Had spinal fusion, L4-5, disc removed and replaced with cage spacer back on March 23,2015. I had been diagnosed with spondylolisthesis. Had been suffering from sciatica with tingling and pain in right leg for 2 years, the last six months became unbearable, so opted for surgery since I was not able to do my job as a school custodian any longer. I had previously tried PT, shots, drugs; nothing had helped.
The surgery took care of the sciatic pain, the nerve is no longer pinched. But......I am still off work because I'm physically still unable to do much. I'm almost 57, so I realized I wouldn't be back to work for a few months, especially since my job is physically demanding, but now it looks like November before I can go back to work, which I have to be able to do my job at 100% before they let me return.
The problems I'm still having is from the stiffness, causing a sense of immobility. I've been in PT since June, and I do see some progress. I still cannot sit for very long, 15 minutes and I start feeling nauseated, so driving very far is not something I do, unless I stop and get out and walk around.
Laying down is better than sitting, though it feels like I'm laying on a bulge when on my back, so I alternative laying on my sides also.
I walk around as much as possible, but even that can feel like too much at times. My lower back either starts feeling compressed, and/or I feel exhausted and I have to lay down or I feel like I'll collapse. I just got an exercise bike/elliptical for home use, since walking outdoors is limited from weather conditions. I am slowly building up time on it, but so far 10 minutes is still my limit.
My poolside PT therapist says I walk like I'm still in a protective mode, but its because I still feel restricted in moving, like I have a weighted 2x4 strapped across my lower back, and the more I move, the more restricting it feels. It's not usually painful, just prevents me from moving freely, and the left side seems more troublesome... the opposite side of my pain before surgery. At times I also have a burning bee sting pain there on the left side, seems like where my drain tubes were from the surgery, so maybe from scar tissue?
My blood calcium level was high back in July, so maybe that is part of why I'm healing so slowly. Dr. checked my parathyroid levels to make sure they were functioning, and levels were in a good normal range. I'll have another blood draw next month or so. Has anyone had any issues with this during their recovery?http://www.spine-health.com/treatment/spinal-fusion/spinal-fusion-surgery-recovery-three-months-and-after