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Is this the norm for 6 mths post op...

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:25 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I was having a string of great days...walking, doing exercises, light shopping etc. However, 3 wks ago I made the fatal mistake of having lunch with a friend. I lost track of time and had been sitting 3 1/2 hrs....it got me the next day !! It took 10 days to get through that one and ever since, I can't sit too long.
Last night I went to a parent meeting. It was 3 hrs. long. Took my cushions, it was a straight chair, got up every 20 min. or so. There wasn't a place I could really walk around but I'd pace a few steps back n forth behind my chair, stand and then sit down again.
Today, when I sit, it feels like my tailbone is being shoved up my back. I'm pretty uncomfortable. Are you all still dealing with this?
Do I quit trying to sit or just keep going and it will become better with time???


  • I don't really know what "normal" is - but hope you will get replies from some who have reached/passed the 6 month point. I do know that at not quite 4 months I still get sore if I sit too long. My upper back weems to get really tired and sore, too. And I will think I am doing great - doing PT, walking, light housework and light shopping for several days and then whammo - I wake up so tired I don't want to do anything. I take it easy for a day or two and then I feel pretty good again. So frustrating!

    So, I will watch with interest to see what others experience with the sitting thing!

  • I had a spinal fusion in the lower lumbar back in April. I feel so good somedays that I think that I am healed. then I have my bad days because I do too much. My surgeon said that I need to treat my body as if it is still in alot of pain. As if I still have the pain from the surgery. Its hard when you feel so much better. Yes, I do get the same pain as you when I sit too long but I also feel it in my legs from all the nerve repair that they did. I went in for my 6 month and my surgeon said to come back in another 6 months. I was so disappointed. I wanted to hear that I was fused and that I can now pick up my 4 year old daughter and swing her around. That I can play with my 9 month old grandson without any worry. But yes, 6 months is not long enough to heal and so like my surgeon said, treat your body as if it is still in pain and follow all the rules from the first day of healing until otherwise told by your doctor. I still cannot lift more than 10 pounds, still cannot twist, or bend. I will listen to these rules until he says otherwise because there is no way that they are getting me back under the knife.
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  • yep, sounds like we are similar. When you have your 'bad' days, does it take a few days to turn around? I've heard ppl say they rest a day and are back at it, but it takes me many days.
    I'm glad you both answered. I wasn't sure if, at 6 months post op, we post here or in 'recovery' but this forum seems to have the most views.
    Can anybody tell me when sitting for a whole movie becomes tolerable? Gives me an approximate time line. Thanks.
  • I know it was not the purpose of this thread but ya'll have made me feel so much better! I keep thinking I should be able to do so much more - for example, that 30 - 45 minutes of shopping (including trying on stuff) after PT (1 hour plus in the pool) and out to lunch should not make me so tired. But it does. Anyway, if I do too much for several days in a row it does take me a couple of days to recover. I HATE it! There is so much I want to do and I just run out of energy and get downright shaky and almost lightheaded if I overdo. Not to mention achy. Pain meds make me exhausted and sick so I have not taken those since about week 3 post-op. So on my "bad" days I spend lots of time with my microwave "bed buddy" or ice packs. Do you still take pain meds of any kind?

    I know this recovery is long and slow but I am so tired of feeling like an invalid. Oh well, not much choice there so I guess I will have to just "pull up my big girl panties and deal with it".

    Carol, I hope sitting gets easier for you soon! By the way, I did not know there was a "recovery" forum???
  • we all seem to be on the same path. I work all day, pick up my daughter from daycare, give her a bath, clean the house, make dinner, and hope to make it to bed by 10. Just to wake up and do it again the next day. On the weekends, my older kids come over with my grandkids and of course mom has to cook and clean for them so I get no rest for the weekend. usually by Sunday night I am on the recliner not able to get up but I have to make it to work the next day so I fight through it. I stopped taking my meds a few weeks after surgery as well so I take a motrin every now and then. 7 months and hoping that it will be over soon.
    As far as watching movies. I haven't been to a movie theater in years. Can't handle sitting that long. I watch them at home and stand up every now and then through it.
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  • megb,
    I go days without taking anything except valium, and a very low dose at that, for sleep and relaxation. Then I'll hit a 'flare up' and have to rotate Vicodin and Motrin for a few days, then slowly back out of the Vicodin and then I'm off meds for a week and then it will start again. I'm thinking that the time inbetween flare ups should get longer, flare ups should last less days and time between meds get longer but I'm looking for confirmation from someone whose gone through it, to verify it.
    Honey, we need to shop together, at least then we could 'race' through the store before we wear out, eat lunch fast, before our bumms act up, do our PT nice and easy so we don't fire up anything and go on a walk. Then at least we'd feel normal with one another. lol!
  • I hope at 7 months I can do as much as you, dcarter! It sounds exhausting to me.

    Carol, I so wanted to do real shopping for Christmas but I guess the Internet will have to do. It really does seem much more expensive that way for some reason - I guess it is just too easy to "click" and order.

    One day I wanted/needed to get lots of different things so I went to Walmart and got one of the motorized scooters. It ran out of battery charge before I finished - I guess they don't expect you to shop for 2 hours! But those are hard to negotiate - every time I tried to back up I crashed into something. Thank goodness I went at a time not many people were there. I have newfound respect for the people who have to use them all the time!

    My surgeon still has me on the "no ibuprofen" restriction. Have ya'll both fused or did your docs allow ibuprofen?
  • Hi Everyone:

    I had a TLIF about 14 months ago. I think every situation is different, but it does get better with time. One thing that is very true for me, whether you are sitting, working, whatever you are doing...if you overdo it you will know it. This surgery takes a long time to recover from. I have had a smooth recovery, but it has been a long recovery. You have to be patient and give your body time to heal.

  • I'm 2/3 the way fused and he said to take Motrin but it scares me....I sure don't want to stop fusing. I was hoping someone here would have a firm answer on that. When I have sat to long and get that burning and swollen feeling, the motrin helps a ton!
  • I am 9 months out and still have a great deal of trouble sitting. I have had the same type of setback you described whenever I have to sit for more than an hour, even an hour and a half kills me - just try to avoid it when at all possible. For me personally sitting tolerance seems to be the slowest to improve.
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