Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test


EmJ795EEmJ795 Posts: 3
edited 11/28/2014 - 3:44 PM in Recovering from Surgery
Hello all I am new to the forum and just been feeling frustrated with the slow recovery that accompanies this surgery. I am just over 90 days out from an anterior/posterior fusion of L5/S1 with a graft from my iliac crest. I am doing pretty well with everything I just have days that I get extremely sore and frustrated because I want to be back to who I was before this surgery. I am 35 years old so I am dying to get back to work although I was told not to go back to nursing assistant work so I'm not sure what I will be doing when I get cleared.

Right now I can sit for about 1 hour before I am squirming in my seat from pain. I had to take my daughter to an awards ceremony and it was about 2 hours long and I was pretty much in agony by the end. I get this pain which feels like it starts in my butt bone and then shoots up to my lower back. I think the most I have stood without sitting is close to 3 hours and I was pretty sore after that. I guess I wonder what prospects I have for work when I'm hurting after 2-3 hours!!!!!

I am also having issues with nerve damage from my hip graft which my surgeon has said should lessen in time. That is extremely painful when it happens feels like a white hot knife ripping down the outer aspect of my thigh. I went several weeks without that pain and then suddenly out of nowhere it's acting up again. Nerve pain is just awful.

My next appointment is coming up in a few weeks so I am hoping to hear I have bone growth and see what my prospects are for working or possibly starting PT. I am doing most everything I did before surgery just not lifting or bending. My upper back gets extremely sore as if it's not used to holding itself up!

All I am taking currently is Tylenol.
Thanks for listening.


  • Hi there. I am nearly 1 year out from my two level 360. Looking back on my recovery, 90 days is still very early. I am also 35 and also work full time and am a parent. If you are doing everything you were doing pre-fusion, I think you need to slow down, take a deep breath and re-dedicate yourself to healing. Believe me, I know how frustratingly slow the healing process is, but you aren't doing yourself any favors my overdoing it, especially so early on.

    My iliac crest took about 6 months to calm down. My pain is now on a 3-4 level vs. a 7-8 prior to my fusion. But I also struggle with doing too much; being too active. Standing for long periods of time is still hard for me. A few weeks ago, I had to stand all day at a volunteer event and it was way too much. I am normally at a desk job so I couldn't handle it.

    Talk honestly to your surgeon at your follow up. Tell him or her exactly how you are feeling both physically and emotionally as those surgeons have a lot of experience to help you out. Maybe you should consider altering your medication or taking some alleve or ibuprofen (which help me immensly).

    Hang in there. Keep a journal of your activity and your pain. Re-read it every week. You're in a "new" body, so to speak, and if you had a decompression, like me, (I "grew" 1.5 inches), your body needs to readjust and it all takes time.

    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
  • EMS GuyEEMS Guy Posts: 916
    edited 11/29/2014 - 11:48 AM
    All things said, I think it's great that you are down to Tylenol as a pain reducer! With fusion surgery it's the small daily victories that add up. My doc didn't use my hip bone graft. He took one of the pedicle bones and ground it up and mixed with BPA. I'm glad because I've heard the hip hurts almost as much as the fusion. I would think you should be able to go back to nurse assisting. Working in healthcare myself, you just really have to watch how you are moving patients around. There have been a couple ER and floor RN's over the years post on this site after surgery. They were able to go back to work, albeit much more careful in how they did certain things.

    Sarah - I never thought about re-measuring myself after surgery! It would make sense that I grew a tad bit since two levels were decompressed. Thanks for mentioning that!

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • Keith, I was shocked how much taller I was. I didn't realize how much my spine had compressed over the years. Let us know if you've grown too!
    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
Sign In or Register to comment.