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Pain several months post lumbar fusion

marirlpnmmarirlpn Posts: 1,028
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:25 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had posterior fusion of L4/5 with instrumentation 7/2/08. I am still having moderate pain and stiffness in the lumbar area. Is this common?


  • I had my anterior discectomy fusion l5 s1 on 7/1/08 and I still am in a lot of pain in lower back, down butt, legs and now I have tingling and numbness in legs I didn't have before. Not to scare you but just wanted you to know that I feel your pain, literally. Normal? I don't think it is but I've never had surgery. What does your surgeon say? Were you given a time frame when you would feel good and able to work? My doc was very optimistic and said he had people on their feet and back to work in 2 weeks after this surgery. I have no idea how they did this. They must not be human. I guess they were really fit before surgery though. Mine pain pre-op limited my physical activity therefore, adding 60# in a little over a year.

    I wish the best of luck and feel free to PM anytime and we can share questions, experiences or just be there for support.
  • }:) I had a 4/5 fusion (360 with instrumentation) april 2007. I was off work 3 weeks (I am an athlete and was in superb shape and I could barely shuffle the first few days I was home). It is a long recovery. I went back to work after 3 weeks since I had no other choice financially. I was on darvocet for the pain. I don't remember how long the pain lasted but I was stiff and uncomfortable for quite awhile. The recovery, I was told by my doctor, was 12-18 months. I can't tell you how long I was in pain from the surgery, but it did eventually go away. You need to be patient. It is a major surgery. Good luck!!


    14 surgeries, including L4/L5 laminectomony; L4/L5 360 degree fusion with instrumentation; L1-L5 fusion with bone graft from hip; PT; prolotherapy; accupuncture; numerous cortisone injections and rhizotomies.
    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
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  • It is common to have pain for months after this type of surgery, but people's recovery time differ from one another. We may have similar conditions but our healing rates and physical state vary. I had a TLIF/Laminectomy with instrumentation six months ago on L4-S1 and my pain never improved. It is very painful and I take strong medications to make the pain bearable. I haven't been able to do the things I did before I first experienced the herniation and sciatica and it's going on 2 years now. I have been thru everything, including injections, PT, microdiscectomy, pain mgt, and this last fusion.
    I hope you'll have a good outcome from all of this, and welcome to SH.
  • Hi Ming,

    Thank you for your response. My neurosurgeon tells me that I will always have back pain, guaranteed. He is vague about any improvement. I see him again next month. He told me it would take about a year for me to realize the fullest recovery I can expect.

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