I had a two level spinal fusion 17 days ago - l4, l5 and S1 - I've been reading the best thing to do after fusion is to go for short walks each day. However I am really struggling with walking. My walking is really slow compared to before the surgery and I am shuffling more than walking. Walks that used to take me a few minutes, like to the corner and back are now taking me ages and I tire so easily and find even just a very slow 5-10 minute walk exhausting and painful. Is this normal? I have constant numbness in both my feet which wasn't there before the surgery. I made an urgent GP appointment and she thought that was probably a normal response to surgery.
I was an NHS patient in a private hospital, so I didn't get the usual discharge care that I would have done on an NHS ward. My surgeon is on leave for three weeks, the last time I saw him was a day after the surgery and I still couldn't sit up in bed, then he went on leave. I didn't see a doctor before leaving hospital, they just sent me home as soon as I could walk and manage a few stairs by myself. I'm worried because in my pre-op assessment they said I would need a lumbar corset after the surgery and the physio at the private hospital said I needed one too, but they wouldn't provide it as I wasn't a private patient and it had to come from the hospital I was under and be written up by the surgeon. Only because he was on leave, I contacted the NHS hospital I'm under and they said they couldn't help me I have to wait for the surgeon to get back. That will be three weeks post-op without a lumbar corset/ brace.
So two questions really - firstly is it normal to find it so difficult to walk after surgery and to be walking very, very slowly and second question, has anyone else had two level fusion and been sent home without a brace/ lumbar corset.