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Hopeful update

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:24 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Thanks for all the post. I am now at 11 weeks post op from L5/S1 fusion. I have been going to PT about 4 weeks. PT told me that he did not think I was progressing as well as he thought and said i needed to visit the doctor. Doctor says that I am doing fine. The xrays look good. He did not even look at my PT's notes though. I am still having alot of muscles spasms when i lay down or get up from laying position. It is the worst after laying on my stomach to get ice during PT. Brings me to tears. When will these spasms stop? I hope that once I get my muscles back in shape that they will stop. I still have numbness in my foot. Doc says this could take a long time to go away. He said that I will not feel like myself again for about a year. Anyone else find that to be true? or does anyone else have these same muscle spasms? I guess they are spasms. They feel like something is contracting across my lower back and somehow hitting my nerve and take my breath away. Usually they only last for a moment. I tried to take the Neuroton (sp) but it did not help at all. Doctor changed my muscle relaxer to Soma and have been taking that before bed. It seems to have helped. Daytime endurance has been better, but nights getting to me.


  • welcome to spine health.
    sorry your having so many problems.
    first off your early out only 2 and 1/2 months.
    i did not start feeling normal till about the 4th month. things started turning around.
    i of course was not offered PT for my back so i cannot give you advice for that one.
    if your dr thinks everything is good thats the one to listen to.
    pt's are always going to have different opinions.
    how many times do you go a week??
    mabye you can cut back if its causing so many spasms??

    were you in a brace at all?? if you were all those core muscles were stuck in that brace and they are getting a wake up call with the PT. so that will take awhile to get back to norm.

    im not a good one to talk about the year thing as i did not fuse. but we have many here who have. and are back to their normal life. i do not think we will ever live without back pain. but lessened yes!!

    i am 4 wks post op from a revision and i aksed about the numbness. at first at 2wks they said it was normal. when i mentioned it again. he said if it did not go away and it became bothersome to me we could do a mylogram. they inject a needle into your back with contrast dye and do a CT scan.
    to see if there is a nerve being pinched somewhere.
    did you have the numbness before surgery???

    as you will read on here some people it goes away, some it doesn't . its pretty much a card game with back surgery.

    i just want you to know that we are here to support you in anyway we can.

    i imagine someone will be coming along soon that is going through your type of issues ...

    hang in there
    terri O:)
  • Hi Hopeful, our surgery dates must be close cause I am 10+ weeks now PLIF L4-5. I have a constant feeling of tightness in my low back that increases with movement. I am thinking it is the hardware. I have read of people here who feel as if their muscle gets hung up on their hardware with certain movements, perhaps what you are feeling is hardware related. My surgeon said the tightness will eventually go away.

    I started PT 2 weeks ago and it has agravated my SI joints to no end. It is a burning pain and tender to touch as well. It is frustrating me cause I need to go back to work soon. I did just also get out of my brace, and yep, Terri is right, those muscles are angry for the workout they are now getting. Perhaps at PT you can lay on the ice rather than on your stomach, this is how they ice me at my PT. This surgery is a long haul for sure, so hang in there and keep in touch. >:D< Cali-Sue
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  • I hope the soma helps with the back spasms. I think neurotonin is more for sciatica. I take flexeril for a muscle relaxant and helps muscle contractions. I haven't had surgery though, but hope you find some pain relief soon. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I had anterior/posterior fusion, etc etc at L4/5 July 21/23 - yours must have been about that same time? I still get some muscle spasms - especially if I have done some new exercise/movement or get really tired. Is the numbness in your foot constant or does it come and go? With the spasms I get slight numbness in my foot that goes away when the muscles relax.

    I wonder if lying on your stomach is part of the problem - I do not find that comfortable since surgery. Also, when my husband has iced my back for me there are certain spots near the posterior incision that when rubbed with the ice seem to be very tender - I feel the pain or sensation all the way to my toes. Don't know how your PT is doing the ice but I wonder if there is too much pressure. Also, wonder about what Terri mentionned - is the PT too frequent or too rigorous for you? Why does the PT think you are not progressing suitably?

    My first round of PT - that started at 4 weeks post-op - was interrupted by another little illness. However, it was in the pool and was quite gentle. I am starting Tuesday with a different therapist - I think this will be a bit more demanding and I am concerned about how much I am going to hurt. Pain meds make me so sick that I have to just touch it out with ice and heat when my muscles tighten up or ache so I hate to get too sore.

    I hope things get better for you soon!

  • Hi hopeful, I can relate to what you are saying. My advice would be to try the moist heat at PT and ask to lie on your back. It helped me when they switched to the heat from the cold packs. At 14 weeks I still have the tight griping feeling and pain. I am hoping it goes away soon. Lots of times the only thing that helps me is laying on the floor on my back (on blankets) while I wait for my percocet to kick in. The perc makes me nauseous but I can deal with the nausea better than the pain. I'm sorry you are hurting too.

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  • I have been taking the Soma at night and it seems to help with the spasms. My last PT was Friday and I was fine until they put me on my stomach. I am going to ask that he not put ice on me that way. I have done my excercises some this weekend, but wanted to see if I cut down would I feel better. My pain is really isolated to my pelvic bone and hip right now, but it is constant. I laid on my stomach yesterday for the first time for about 5 to 10 mintutes and was in tears trying to get it. The pain lasted at least 20 minutes. It seems like my bones move or try to move in a way that my pelvic area doesn't want them to go. I am beginning to wonder if that is my whole problem right now. Long before any surgeries, a massage therapist once told me that my hips roll opposite of most peoples and that she had only worked on 2 people that had that in all the years she was working. I thought that was kinda strange. I did say something to the NS before he did this last surgery and he just kinda dismissed it. He told me to walk down the hall as he watched and said "Oh, you'll be fine". Not so sure now. Maybe my bone structure is getting in the way. If they have put screws in my back to fix it straight and I was born to be completely straight. ??? Anyway, long story shortened some. My pain is now in my left hip/pelvic area to the left of my pain. It is sore all the time and feels like stabbing pain plus really sore to touch. I just read something on this site about infection. I sure hope that is not the reason. I am not having any fever, so I guess I am good with that though. Don't know of any other symptoms you would get besides fever for that. Any advice on the bone thing? My husband says he thinks that maybe I should see a Ortheopdeic doc. They may actually care about the bone workings not just the surgery being successful. I had a ortho do the first disc surgery and had the full herniation after that. I decided to use a NS because of the numbness. Rethinking that decision at this point.
  • Hopeful, is your pain in the front of your pelvic area or the back? Could it be the sacraliliac joint? Also how do you get up from lying on your stomach? Have you tried log-rolling over onto your side, then getting up like you do when on your back?

    I am concerned when you mentioned in another post that the PT had you arching your back :O . That just seems a bit much to me. I am in PT and have not done anything like that. I do have some prone exercises. They are glute squeezes and lifting each leg up one at a time with knee bent, 10 on each side(these are soooo hard #:S ).

    Yep, ask to lay on your ice pack. It is much better that way. Good-luck, >:D< Cali-Sue
  • My pain is in the back of my pelvic and runs into my hip. Yesterday at PT he did not have me on my stomach at all, but wasn't too happy about it. He did say that laying on my stomach and pushing up with my arms to an arch was going to heal me the best, but I just wasn't ready for it. He is trying to get me more flexible at this point. And then maybe start me back working on directional excercises. I am having hamstring pain this morning.My leg actually feels like it did when my back was ruptured. Just like a hamstring pull. My muscles around my whole left butt cheek, hip and pelvic area are really sore today. I did have an xray last week and the doctor said it looked good and did not say anything about a diffferent disk showing any problems. I am guessing that it would have shown up on the xray if there was.

    When on my stomach, I usually just gradually turn my body with my arms until my legs are off the bed. Then I push up with my arms. When I finally get up it's like my back will not hold me up. It hurts tremendously. It takes a few minutes with someone ususally holding me for me to be able to walk. I have not tried rolling to side, but I get spasms when I am on my side too. I just really don't understand why I am having so much pain transitioning.
  • Hi Hopeful, it kinda sounds like what I am having. Mine starts right where the sacrum attaches to the hip. It is a burning pain that radiates into my butt cheek and sometimes down my hamstring. This whole area is sore to touch on both sides. I had a similar pain immediately post-op, but everything hurt back then. It had all settled down until I started PT. At PT I do heat, pelvic tilts, bridges,knee pushes, hamstring stretch, leg raises, bike, arm bike, swiss ball-pelvic tilts and marching, leg press, glute squeezes, and leg lifts while prone, ending in ice. So I have no idea which of these caused it or if it is a combination of it all. I thought it was SI joint inflammation and muscle pain, but it is not going away. I have been in PT for 3 weeks now. I am almost wondering if I should never have done the PT. My surgeon gave me my choice to do it or not. I thought it would help me get stronger, but so far I just feel in more pain.

    Well, I sure hope we both feel better soon and our PT starts paying off instead of causing pain. >:D< Sue
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