Hi all, 6 weeks and 1 day since l5/s1 tlif fusion. I've been reading a lot of posts and unfortunately most of them are negative and don't really help me raise my spirits. I'm here hoping that someone can guide me towards reaching as best of a recovery as possible.
I had l5/s1 fusion to repair a damage disc which was causing really bad sciatic pain in my right side and sometimes in my left. I went through 3 epidural injections and 8 weeks of physical therapy before surgery to see if they would help. They did not.
I am 31 years old, slightly over-weight (working on dropping that extra weight now). Prior to surgery I was somewhat-actively involved in weight lifting, martial arts and sports.
Surgery went well according to the Dr, they had no problems or complications. They described it as a great success. My surgeon is one of if not the best in New Jersey and has been practicing since the late 80's.
The first few days till the first two weeks of surgery were hard, I was on oxycodone for the pain, antibiotics and something else I can't even remember. I had severe nerve pain, which I've never had before, but this is probably from the surgery causing inflammation from everything I read and what my surgeon told me. I began walking slowly (1 to 2mph for maybe 2 miles a day on the treadmill).
2 weeks to 4 weeks in, I started having less nerve pain and even came off my oxycodone almost entirely. I would take it maybe once every two days and mainly only to help with sleep. I was walking a lot more, maybe 2-4 miles a day at speeds of even up to 3mph (on the treadmill).
At the 4 week mark I made an attempt to return to work ( I had been working remotely up to this point and wanted to show good faith to my employer by making an honest attempt to go into the office). The bus was hard to deal with, and the subway train was even worse (I work in nyc). I didn't get a seat. At work itself I was somewhat ok, being able to get up and walk around and sit back down. I survived a few hours and went home, suffering pain from the train and bus ride home.
That made me decide to continue to work from home for a few more weeks. Since that day, I've been in more pain and have more inflammation on my left side. I even have lower back pain again in my left side. Additionally I now have a weird popping sensation in my left hip (never had this before, ever), followed by hip and lower left side back pain. Now, I've read that some have damaged hardware or loose hardware but I dont think that's what this is. Due to the hip pain from walking I am walking less now and that's also detrimental.
Today, I'm going to see my surgeon again for a follow up and ask him about the hip pain and return of the back pain.
For all of you out there, sorry for the life story, but I had a few questions:
1 - Is hip pain common after fusion? Did you have it and did it go away?
2 - Unless I take oxy before sleeping I often wake up in the middle of the night and am not able to go back to sleep unless I walk around and ice my back. Was this your experience? Do you think this is something that will change?
3 - Is it worthwhile to continue to walk through the hip pain or should I take it easy and wait for the hip pain/popping to stop?
4 - Is the return of the pain from just inflammation of that one bad commute I had? Did you have a similar experience and did it take you a while to get back to pain free days?
I'm hoping for a 100% recovery. I know that may not be realistic, but that's my goal, so if I fall short at least it wont be because of my expectations or attitude.
Thank you all!!
2 - Do you think the
03/10/2015 - TLIF L5/S1 Fusion