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Just had 2 level PLIF and have a question

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:23 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
On July 17th, 2008 I underwent surgery due to severe pain in my right leg and the loss of feeling in my right foot. I had the symptoms for six months before seeing my doctor. I'm 29 years old and a competitive powerlifter and I work as a heavy equipment operator. While experiencing the leg and foot pain I continued to lift thinking that it would just go away. After an MRI the NS told me that I had moderate DDD l4-s1, grade 1 spondylolysthesis l5-s1 and a bilateral pars fracture with moderate neuro foraminal narrowing. My question is that my surgery involved a 2 level PLIF with hardware (l4-s1) with laminectomy and discectomy, is that an excessive surgery or is that normal? After surgery my NS told me that there was substantial nerve damage done, he stated that basically my nerves were crushed. I'm now six weeks post-op and still have alot of pain while laying on my back and when trying to stand up. The pain is like a crushing feeling. Just looking for some input.



  • hi! I had just about all you had done on July 9th. 6 weeks later I was just about where you were! I think most everyone would agree on this board, recovery is usually way slower than they tell you beforehand. I was sooo discouraged with my progress. you'll get better but it does take time. I couldn't lay on my back til like last week. no lie! I did have some setbacks (infection) and subsequent surgeries, but still, I think for what all you had done, it's not unusual for you to still have major pain issues. so sorry but hopefully day by day you'll get better and better.
  • Thanks for the info. My NS never really explained what he was gonna do prior to the surgery nor did he after the surgery. He's a really nice guy, but just didnt explain anything to me. He called me last week and had me come in to get a bone growth stimulator. We had never spoke about that before so was just curious why he decided to put me on it after six weeks. Sometimes the pain in my lower back is so severe that I literally feel as though i'm being crushed, I can feel it all the way into my abdomen and hips.
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  • Tj welcome to spine health and our little world of surgery ..
    There is post op stories getting posted by the day as I started a thread called Aug/Sept recovery thread. Your more then welcome to check that out to. Or even post there . Does not matter your surgery was in July.

    Very MAJOR surgery for anyone's body. Just always remember 1 person may feel awesome in 6 weeks. Others well it takes a bit longer. Any new pains or symptoms ALWAYS call your Dr to confirm what you should be doing.

    First off so sorry your having alot of pain.
    I remember all to well that "chrusing feeling" for awhile.

    Alot of times Drs will not explain afterwards etc.
    They will say " do you have any questions" most of the time I go away saying no. Then you get home and say " oh" "oops" "I" "what" "if" :O

    Just keep going by your drs orders. As you know walk, walk, walk. Until released for physical therapy. Walking promotes healing.
    That feeling standing up may or not be relieved by a brace.
    There are types that just wrap around your waist like I had before my surgery. It has velcro and strings to tighten. A peice of plastic right in the back area. To keep your posture up straighter and it does believe it or not help while walking plus (relieves some of that feeling of being crushed while standing)
    . The kind I have holds a ice pack in the back also.

    We are here for ya anytime you need us. As you know there is moderators. If you need guidense please contact one of them or us.
    I do not have the list in front of me. I know them all to well!! lol It is listed under their name.
    But mabye somewone will see this and well post all their names for ya!!

    GOOD LUCK!! :D
  • And the recovery always appears to take far longer than surgeon's tell you it's going to. In the scheme of things 6 weeks really isn't that long so I'm not surprised to hear that you are still in pain at this stage. As Terri said just keep going with your doctors advice and give your body time to heal. My last surgery wasn't even a fusion and it took me over a year to feel normal and still had a lot of pain up to 2 years post surgery. So hang in there, be patient and things WILL get better! Take care, Spicey
  • Oh, yes, I can relate - that crushing, everything settling down a little too much feeling upon getting up and out of bed - well, that's the way I describe mine. That first step in the morning is still a bit of a killer.

    I do feel that I am getting better every day though - we are close in surgery dates, and I too had a 2 level PLIF (although I had complications afterwards). You DID have a major surgery, you can really expect a long recovery. In fact, my pre-op nurse told me that only open heart surgery hurts more (I'm sure that is just her opinion - but I'm close to believing her after what I've been through).

    Good luck, and stay in touch here - it's great to compare notes.
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  • PLIF on July 28th. I am six weeks and can say every day is a challenge. I also had lamis & facetectomy's on all three levels. I was pretty bad before my surgery and got to the point of barely walking which I now attribute to the slow recovery. I feel fine when sitting/reclining or laying down (once I find my comfort zone), but standing up and walking is another story- after 5 minutes I feel as if I am seriously messed up. However each day is a little better.

    I found that if I use my lidocane patches and meds and grab one of my old braces I can hobble along for a longer period- maybe 10-20 minutes.

    tj- if your nerves were crushed it will take longer for those to re-grow and get back to your "new" normal. Try to be patient (easier said than done) :/ and stay positive.

    Good luck,

  • Bless you for not realising this was major stuff!

    You will see from th eboards that th erecovery will be slow. Just as the others say, walk, walk as much as you are able/comfortable in your pain levels.

    I have had a similar diagnosis, surgery and would suggest you take your time, get it right and try and avoid delaying your haeling and fusion by overdoing it...you'll soon see what I mean. Chill. You have the whole rest of your life to knacker your rods and screws once it has all healed.lol

    wishing you a good recovery
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