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Spinal fusion L2 - L4

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,321
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:30 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am glad I found this group. I am experiencing so much pain 3 weeks post op and today I lost it. I have been crying like a baby and feeling so alone. I have a great guy but he has to work and my family lives away so it is just me and my dog most of the time. I do have an appointment with the pain specialist on Monday so maybe he can help. I am also to start PT on thursday but not sure I am ready for it but will try.
I guess all this feeling useless is normal and also the tears.


  • I too have days where I sit here and cry and my poor hubby doesn't know what to do. I have better days also. Try to stay on a medication schedule so the pain doesn't get too bad. If I don't, that is when I have my worst times. I have been walking 2 miles, 3 times a day for several days now (gradual build up). Yesterday I swam close to a mile, but paid dearly for it the rest of the day. My neurosurgeon told me the pain would limit what I could do. He's right. I am a teacher and am off until August, so I hear you about feeling useless. Right now I am proud of myself for fixing a few meals and doing some laundry. My job and yours now is to be patient and heal. Good Luck.
  • Welcome to the board. Sorry for the reason you found us.

    You are VERY early in your recovery. Your body goes through a lot during the trauma of surgery. It upsets every system in your body including your hormones, so don't be surprised by some of the more "emotional" reactions you may have while you are healing and recovering. At this point, all the drugs from surgery have barely cleared your body, plus you are dealing with all the pain as well.

    Everyone's experience is different, but it took me at least two months to feel half-way decent and three months till I started to get some strength and energy back.

    I'm surprised you are going to pain management at this early point in your recovery. Does your surgeon not cover you for a period of time after surgery? Some doctors start patients in therapy early. Are you in a brace?

    At this point in your recovery, it is really important to do two things: walk and rest. Make time each day to lie down. "Rest" does not mean sitting in a chair. You need to lie down so that the disks have an opportunity to unload. Walking helps stretch the spinal nerves and gets fresh, oxygenated blood to the disks and spine.

    And remember: when you feel alone, just hop on the board. You will find many new friends who have already walked in your shoes and who are here to help you.

    xx Gwennie
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  • Sorry you are feeling so bad. I am 16 days post op and i have found that if I push a little too hard I do have some pain. Take it slow and easy. If you need someone to talk to, e-mail us here. We are here to help and support everyone

  • I am 4 1/2 months post op 2 level PLIF. You are really early in reocvery. I dont want to discourage you but it takes months to fuse. Didnt your surgeon tell you that it would be laid up for that long. Hang in there. I hope the pain dr can help, but I am still on meds for pain. I also have problems with fealing useless. Try to look at it from Dr visit to Dr visit. You will notice changes faster that way. Be careful in PT, if it gets to hard for you, let you therapist know. How is your walking. Sometimes that can do lots for the spirit too. If your depression hangs on, talk to Dr. Back pain can be hard on you menally as well as physically. I had to go on meds for it a couple of years ago. Been dealing with back pain for so long, it got to be to much. There is nothing wrong with getting help until you are physcially better. PM me anytime you want. I will be there for you.
  • Gwennie and Iowarobin are so right! You are so very early in your recovery. But I remember that it was at about 3 weeks post-op that I started to cry because I felt so useless. For most of us it is really a shock how little we are able to do during recovery. And despite what we have been told, I think that the slowness of the recovery process is something we are not really prepared for - at least I wasn't! This recovery takes a lot of patience.

    It helped me to set up a daily routine for myself. Granted it did not consist of much - shower, dress, walk, lie down, walk, lie down, over and over with eating at the appropriate intervals. By scheduling the walking I somehow felt like I was doing something to help myself get better.

    I, too, wondered if your surgeon is not still managing your pain at this point? Incision and surgery pain, muscle spasms, etc are very normal so early in recovery and surgeons usually manage this for some time (I think). What kind of pain are you having?

    Hang in there - it does get better over the next couple of months.

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  • I too had the same surgery as you and its hard and it hurs i think The S-1 is the worse as i am not trying to give up on physical therapy buts ouch it hurts sooo much!! i am seening a counsler its hard for others to understand what we go through if they have not but i hope you get better soon its a longggg recovery good luck
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