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Fusion recovery --real time needed

I am four months out from a one level fusion at l1 t12. I have all sorts of pains in legs feet and back. The nerve pain is the most bothersome. I also get tired very easily and find that even doing simple chores takes a lot out of me. I also get muscle twitching in my calves especially in the evening. I'm wondering if I still have nerve or cord compression despite the decompression surgrry.

How long does it take for the body to heal and recover from this invasive procedure ? Am I Norma in the things I am experiencing ? I am getting worried but I have also read to be positive and not focus on the pain as the nervous system has to be "re programmed " and develop new links. I'm doing light pt on my own and I walk a little each day or other day.

Knowing all the poor outcome I am surprised so many people elect to have this survey. I wish I was more knowledgeable prior as I would of chosen to just wait it out and not do surgery. Let time and the body naturally heal my pain and bulging disc. Now with hardware in my back , scar tissue and bone graft I just hope my body heals.

And the issue with scar tissue causing pain after surgery should be emphasized by the doctors. It was never brought up by my doctor.

Any insights and advice would be appreciated. I just want some hope that I can still improve from this point



  • Jtal...I am almost 6 weeks post C4-7 acdf with instrumentation, no hard or soft collar ever prescribed other than when riding in a car (which I will wear for probably a year to be safe!) Because of a recent jolt to my body that resulted in severe neck pain for 3 days, I have resigned myself to preparing for a year...at least...of recovery and setbacks along the way. I now protect my body from even small traumas...like someone bumping into me and sudden stops in the car...and accept that this surgery was MAJOR surgery and takes a long time to heal from. I also still get easily tired, which I know frustrates my husband when he wants to go out or run errands or go to a holiday party after I have already done a lot that day. I just can't do it and pushing myself only results in pain and exhaustion. I have also resigned myself to the fact that there are some things I will never do again....even though my doctor says I will be able to. I just will not chance it! Roller coasters, go carts, horseback riding, boogie boarding, etc. Luckily I will be doing yoga again and playing golf (which I had hoped to learn now that I am retired). Be patient with your recovery. It takes the body a long time to heal. We look healed on the outside but the inside takes a much longer time to heal.
  • I've heard it can take up to two years!!! And even then, you may never get back to normal!!!

    This is disgusting to say the least!!! I wish I'd never done it! I am six weeks out, and now I am experiencing calf pain when before I only had numbness! Other forems, people complained about for several months afterwards!!!

    I just want to cry!! I should have been warned! But I wasn't!
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,476
    edited 11/06/2015 - 11:08 PM
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  • CherylCCCherylC Posts: 185
    edited 11/07/2015 - 1:33 PM
    The wonderful thing about this and similar forums is the support and knowledge we get from each other. The down side is that people with good news stories tend to drift away once they are healed because their focus shifts from their surgery to enjoying life. Because of that you read more stories of what went wrong than what went right. I personally know quite a few people who have had wonderful outcomes.

    LeeAnn - is it possible that the pain you are experiencing is because the pressure that was on your nerve and causing it to be numb has now been released? Maybe the pain is because the nerve is waking up ... You should ask your doctor about it.

    JTal - spinal surgeries are very big surgeries and take a long time to recover from. Don't expect too much from yourself too soon. If you are concerned you should see your doctor and discuss your concerns. Maybe this will help to put your mind at ease.
  • Mayo girlMMayo girl Posts: 3
    edited 11/11/2015 - 9:36 AM
    Hi JT I read your post and quite similar to my position at the moment. Just into 13 weeks after 2 major back surgeries - both done at the same time and took 10 hours. Thought I was coming right but now having stabbing pains into my shoulder area and numbness and pain in my hips and all over the back. Skin is itching madly too. I am putting it down to the muscles and nerves starting to heal and adhere to the rods and screws. Hope you feel better soon
    Mayo girl
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