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back operation 7 levels

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:30 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi my husband had a major back op 24th April 2008 and he had 7 levels done on his back, 2 rods and 14 screws later, the surgery took 9 hrs. Its a year gone by and he still has pain, is this normal? He does his excises as recommemded by his surgeon and walks everyday. From this op he developed a bladder problem, he had an op for that in Nov and seems to be doing ok. They surgeon says it will take 18 months for him to recover from this. He cant do much at this stage still. Will he ever be free of the pain?


  • I had a 5 level, 360 fusion a little over 2 years ago and I am still recovering. I no longer take any pain meds and have no restrictions but I still live with pain. The difference is this pain is tolerable. Tell your hubby to keep walking and doing his exercises. I do, its become a part of my life.

    Emergency surgery in March of 2006 for spinal infection of L 2 and L 3. During surgery, discovered I had Cauda Equina Syndrome. Spine became unstable after surgery and had 360 fusion with 10 pedicle screws, plates and rods in April of 2007.
  • Hi Dick
    thanks for your reply, I appreciate it. Yep it sure is a long road to recovery. He does his excises and walks everyday, he was so active as we live on a farm, now he cant even help with that. Lucky we have a great black guy who runs the setup for us as we breed sheep. Not easy!!!Even if he walks a small distance, the pain gets bad and I dont know how I can help him. It has left him with so many fears and so insecure at times. All I can hope for is that the pain lessens as the days go by. he stopped taking pain meds months ago but ended up with depression which had to be treated, he was in hospital in Dec for a week, now he takes meds for that.
    I wish u well
    Jenny Acutt
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  • Jenny,
    Probably 8 months ago there was a good thread started in her about pushing through the pain. Like your husband, when I walked I would get back spasms. I'd have to stop, and bend and stretch. I could only walk a few tenths of a mile. But, I kept at it and made the walks a little longer. I noticed the spasms became less frequent. This process took me 6 or 7 months until I could break through the pain. Today my walks are a brisk 5 miles, 5 times a week. I no longer have the back spasms.
    I certainly understand your husband's depression. After surgery like his, your life will never be what it was and thats a tough thing to deal with. Although I was never treated with medication, I had some bouts of depression. Thankfully, I am past all that and now I live day to day. No matter how sore and stiff I am when I wake up, no matter what the weather is, I get outside and walk. To me, thats better than any pain med a doctor can give you.

    Emergency surgery in March of 2006 for spinal infection of L 2 and L 3. During surgery, discovered I had Cauda Equina Syndrome. Spine became unstable after surgery and had 360 fusion with 10 pedicle screws, plates and rods in April of 2007.
  • Jenny, Just 6-1/2 weeks ago I had L1-L5 fused. 12 screws, 2 rods and a cage. I seem to be doing OK but do have a few pain issues I will discuss with my doctor. I'm hoping it's just surgery pain. I hated to read about your hubby...how horrible. I will keep him in my prayers but since I'm just 6-1/2 weeks out from surgery don't have any advice. Please keep us posted. I'm curious to continue to know how he is.
  • Jenny -

    My husband had 4 lumbar vertebrae (L2-5) fused on 3.31.08. he is 13 months post surgery. He's much better off than before surgery but still in quite a bit of pain and not quite of the narcotics. He is waling 4-6 miles most days. The out of town surgeon who did the surgery said that he is fianlly fused last week and released him from the worst of his restricitions. The local OS siad there is no evidence of fusion at L4-5 and that we need to re-do the surgery. We are baffled. Hang in there and hopefully it will get better.

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  • Hi thanks for all your replies, it made me feel a lot better knowing that there are people out there in the same situation as us. He is doing better, but on cold days he says its like his back is tightening up and he can feel every screw and rod.
    Im sure as time goes by he will get stronger and the pain much less. By the sounds of it he needs to walk more and longer periods. But living here in SA its nor safe to walk on the main road, we have to walk around the farm which has very undulated ground.
    Bless u all
  • Hi Jenny

    I had 1 level fused and nuts and bolts blah.
    Im a year out and starting to feel normal.

    I cannot begin to imagine the pain and trauma the guy has been through and I would reckon 18 months is not long enough,! judging by what ive been through.

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