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Anyone experience pain on the sides of the spine after fusion?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,322
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:29 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi folks,

I had a lot of pressure on my lower back before my L5-S1 fusion back in January. After surgery, like most here, I found it difficult to sit for even moderate amounts of time. However, in the past few days I have noticed sitting is getting much easier. From time to time I even feel less pressure in my lower back than I had in that region before surgery. Sometimes I think I am daydreaming or just wishful thinking. Other times I feel like maybe, just maybe the fusion might have helped a little with the pre-op pressure. I think it is too soon to know yet.

Anyway, while it appears the exact center of my spine may have less pain and pressure, I have tremendous soreness on the sides. To the left and right of my spine the muscles feel damaged. It is hard to explain, but it feels like they are knotted up and having spasms more often than not. Anyone else experiencing this and does it go away in time?




  • I didn't have lumbar fusion, but after my cervical fusion (and still to this day) I have a dull ache on the back left side of my neck. Some days are worse than others, but doc says it's normal. Just thought I'd pipe in on your post, for what it's worth. Your surgeon can tell you for sure if it's normal for your situation.

  • It is very possible that all those muscles are tight. I don't know how quickly you had surgery after the onset of injury or pain...but our bodies want to be balanced and fight to regain balance when disturbed. When in pain, the body compensates. What usually happens is that one side will work harder to try to avoid doing the motion that causes pain. As a result, we end up with muscle imbalances and changes in soft tissue, ligaments, etc. Almost always, the patient will be told there is a tightness, or that he is standing with one hip higher than the other, or that the pelvis is tipping forward, etc. In other words, pain affects posture.

    I do not know the details of your particular surgery, but unless it was a "micro" procedure, the big muscles were cut or retracted to expose the spinal column. This is a traumatic process and your muscles are probably just responding to that and are in the process of healing.

    You might want to schedule an appointment with a therapeutic massage therapist. This can help with the muscle tightness and will also help with any scar tissue you may have. If you are in PT you can have the therapist use ultrasound on the tight areas.
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