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8 weeks past L5-S1

duckgirldduckgirl Posts: 252
edited 01/01/2016 - 8:26 PM in Recovering from Surgery
I am exactly 8 weeks post L5-S1 fusion surgery. Recovery has been much slower than I had hoped. My surgeon said I'd be back to work in 2 weeks. I went back at about 4 weeks, but it has been very difficult. I am working a reduced schedule and working some from home. I am still in a lot of pain at 8 weeks - is this normal? I am not driving yet. I am staying with my parents, as I live alone and still can't do household chores. Thanks for any thoughts!

Spinal Fusion Surgery Recovery: One to Three Months Post-Operation


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    edited 01/01/2016 - 8:26 PM
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    Liz -Spine-health Moderator

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • jericho163jjericho163 Posts: 44
    edited 01/01/2016 - 9:53 PM
  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 728
    Fusion surgery at any level is a MAJOR surgery and the L5-S1 level is the toughest... recovery is a longggg road. Still having pain at 8 weeks is completely normal for some people. In my case is took 4 long months for the nerve pain to calm down. Don't beat up yourself for not being fully recovered yet... it takes a number of months for the bones to fuse and your body to recover... it can even be a year or more depending on your age and condition. Your surgeon telling you 2 weeks was just his attempt at positive encouragement... very few people can actually manage that.
    Harry - 63 year old male...
    PLIF L4-L5-S1 due to disc degeneration... May 23, 2013
    PLIF L5-S1 due to failed fusion and broken screw... Jan 19, 2015
    Microdiscectomy, decompression L3-L4 due to herniated disc... Jan 19, 2015
  • Hi Duckgirl, 8 weeks is still early after a fusion. I was worried about my level of pain at that point & was reassured by my surgeon it was normal. It took 12 months for my fusion to look complete on a scan. I'd love to say I'm pain free 16months post surgery but I have some nerve damage. I was only thinking the other day that I would call my surgery a success. I'm back doing most of what I did before, my pain level is tolerable (I do take a small amount of lyrica twice a day).

    As frustrating as it may seem things will hopefully get better as time goes by for you,
    Microdiscectomy L5S1 January 2014
    Microdiscectomy L5S1 March 2014
    Fusion L5S1 11th August 2014
  • Thanks all, that is very helpful and encouraging to know I am not the only one! I appreciate all of your thoughts. By the way - I am reasonably young (34), so thought recovery at my age should be quicker.
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