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6 week L4-L5 fusion follow up with 1st x-rays

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,321
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:28 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had my 6 week follow up with the NS this morning with my first set of x-rays...boy, those screws surely do look long.
He said that everything looked really good and I'm fusing on schedule. He lifted my weight and BLT restrictions, and said that I just need to use common sense when doing things...my main concern now would be pulling a muscle and that the fusion area would need some major trauma to affect at this stage. I will start PT next week at three times per week for a month and meet with him in another six weeks for more x-rays. Said to continue to use my bone stimulator. He said that if all looks good at that time then he should release me for work...thanks for everyone's support


  • Scinmyheart- That is great news. It is so comforting to know that you are right on schedule. It is good to read good news. I am sure if you do as directed you will do great.

    How do you feel?
  • Scinmyheart, that news is good. I am about to have a fusion done next week and I'm glad to hear about your results thus far. Keep it up. I am a bit nervous about the recovery myself.
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  • Great to hear you are right on track! I am 2 weeks behind you - I have my 6 week post op (first time seeing my surgeon since my surgery!) exactly 2 weeks from tomorrow, at which time I will have x-rays done to see if my L5-S1 are beginning to fuse.

    I know every situation is different, everyone heals differently. For example, I am not using a bone growth stimulator myself. I am hoping to go back to work within a week or two of my follow up appointment, my energy level has been getting better and better each week and I'm walking 2+ miles a day. I guess I'll need to discuss the work situation at my appointment, I have a desk job.
    How are you getting on with walking, how's your energy level at the end of the day?
    Jan 2009 L5-S1 ALIF
    May 2017 ALIF L4-L5 with PLF rods added L4-L5-S1
  • but I do a little over a mile per day. My motivation varies from day to day...I am "hooked" on laying my a** in bed watching the western channel...man, what a life...if only the lottery would treat me right. I am really realizing that I have a lot of muscles that I have not used in years. I have had problems for about 9 years, and walking my dog daily along with housework, yardwork, etc is the extent of my exercise for years. That, along with being 51, has me somewhat "out of shape". I probsbly have the tightest hamstrings in the southeast which will change with PT, I'm sure. The pain now is different than the pre-surgery pain...more of muscle pain now. By the end of the day after suppertime, the bed does feel good. I still take 2-3 oxycodones per day, and I really am not worried about it. When it can be less, it'll be less...after 9 years of narcotics, a little longer won't hurt. I certainly don't lose sleep over taking them. No more muscle spasms or nerve pain, so I'll take it. I can't wait for my 3 month mark to have my celebratory cigar...hope everyone is feeling okay today!
  • Your comment about the western channel - too funny. I am really comfy in bed too, I have to fight to leave. I love your dog, by the way.

    I pushed to taper off the oxycodone because I've only been on the narcotics for a few months, and I have not had a lot of pain so I thought "if I'm in pain, I'll go back on them" but so far, okay. Great that you are down to 2-3 a day after nine years!! And PT will kickstart the muscles, in a good way. :))) I just can't wait to stretch again, I ache ache ache!!
    Jan 2009 L5-S1 ALIF
    May 2017 ALIF L4-L5 with PLF rods added L4-L5-S1
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  • That's almost the exact report my doc gave me at my 6 week check-up. I was so glad to have restrictions lifted. But I was still a little reluctant to do too much exercising. Just walking and stretching.

    Get yourself walking a little more if you can. And work on your hamstrings. I try to stretch mine out a little everyday. When you are ready....2 things that were recommended to me and have helped, an exercise ball and an elastic band. If you'll check out my post under exercise about my posture, you'll find some really good, gentle exercises as well. The thing I've really been using is the exercise ball for is for flexibility in my lower back (pm me if you want the technique) and ab exercises. I learned the "right" way to do the abs in pt. And it is soft so it doesn't hurt my back like lying on the floor does!

    My doc doesn't believe in pt after surgery but before surgery he had me in pt to try and avoid surgery. Same exercises basically apply.

    I'm 56 and I'm also dealing with overall lack of conditioning as well as 10 extra pounds that need to go. But I don't want to get too aggressive until my 6 month mark. I'm focusing on flexibility and core strengthening.

    All that being said, I'm still 6 weeks ahead of you. At your stage I was just walking and trying to get those darned hamstrings to loosen up.

    One other thing that might work for you....I purchased an inexpensive non-motorized treadmill from QVC and I use it when I can't get motivated to go out or if it is too rainy and cold (like today). Easy to store and put down and you can walk on it while watching those old westerns!

    Keep up the good work!!!!!

  • scinmyheart -

    Glad to hear your good news. But I laughed at the "tightest hamstrings in the southeast" because I thought I could win that contest! PT has helped that I think - aqua therapy and the at home stretches help but the best has been my PT actually stretching things out for me by manually stretching hip flexors, piriformis, etc. I feel so much better for a couple of days after she does this - just can't quite do it as well myself. And now that I have added more upper body exercise I am feeling those unused muscles like crazy!

    Kathy - I am going to check out your post on exercise - really curious about the exercise ball.
  • Hang in there! I feel your frustration but take it one day at a time. You will eventually start feeling with more energy. Try to walk as much as you can. It helped me A LOT.That was the only way I got off OXYCODNE. I felt less and less pain during the day.I hate mornings and sitting down...that gets my pain going. I still wear my back brace but I hate the thing!! I also lost weight!!!Like you may know already ...the hardest part is getting out the house and getting physical. You just had surgery don't be impatient. You need time to FULLY HEAL !!!
    Hope you feel better and try walking as much as you can take!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • I had my Surgery on 9-25-08. I am a success story kinda.
    Well ended up with 2 plates and 4 screws oh and a 6 inch incision. I am currently walking 2 miles but have days when I am totally stiff. I no longer have sciatic pain or lower back pain. My complaints are sitting for long periods of time and getting comfortable to sleep. I take Percocet if I have unbearable pain and Mobic for moderator pain. Overall I am happy with my results. I still wear my back brace... I feel better with it on. My Dr. said I can slowly stop using it but I wear it when sitting down. Can you guys please tell me what makes you uncomfortable and what provokes your PAIN? My Dr. always tells me to loose weight even though I've lost 22lbs since my surgery. How do you wake up? I wake up stiff with a dull pain in the incision site.
  • I am slowly starting to feel pains I had BEFORE my surgery. My left heal is killing me again! My Dr. said it's my nerves healing since the surgery. That was sad news for me. I thought my pre-surgery symptoms were done with!!! He gave me Lyrica 50 mg. to take .I am so depressed :(
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