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Pain in pelvis, hips and back after anterial spinal fusion

Mrs englandMMrs england Posts: 4
edited 12/28/2014 - 2:52 AM in Recovering from Surgery
Hi there, I had an anterial spinal fusion on my lower back on the 19th Dec 2014, I came home on the 23rd and I'm not sure if the pain and achy feeling is normal, I was sent home with a lot of meds to take, liquid morphine, codeine and paracetamol, I take the last two meds regularly but only take morphine when I feel it's really needed, I thought I wouldn't still need my meds 9 days post op, but can't cope without... Is it normal or should I get into see my consultant, I still have dressing over the large incision which starts just under my belly button all the way down to my hysterectomy scar, so low., I'm having a nurse change the dressing tomorrow.. Please let me no if this pain is normal after 9 days? Or roughly how long does the ache go on for? Hospital only gave me pills to last a few days, I'm now taking my own that I had prior to surgery, im so constipated too, I'm confused and frustrated, any advise will be highly appreciated, thanks xxx p.s it's my first time on this site xxx


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • The acute pain post op normally improves after the first month, but the first month can be rough, painwise, restricted movement wise. Are you following the restrictions given to you post op, along with the recommended amount of walking, sitting and standing?
    Nine days post op is very little time , in the world of spine surgery.........spine surgery isn't like any other surgery out there, except for maybe open heart surgery. The recovery from fusion surgery, can take months, and in some cases up to a year or more.......not that you will feel this way that long, but it is a marathon not a sprint.......

  • I had ALIF at L5-S1 on Dec 10 2014. I was not thrilled with the hospital's care (read as not happy at all) and was able to be discharged 7 hours post surgery which I know is very, very rare. I am very stubborn with a high pain tolerance and I was sent home with Oxycodone for pain. I was so extremely sore in my trunk that for the first 10 days I moved like a slug in tar (hubby's description). It was so bad I could not let my husband help me directly for fear he would jolt me and any unplanned jostling was excruciating. I was so scared by the pain that I insisted in getting up every hour for a short walk to the bathroom for the first 48 hours. My husband was such a trooper! A few times I about knocked myself out with a miscalculated move. And I think I am a very "healthy" example of a person having this surgery. I am now down to a manageable pain level but can tell that my recovery is going to be very slow. I cannot cough, sneeze or blow my nose without holding my abdomen and I still cannot risk any wrong moves or trips at all. I've left the house only 2x so far. At my 2 week post op appt, my surgeon warned me I would need the pain meds for a while yet and I don't need to stress getting off of them at this point (it is my goal with this surgery to get off them, so yes I was pushing it). My incision is a 6" long horizontal incision low on my abdomen, way below the belly button that is superglued closed... I have a back incision as well, about 2" long that runs along the other 2 discectomy scars. I figure the glue will wear off with time.

    Was my procedure successful? It is too soon to tell of course, but overall I am thrilled with the result so far. I was tickled to wake up in recovery and have the lower back pain GONE (replaced by the surgical pain of course). I was very alert when the surgeon visited me, I am sure he could tell I was feeling pretty good because it was then that he mentioned that on rare occasions folks can go home the same day...I guess that stuck in my head and I did tell him I would be working toward that end. I still have some nerve pain, and perhaps might never recover from the extreme sciatica, but I am down to 1/2 the gabapentin I was taking pre-op.

    Good luck!
    Massive rupture at L5-S1 July 2013
    Emergency microdiscectomy L5-S1 July 2013
    Revision microdiscectomy L5-S1 Feb 2014
    ALIF 360 L5-S1 Dec 2014
  • I questioned my doc about still having pain in the spine and he said it's expected since they did all their work in that area and it will eventually go away, but didn't give me a time frame. I know I have to wear the brace and have restricted movements for 8-10 weeks.
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