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15 weeks post op L5/S1 PLIF

Thought i would come back to the forums and post something positive. Im 15 weeks out from a plif l5/s1 with 2 titanium cages,4 screws, and 2 rods. I had a fu appointment a week ago and i asked if i was fused and the doctor said, "well we used 2 titanium cages in you, so we cant exactly see the bone fusing through the cage on an xray but we can see bone growing around the cage, and your screws and rods look rock solid and havent moved any. So chances are your fusing well, no restrictions, but let pain be your guide."  Sound normal??

So i started taking my brace off, got in the pool with my kids  2 days in a row, for an hr at a time. Very painful the following 4 days, but then back to previous pain levels. Obvoiusly not ready for that..

The positive side is i have been able to stand on my feet 9 hrs a day at work for the last few days. Pre surgery it was tough to stand that long. So already seeing good outcomes there.

I can actually bend over to fill out a paper on a table while standing as long as i brace myself with one hand. I havent been able to do that since 2013.. so that is also a good sign i think.

Also now am able to wash both hands at same time at a sink!! I washed one hand at a time for years because i had to have one hand to brace myself.. very excited about this!

Spine still aches without the brace on, hoping physical therapy will fix that??

I havent tried running, or working out yet, but most every aspect of life is better than pre surgery.. except this dull ache i always have without the brace on, it goes away instantly with the brace on? does this go away?  Im 29 years old, and lived all of my 20's with terrible back pain. Hoping i can sing "my next thirty years will be the best years of my life...."

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