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activity level post operative spinal fusion

It has been 3 months since I had a 2 level lower back spinal fusion. L4 L5, L5 S1, I was wondering how long are other post op patients able to be up and run errands. Some grocery shopping, doctor visits, and such. I am only able to be up and about for 4 to 5 hours then my lower back really starts hurting. Just wondered how other patients are doing at this stage of the recovery.
Renee Roth


  • KbraggKbragg Posts: 88
    edited 02/03/2016 - 2:29 PM
    Everyone's activity level will be different so it's hard to compare. That same surgery was the hardest thing I ever did. That one also took me a long time to recover from. I did work my walking up to 1.5 miles 2x a day as fast as I could and I think that helped me a lot. My Doctor pushed walking as much as possible and I looked forward to getting out of the house if weather permitted. I think you will slowly see the time frame extend as time goes on which I know is frustrating for you. Stay positive and good luck. Remember that's a very major surgery you just had!
    TLIF L4-S1 2007                                         TLIF L3-L4 2008                                          TLIF L2-L3 2016
  • Twice since the surgery (1/8/16), and just that little bit of activity wore me out. The first outing was doc appt and prescription pick-up, yesterday was just grocery store. I just can't believe the fatigue after doing such "minimal"things. I still did my laps around the house today, but not as many as usual. Too darn tired. I'm also noticing an increase in my tail bone/sciatic pain after I've been more active than the usual puttering around the house.
    Kbragg--thank you for your insights about recovery time. ..I have been seeing this topic in many posts, so seeing your comments about it is more confirmation that this is a subject of concern for many members on these forums.
    Thanks for sharing your stories with me!
    Kimmy72, Spine-health Moderator
    Firm believer in PMA!
  • Hi Renee and others - I am 3 months post PLIF L5-S1 and also am fatigued very easily. I'm working, which is still tough. I really thought I would be doing great by now. I also find that even minor things like running errands on a weekend, etc. takes a lot out of me. Are you working? I went back about 4 weeks post-op, but have had a sporadic and reduced schedule depending on pain level. I now am pretty much full time, but work some from home as it is less exhausting then going into my office. I hope you improve soon! I was starting to think I was the only one at this stage still having difficulties. I have been referred to a pain management dr, who I will see in a couple weeks. I also start PT next week, which I am nervous about given the pain I am in. I have definitely seen improvement in pain level over the last few weeks overall, but some days are definitely worse than others. Have you done PT? Have you been using any meds to help with the pain?
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