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Back Fusion

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,321
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:31 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
How long is the average time for recovery? Can you ever walk normally again?


  • Sorry, still recovering...hoping I will walk normal again...

    2 level PLIF L4, L5 S1
    decompression and laminectomy too!
  • forgot probably the most important detail...my surgery was 2/17/09
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  • on a lot of different things. How many levels did you have to have fused? How active are you after your surgery? What type of physical therapy are you doing? Have you been told to be very careful with BLT (bending, lifting, twisting)? I am six months out from a three-level lumbar fusion. I spent the first several months feeling as though I had been nailed to a board. Finally, through a lot of walking and physical therapy, especially Graston Technique therapy, I am almost back to walking normally. I don't have the same female wiggle to my walk, but almost. I'm becoming more and more comfortable with the way I move now.

    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • PT helps a lot with getting back to moving more normally. My walk felt very stiff - and was - but aqua therapy made a big difference. Have you been in PT?
    And I agree with Linda that the more you walk the better it gets.
  • I still don't walk normal. I had fusion from L1-L5 and after that my left leg is shorter than my right. Wasn't this way before surgery. But not only that...I just still have stiffness. I have hope this will be over...someday. Hang in there!
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  • For me, recovery was an ongoing tapering kind of process. I'm not sure when it was really over and I was "healed," but it did occur. I felt pretty much normal after about 6 months. The constant pain had disappeared after about 2 months, but there was lingering pain with any big movements for about 4 more. That said, now, a year and a half out of surgery, I still occasionally feel a jab of pain when I cough too hard or lay on my stomach. And I don't think the morning/nighttime achiness will ever go away---but it's a hell of a lot better than the nerve pain from pre-surgery, so I can't complain.

    I walk totally normal now. I can even run! Interestingly, my running is slightly different than before. My back stays really straight and I seem to bend my legs a lot as though I'm trying to cushion my spine from the shock. Not sure why this is happening.

    Hang in there and keep plugging away at your PT! It gets a lot better with time. :)
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