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8 Weeks Post-Op Experiencing Unusual Pain

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:23 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi Everyone,

On july 17, 2008 I had surgery to correct a powerlifting injury I sustained six months earlier. Just for the record I want to let you know that I am only 29 and prior to surgery would have considered myself to be in great physical shape.

I'll explain the operation as it was written on my operative record from the hospital. It states as follows: Laminectomy at L5-S1 level with hemilaminotomy of the patients right L4 with diskectomy at L4-L5, L5-S1, with anterior bone implant x1; each at L4-L5, L5-S1, with pedicle screws at L4-L5 and S1 bilateral with posterior instrumentation at that level with posterior lateral fusion using Allograft bone and Infuse at L-4, L5, and S-1 with reduction of spondylolisthesis.

So, now here I am 8 weeks after surgery and still at times feeling as though I am being broken in half almost like a crushing feeling that i can feel through my lower back, stomach and hips. This happens most while laying on my back or side and when I stand up.

Furthermore, when I stand there are times when I feel as if I could do back flips, but mostly it feels as though I can't fully extend my back and it takes my breath away, I actually can't breath for like 10 seconds when it does this. I spoke with my NS and he always says that my nerves were heavily damaged (crushed as he puts it) but this just seems different. My pain before surgery was no where near this bad!

I understand that this was a very major surgery and have alot of patience. I guess i just figured that do to my young age, being in good shape and the fact that I don't smoke and eat healthy I figured that my recovery would be much smoother. Also, two weeks ago my NS had me come in and he gave me a bone growth stimulator, is that a good thing? What do you all suggest?

I truly appreciate all your input and advice!


July 17, 2008: Laminectomy at L5-S1 level with hemilaminotomy of my right L4 with diskectomy at L4-L5, L5-S1, with anterior bone implant x1 each at L4-L5, L5-S1, with pedicle screws at L4, L5, and S1 bilateral with posterior instrumentation at that level with posterior lateral fusion using Allograft bone and Infuse at L4, L5, and S1 with reduction of spondylolysthesis.

Percocet 7.5/500, Lyrica 75mg x 2, flexeril 10mg


  • Ok first question:
    Your body is going to feel much different after this surgery. I had that feeling for awhile I cannot give a exact time frame as my surgery was last Sept of 07.
    Everytime I showered etc. Or went to get up from a sleeping position I felt as though my body would want to "cave in"
    A velcro back brace helped with that issue for myself.

    Your right it is like your back does not extend fully. At fist I had to read that twice ;) Thought you meant you could not extend meaning "backwards" but realize you meant when standing like you cannot "stand up straight" or "lay back straight" and your spine "feels" like it is getting pushed in.. "my version" ;)

    This surgery does take a LONG TIME your still at the 2 month mark and from most "stories" it takes up to the 3 month mark to feel a difference. That was my "majic" marker point.

    I'm finding in more articles I read etc. That ya know you can be as healthy as a horse and still recover slowly.
    Yes I will not lie there has been some on the "old site" here and there that have bounced back quickly.
    But your going to have 1 good day to 3 bad days. Not a great ratio but hey. It has happened to all of us.

    Keep up your awesome walking like you have been. Let those muscles and nerves re-genarate themselves which can take awhile.

    If the pain becomes to intense. Or it is something new to you call your Dr with any questions.

    As for the bone stim. There are "threads on here explaining the use of it" how it works etc.
    Just type it in the "search" at the top of the page.

    I am also asking for one as I do not want the type that is implanted.
    As far as I know it just promotes bone growth. Not anything to do with the nerves or muscles "related" to being cut.

    Hang in there!!! I hope I helped just a little bit from my own "personal experience"

  • you have had a PLIF L4-S1 fusion. (PLIF being the entry from the back).
    Are you trying to extend your back further then just standing straight as I would have thought this was something to be avoided till a bit later.
    Yes it is a major surgery and these things take time to heal but I understand it is very hard especially if you have previously been fit and healthy.
    Are you doing your core stability exercises? I am sure you know these if you've been a weight lifter.

    I have to say I haven't heard of similar problems but that doesn't mean anything and you also need to keep at your Surgeon if you are not happy. Dont accept him saying "well it could be," if you are in pain then insist on getting a scan or an X-ray.
    Also remember too that if you have a lot of muscle that it weighs more then fat etc so maybe it is the fact that your upper body is too heavy in proportion to your lumber region.
    Are you wearing a brace?? Some do some dont and it is up to the Dr.

    I am only guessing here and giving you some ideas but like us all here I am not a Dr, just giving you some things to think about.
    Keep posting and hopefully someone can give you a better answer.

    Blessings Sara O:)
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  • Hiya,
    When you have the type of surgery that you have gone through, your body goes into trauma, it takes time for everything to settle back down. Take each day as it comes. Its like teri says if the pain does get to intense call your doctor. Good luck and Get Well Soon! >:D<

    Angie x
  • the bone stim myself after surgery. You wear it on your belt and the patches have adhesive and stick on your back an inch or so to the side of the incision. No pain whatsoever FROM the stim. It just promotes bone growth as someone said. Supposed to help with fusion process. Good luck.
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