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Back pain after surgery x2

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:24 AM in New Member Introductions
I've never posted anything online before, but I have read a lot of message boards concerning my problem.I am in my mid- forties and started experiencing hip pain during the summer of 2006. I just assumed that I had pulled something while playing tennis, working in the yard, etc. The pain increased and I visited my dr. He checked me out and felt I had bursitis in my hip. He prescribed motrin and I had an xray taken of my hip and low back. I had a follow up appointment in 6 weeks. Well, during the six weeks I started having trouble walking and the pain was becoming worse. I visited a friend that is a chiropractor and he helped relieve some of the pain, but not all. He advised me to get an MRI because felt I might have some disk issues. My Dr. agreed and so I had one done. They immediately called with results. I had spondilolythesis,bulging discs, and impinged nerves in the areas of L4, L5, SI. I was immediately referred to a neurosurgeon. We started with epidural injections. The first one helped for about 2 weeks. The second one did nothing. Then I had physical therapy for 6 weeks. That only made things worse. I had an AXIL lift and fusion, April 2007.
Long recovery!I went back to work in August. I teach school. Thought going back to work would make me feel better. Boy, was I wrong. I went from bad to worse. The pain was severe and I was on meds. But you can't teach school on pain killers, and besides they never really killed the pain.I had pain in both hips, buttocks, and it ran down to my toes. I went through another round of physical therapy. Still no improvement. My family doctor recommeneded I see the neuro again. But he said be prepared, he will probably tell you nothings wrong. So I had another MRI on Feb. 13, 2008, saw the neuro on Valentines day. Thank goodness something showed up on the MRI. L4 did not fuse, so this wasn't all in my head. (Yes, they said I was deperessed and not dealing with the pain, allowing myself time to recover etc.) I went back in for surgery again in April of 2008. I teach school and I went to school everyday in pain, but I had to do something. Testing week usually the middle of April so I tried to get through that so my students will do well. I am improved from the surgery, but I am still in pain. I am constantly exhausted. I have been in physical therapy again for about 8 weeks now. I did go back to work in August. I moved to middle school because of my physical limitations. I can't bend, lift,push, or pull. I have trouble walking long distances, getting in and out of the car, I can't sit or stand for long periods, you get the idea. Yes, I'm taking some pain meds, but they really don't work. I'm really not sure what to do anymore.I go to work everyday but I'm exhausted. I can't even go grocery shopping by myself. I'm trying to decide if its physical or mental exhaustion I'm feeling. By the way I have 2 young kids and a husband. They are helpful, but I think they are tired of dealing with me. The doctors and therapist keep telling me to give it more time to heal. Well, what am I supposed to do in the meantime? Of course I haven't given you every detail about my situation, but if you are going through this you probably understand. Thanks for listening. Any advice?


  • :) Hi and welcome to the forum! we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. i am sorry you are having more than than you feel you should have during recovery. everyone varies in recovery and it can take time to get our bodies back to where they were before. some pain is still to be anticipated as wounds heal and body parts shift!lol! anyway, call your doctor if you are worried. he wants to know how you are doing. put all your effort into your pt and do your homework. you will turn the corner soon i hope. good luck and keep us posted. there is a good read on successful surgeries in the "Good News" section. Jenny :)
  • I wonder if you went back to work too soon? A couple of friends who are also teachers went back part time in August after early March fusions and will go full-time at semester. (They were both off of pain meds and walking about 5 miles at day went they went back full-time if that gives you any sense of how they were feeling upon return.) Of course, everyone is different but it might be something to consider. Is part-time an option for you?
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  • I'm going to make an appointment with my neuro and see what he has to say about my situation. My family doctor felt that I returned to work too soon after my first surgery. I haven't visited with him since my second one. I haven't asked if part-time is an option. I wish I could walk one mile! Thanks for the quick responses. I guess I just need to have more patience.
  • Hi and Welcome.

    Your story sounds similar to mine.
    I went back to work after my 1st op at 16 weeks, part time.At that time I was walking 6 miles a day and swimming a mile 3x week. I felt great.
    In reality, pressures of performing at work etc, within 4 weeks (20 weeks post op) I was full time. I found it very difficult to verbilise my difficulties as I felt it was a failure on 2 fronts - surgery and work.
    After another 4 weeks or so I went back to see my surgeon almost on my knees by this time who insisted a more sedentary role for at least 3 months more. I ended up off sick again and haven't been back (yet.)

    Lots of tears. But I realise that actually, it is better to get me sorted now, even if it takes 2 years than go back and ruin my back for the rest of my life.
    I too have young children.

    The work thing will have to wait.

    Who and what am I trying to prove? It took me a while but to harm the surgery seemed madness.
    I was turned down promotion becos of my back and even an easier job as well.
    Do you have a disability help centre or someone/agency that can help mediate a mid-line "part-time" work pattern for you as you "rehab" back to work??
    We have these schemes in UK and laws to protect us. You must have something too??

    Good Luck
  • Seems like everybody is continually telling me I need to have more patience with my recovery - but it is so hard, isn't it? Easy to say, but with such long recoveries it really feels like I/we ARE being patient - just not patient enough, I guess. My family doctor keeps reminding me the time line is 2 years for complete recovery. Ugh!

    Left hip pain - originally diagnosed as bursitis - was really what led me to surgery, too. It started out being kind of intermittent then escalated to happening every time I walked too much. Then it was every time I walked even in the grocery store. One night I woke up with horrible hip pain that radiated down my leg and would not go away. Diagnosed with severe spondylolisthesis, etc so had surgery. Still have some left and occasionally, right hip pain when I walk much but more dull rather than the sharp pain prior to surgery. Weekly ultrasound and daily ice and heat seem to help tremendously as I can't really take pain meds because they make me so sick. The surgeon says it will get better as time goes on and it has.

    Do check with your doc and see if you need to give your recovery a bit more time!
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  • back brace may help you. I had failed surgery last year. My doc sent me to an orthotics to be fitted for a good lumbo sacral back brace and it has been a life saver for me. It really helps to keep my spine stable and reminds me not to bend or twist. It is really not all that uncomfortable once you get used to it. I don't know if this would help you or not but I figured that it was worth suggesting.
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