I have posted another topic with the heading" the weeks after spinal fusion". But thought it may be beneficial for myself & you guys to post a new one a month after as my situation has changed & it will hopefully get some responses & info on this stage of recovery.
So... A month after my 17 hr 12 level posterior spinal fusion, my nice scar from my neck down the full length of my back is healed nicely & itching every now & then, my kids are scared & intrigued by it! My pain levels are hard to judge at the moment, I am on gabapentin, enedep & 20 mg slow release OxyContin twice a day and 20 mg immediate release OxyContin 2-3 times a day so I am we'll medicated during the day & only really notice bad pain when breakthrough med has worn out &/ or after I have done my walk or some 10-15 minute activity around the house. What I now do have alarmingly is really bad pain in the mornings, it is what wakes me up, I'm guessing as meds have worn off while I am asleep, & I now have ally bad lower back pain in the morning I think as this is where there is no fusion & they have a lot of pressure on them now to support my core on their own. So I guess pain is under control reasonably but what I have noticed 4 weeks out is that I get so exhausted & feel so exhausted after my little walks or any small activity of 10-15 mins, really fatigued like my whole body aches like a flu is coming on, is this normal? I am hungry for info on this part of recovery & what I should be feeling & what is right etc, I can't get in to see my doc till next Friday. Also that my pain levels I detailed above is about right, as I don't feel overbearing amounts of pain in the day I want to know if that is because I am we'll medicated or that I should have reduced or no pain now after 4 weeks?
Please let me know your thoughts on this.
In regards to movement now, I still sleep on a recliner as I can't get in or out of bed properly nor does lying on my side work yet, too painful. I can have my morning shower on my own & dry & dress myself which is good , it is slower & I have developed new techniques for this but it works!
I then walk for a little bit as it loosens everything up before I need to sit for a while as I feel so tired after that little morning routine. I squat now to get down to grab something, bending just wont happen yet & my whole trunk/core feels weak & even swollen if that makes sense, I will have to do squat exercises when I can to strengthen my knees & core as this is how I will have to get low for life & work now instead of bending over . I want to start exercising lightly soon to strengthen my arms, stomach but not sure if I should yet as I'm am still sore & tire easily. It's funny, during the day now when I feel ok I get up & try & do a few things I would normally & try & hold things or do things to see where I am at, it seems like I will be able to do most things I did before surgery, just may be a little slower. But I tire immediately around the 10 min mark & fell sore & remember that no, I am not ok.
I just thought I would post this as I want to know if where I am at RE pain & how I feel & movement is right for 4 weeks after surgery? Also if anyone who has had similar can tell me if pain will still be there without meds & how long it will last for & if my feelings of chronic fatigue is the norm after such massive surgery & if this is right 4 weeks after & how long it will last? Should I start to exercise lightly yet to get back strength and or fitness?
I have been told both sides like after such surgery (12 levels & 17 hrs operation) that I should expect and just be recovering doing nothing but resting and keeping my pain meds up as 2-3 months at least is what I will need to even begin to feel like moving to next phase, but also have some literature that says after 4 weeks I should be nearly free from pain and to start moving a lot more. I suppose best thing is to listen to my body and see my doc which I am next week but any experiences from you guys or thought on this situation 4 weeks out would be great .
This site is a wonderful resource & I wish everyone the best in their own situations & thanks in advance for any responses.
Nick, 33 yr old male. Family man w/ 3 great kids, Signwriter/maker/installer, Back Pain recovery enthusiast !