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2 years post-op PLIF L5/S1

stevebssteveb Posts: 95
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:25 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
It's been a while since I have been to this site, so I thought I would post a short update.

I had PLIF on L5/S1 in October of 06'. Things went well and I progressed very well. The one year mark is where I felt I had completely recovered, and for the most part I had.

Fast forward to 2 years post-op, and I am 100% healed. I think I will always have some sort of back pain, muscular mainly, but it will be there. I just finished my racing season on my mountain bike and I finished 2nd over all in the series in my age group (40 to 44). It was nice to be competing again since I hadn't since the fall of 2005.

I tried to officiate hockey last season, but it was just too painful so I threw all of my gear in the dumpster so I wouldn't be tempted to skate again this season. For those that don't know me here, and I know there are a lot, I used to officiate pro hockey, then my back went out and I had to hang up the skates. So, no more skating for me. It's just not good on my back, or anyones for that matter.

I tried to play golf this summer, but it didn't work out real well. I think the problem was I just jumped right in and palyed 18 holes in a tournament. My back was killing me by the 10th hole, but I finished anyways. I was hurting for about two weeks after that. I realized that if I had gone to the driving range a couple times, then played 9 holes a couple of times and then hit 18, I probably would have been fine. But, I just don't really want to play that much anymore, so I did the one time thing, and payed for it.

All-in-all, I would say I am back to normal activities, but there are some things I can't do anymore. Those things tthough are things that most poeple don't do anyways, so now I am just normal, which I am OK with.

If anyone has any questions or want to speak with someone that has had a successfull outcome from this horrible surgery, please feel free to PM me. I will check back to this site periodically.

BTW, I have been a member of this forum since the winter of 05/06.


  • Steve, thanks for the update, I hope I do as well as you! I am almost a month out of ALIF/PLIF surgery. Artificial disc through the front and hardwear through the back. I feel so good I just cannot sit down for long. I will try and learn from your lessons about doing to much stuff. I had to sell my motorcycle because it hurt to go over bumps before surgery and we'll see if I get another one. I want to be myself again and skate too but as you said, some things we just should not be doing. I love hockey but since moving from Chicago to the Green Bay, Wisconsin area I don't get to go that often unless it's the local team playing next to Lambeau Field. Ever since they moved the stadium in Chicago it just didn't feel the same; you know, the pipe organ and stuff. Besides that my husband doesn't like hockey as much as I do. Well good luck too you and thanks for the update. Merry Christmas to you!
  • Great to hear of success stories, thank you so much for comeing back and sharing, woohoo, thank you , thank you
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  • What a wonderful thing to here such positive news. I long to know what happens to those that go on after a few months. At 6 months out, I find myself impatient. Just to read your timeline and what you are capable of is SUCH A WONDERFUL motivator to help us over the hump....thank you!!!!
  • Congratulations on your successful recovery <:P I do agree that we sometimes have to change what our normal is with these surgeries, but to be nearly painfree, it is worth it. A new normal is much better than the old pain. >:D< Sue
  • hi Steve i had a PLIF L4 L5 S1 nearly 2 years ago in february.I still suffer sore hips and now and then the middle of my back flares up, did you suffer any hip pain?
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  • Hi riversider!
    May I ask how long your midback flares up for? I ask because my flare ups tend to last about 10 days from start to back to mostly normal. Everyone else seems to only flare up for a day or two??
  • I'm so glad you had the relief intended!! Thanks for sharing so people can see both sides of the story!! I think sometimes the people who have great results go on with their life and aren't found posting on health boards. Gives kind of a one-sided view.


  • SteveB -

    How great to hear from you and better yet to hear how well you are doing. It gives me hope that Chris may still get through this ordeal and get his life back. he's now 8 months out from a L2-5 instrumented fusiion w/ L4-5 TLIF. Recovery has been a roller coaster. I keep hoping he'll turn the cormer soon.

  • Thanks you so much for paosting this and giving us all some encouragement.
    And congratulations on coming 2nd in your cycling event. Mountain cycling must be pretty hard.

    It would be really interesting to read of your progress, any hiccups you had along the way, did you have a brace, when you started PT etc. If you ahve the time it would be really encouraging to see a time-line.

    Blessings Sara O:)
  • hi carol,my back flares up for a few days especially after i have been standing for too long or been bending over doing diy.I have to ease it with a hot water bottle,i have not tried ice though, maybe that would be better.

    Hope you are feeling better
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