I'm 2.5 weeks post op ALIF/PLIF and most of my pain is gone. I still take Percocet, but I was on it 6 months before surgery, too... So my body has built up much of a tolerance. My sciatica is gone, my foot numbness is gone, my foot weakness is gone... My shooting back pain is gone. I can do pretty much anything and everything for myself aside from lifting heavy things. I drive, I walk lots, I sit, I do bend sometimes, but mostly squat. I have SOME aching and soreness, but usually at night, and usually only if I do a lot. I already feel better than I did before surgery. I feel pretty good, actually. Granted, I wear a soft velcro brace all day every day, the only time I don't is when I'm showering or sleeping. But my pain isn't bad. I could live the rest of my life like this if I had to. But honestly, I think a lot of it is just that I think positive. I know this acheyness and soreness will go away over time. My incision in the front still hurts when I cough or sneeze, but that will go away, too. I had that after my c-section with my son. I basically feel pretty good. I feel.... 6 months post op. Not 2.5 weeks post op. I really think it depends on the person, and weighing the pros/cons before surgery. My surgeon was soooo happy to see how well I was doing at my appt on Friday. She said "we were trying to avoid this because of your age, but obviously it was the right thing to do"... And it was. Everybody told me no, not to do it, I'd be worse afterwards, that I'm too young, that it was a bad decision.. But I laugh at those people now (they were people who don't have back problems) because I have never been happier. I am doing my hair every day, my make up, wearing nicer clothes, wanting to go out all the time.... I guess maybe I don't know... Am I getting ahead of myself? Should I be prepared for things to go downhill? Am I doing myself a disservice? My view I guess is that I am one of the people whose problems really WERE due to the disc and disc space, and one of the people that surgery really WAS indicated for, and for the RIGHT reasons, and that's why I feel so much better now... Is that logical?
And also, I was told by my surgeon that about 80 percent of people with disc problems at one time will have more in the future. I also know that with a fusion your surrounding discs end up under more stress than before from the lack of motion at that point. Should I prepare myself for more back issues? I am only 22.... I plan on (God willing) living for quite a few more decades.... And my original issue was due to wear and tear, not an injury. I also have a small herniation at T11-T12. Should I understand there is a good chance I will end up with more back problems by the time I am, say, 70? Right now I am hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst. Does that sound reasonable?
I guess I just want to know if I need a reality check..... Any input at all would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance