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Newbie with question

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:25 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I'm a newbie here. This is my first post. I'm 9 weeks post-op L3-S1 fusion & discectomy (sorry, I don't know all the abbreviations). I have a LOT of heaviness in my pelvic area and thighs. Plus pain in my left butt cheek. Is this normal? I am also in a lot of pain when I try to walk very far. I am supposed to return to work on Dec. 16 (at 12 weeks post-op) but I am wondering if that is reasonable given how much I have to walk and be on my feet as a 2nd grade teacher. Any input would be greatly appreciated!


  • I haven't had surgery yet, but I am sure that there are a lot of people here that can help you out ;) .

    Maybe a call to the doctor would be a good idea? Nice to meet you :H .
  • Welcome to SH. Did you have bone taken from your hip for the fusion or was it a donor? Where is your incision? In the front or back? Nine weeks is still very early in the recovery process regardless of which surgery you had. Have you had any physical therapy? I only had one level fused and I know I couldn't have gone back to work at the 3-month mark. But...we all recover differently. When is your next appt. with your surgeon?
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  • Robin, you had a very huge surgery! 3 levels is a lot to recover from. I had only one level L4-5 and I just went back to work at 15 1/2 weeks post-op. I am a RN in post-partum working 12 hour shifts. It is very tiring, but I am doing okay. I think if I had more levels, I definitely would not be back to work yet. We have many teachers who post here on SH. Some have gone back to work in 3 months, others not for 9 months. Everyone is different. If you are questioning your readiness, you are probably not ready.

    Have you had PT? My NS sent me to work-hardening PT. It was meant to build my stamina and strengthen me for returning to work. I think it helped a lot. I went for 6 weeks before returning to work. I also have been doing pool therapy since 4 weeks post-op, and I think this has helped a lot also.

    Hopefully some teachers will come along and tell you their experiences with returning to work. It is better not to go back too soon, as it could put you at risk for further injury in my opinion. Good-luck to you, >:D< Cali-Sue
  • I also had L3-S1 and I can tell you now that there was no way I would have been back at work at 3 months.
    I also had correction to scoliosis,but even taking that into concideration it is way too early for me.
    I was done in May and still have some pain though some days are better then others.
    Walk as much as you can even if it means doing a lot of short walks. I was really pushing it to do 1 big walk a day and I do think that set me back.
    As Cali-Sue said it is a big op and you have to give yourself time to recover and yes if you are doubting being ready then you are not.
    Did you have a brace?
    I hope things settle for you soon. Try the PT & aquatherapy as they really do make a difference.
    Blessings Sara O:)
  • Thanks for your replies! The bone was taken from my hip and the surgery was done posteriorly. My incision runs from my waist all the way down. I have been to PT, but honestly, it seems to make the pain worse, so I have not been for 2 weeks now although I am faithfully doing the exercises at home. I'm also working on the recumbent bike, which the doctor advised was OK. On my 3rd post-op visit, he suggested I do the aquatherapy, but I have not been for that yet. I did not have a brace, as my orthopedic surgeon does not use them. I have hardware. It hurts like h*** to walk any distance at all; I got "stuck" in Walmart & had to call the hubby on my cell phone, as he was in another part of the store. I seriously cannot imagine going back to work right now, so I think you guys are right about knowing I am not ready.

    I also had an anterior cervical fusion, C3-C5, back in 1999. Lately, I have had similar burning pain in my back as the stuff I felt before the ACF. The OS took x-rays & said the disc below the fusion is "shot." He also advises that surgery will involve removing my hardware in that area & there's nothing wrong with it. Does anyone have any experience with hardware being removed?

    Thanks for all your help!
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  • My Physio insisted that I take an Endone (same as percot?) before session with her. It really made a difference even though it was not easy.
    Try to get to aquatherapy as it is heaven. Even jsut to float on the water is wonderful!
    Blessings Sara O:)
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