is and I tell them that I do have pain, but it is not the same pain that I had when I walked into the hospital for surgery. The pain I have is related to the incision. I do think I am having nerve pain now as even the lightest touch to my hip/bottom hurts like the devil. I am hoping this will pass.

I am still icing my back daily and that help especially at night. The Dr recommended a "ice " machine for me and it has been invaluable. Ice and water go into a cooler, a little flat pad goes on my back, and it is plugged in. It circulates ice cold water continuously through the pad.

i am excited the recovery is going so well. I wanted to post this so there was a positive post about having the surgery as they seem to be few and far between. I know that I wish i was able to read more positive post before I had surgery.

Here's to more successful recoveries for everyone.


  • Hi there! Your fusion was a level higher and one day later than mine! I'm in a very similar place to what you describe. I don't have the nerve pain in my hip/butt, but I have devilishly awful pain on the top of my left foot that the surgeon says is going to take a long time to heal. He told me my nerve was as irritated as he has ever seen (for someone having this sort of surgery). Of course, this was my third surgery on the L5/S1 since May 30th, so my back and nerve have been through the wringer.

    I think we are both pretty typical in our recoveries right now. I know I was terrified of having a fusion after reading so many horror stories, but so far I know it was the right decision based on my case.

    I really wish I had that ice machine though....I've heard about them for other orthopedic surgeries and it would certainly come in handy!

    Best wishes!
    Left leg radiculopathy/sciatic pain
    L5/S1 microdiscectomy - May 30, 2014
    L5/S1 microdiscectomy - Aug 14, 2014
    L5/S1 TLIF - Sept. 24, 2014
    Left-side screws/rod removed along with bone fragment Dec. 29, 2014
  • I was fortunate my spine surgeon took the steps he did and fixed everything he could the first go-around including a triple fusion from the S1-L5 up with some microdisectomys and disectomys up to T12. I ice 2-3 times a day, receive physical therapy two days per week, wear a brace as much as I can, and use a cane. I drove after three weeks and was back to work at five weeks. Only things I can recommend is get a grabber so you do not have to bend over (seems like I drop thins often); a plastic guide to put on socks; a long shoe horn; Fiber Gummy Bears (2 at 8 pm guarantees regularity); and a Soma and Naphroxen before bedtime and a Naproxen when I wake up. I have no pain and only minimal numbness in my right foot which drops. I am excited to be receiving AFOs (ankle foot Orthosis) tomorrow. Only blip is I wake up at night 2-3 times but go back to sleep easily. My doc's only request: do not fall.
  • This was my first spinal surgery and 2nd surgery ever. I picked up my refil for pain meds today. The only OTC pain relief I am permitted to use is Tylenol. My Dr. does not want me taking any type of NSAIDs. Today was my longest trip out (we were gone about 2 1/2 hrs) was today. I went grocery shopping with my mom and daughter as i needed to pick up prescriptions. I used the cart to support myself, but it never dawned on me that the cart would get heavier and heavier. When I got home my back spasmed something awful that i needed to take the highest does prescribed of hydromorphone and the muscle relaxer flexeril.

    Coltsfan78, The ice machine is wonderful. The only thing I have to be careful is that my skin is always covered because it does get cold enough to cause frostbite if not careful.

    I am not sleeping well either. Partly because I am not sleeping in my own bed, and partly because i cannot seem to find a comfortable position. I get about 2 hours at time and then I am up for several more hours.

    Your attention please, I do have a grabber but my husband, mom, and daughter do not let me even attempt to use it. I have both a walker and cane. The dr wants me using the cane for short distance and the walker for longer distances. I wear the back brace as much as I can as well and it helps. My back didn't spasm until i got home and took the brace off. I am going a little stir crazy. Next Monday is my follow up with my Dr. so I am keeping my fingers crossed that all is going well.

    Good luck on your recoveries.
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