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Recovery from L4/L5 Back fusion

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:32 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello, this is my first post....
I had a L4/5 back fusion Nov 08, had to go in again for another fusion Feb. 09 (apparently device was protruding) I am 57 year old woman, good shape.....3 month checkup everything was in place.

I am getting lots of tingling, pain in right leg.other times by back aches, other times my hips...seems to jump around

Can anyone tell me how long this will last. I'm walking 1 mile a day but the more I do the more it hurts...Is this normal. Because I had to have this surgery twice I'm nervous about any new aches and pains.....Has anyone experienced this?


  • I had surgery 10/08, fusion L2/3/4 and I experience the same feelings, pain that moves here and there,like you describe. The dr. says it takes the nerves a long time to heal. Also, the more I walk the more pain, but I was told to let pain be my guide to a certain extent, and it's better to walk frequently instead of all at once.

    I get up and walk around often plus one walk of 1.5 miles daily. I can't walk more than 1.5 miles at once yet. I keep trying, but pain says no. However, I am 8 months post-op this week and the pain is less than it was even a month ago. It does get better each month.

    Listen to your Dr. and don't over do anything. I hope you will continue to get better each month too. But if you don't think something is right let your Dr. know!

    I worry every day with each new or same pain too! I think it's just past of being afraid we'll need another surgery. Keep posting with us.

  • thank you so much Kathy, it's comforting to hear from others that have gone through the same thing....after work, I think take a long walk!.....
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  • Hello,
    I also had PLIF 2 level L4 L5 & S1 in Feb. 2009. Tomorrow I go to the doctors. Hopefully they will tell me if I am fusing. I do get those pains. Usually its in my left butt cheek! It feels like an electrical shock. When I walk to much in a store, my back "locks" up so I try to figure out when enough is enough. I still have left foot pain but I am hoping its the nerve that is just taking its good ol sweet time to heal. I will be 57 in August but was very active (recreation director) before this happened a year ago. (rear-ended by a drunk driver). I also have herniations in C5-6 and T11-12 but I am hoping to start some sort of therapy and the symtoms from that will resolve itself. I guess its like everyone says...patience! I feel like I am still "me", just with new parameters. Take care and I hope you feel better...
  • Ann.thanks for your reply, interesting because I was also involved in a car accident (in 2001), was hit head on by another suv - I was in hospital but just had broken arm from air bag....my husband swears this all goes back to that accident....I also have cervical bulge that neurosurgeon thinks will heal on it's on. I think computer at work is aggravating it..I hope once my fusion heals that will take care of that as well.......jg
  • Well I just got back from the doctors and I can start PT!! I saw the xrays...everything in place and a good chunk of fusion so I am on my way. The nerve pain in my left foot (leg) is probably permanent at this point. The numbness in my hands is carpal tunnel!! Just happy it isnt from the cervical herniations. So thats good news. I am on SSD. There is no way I could've gone back to work. Sooo all in all I am happy. When I have to walk far, I will take my two canes and be on my way. I am just so blessed in life. My oldest daughter just had her second set of twins. (both over 9 lbs). Like I said before, I still have my old life, just with NEW parameters. You take care!
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  • If you are up sitting all day or walk quite a bit at work maybe you should rest before walking after work. You might be overdoing by doing too much all at one time. Take a break after work, lay down for an hour or so to let your spine rest before you go on a walk.

    Also, I started out slow and built up to the 1.5 mark which I'm still trying to get past but I'm stuck there! LOL! So try walking 20-30 min. at a comfortable pace, this is not a power walk (LOL), if you can't make it that long it's ok, pain is your guide. It's better to walk a little and build up, it's not how far either, just walking in general. After a few days if your back/leg/hips agree increase your time by 5-10 min a day.

    Don't forget to take meds before walking and use ice or heat after, whichever you prefer.I think you are doing very well working and walking plus whatever you do daily. But sometimes we forget this is a long journey and we think we should be able to do more. Your body is telling you give me more time to heal!

    Remember I'm just ahead of you and there is the 2 steps forward, 1 back as we heal. But each month I see some progress which encourages me. I'm 57 and I don't work right now, I couldn't, so I admire your strength!

  • thanks Kathy for your advice - I am trying to get up more at work and walk more. I think I might be walking too much at one time....shorter walks and more walks are probably better for me....am trying to be patient but I tend to get frustrated & nervous thinking this isn't going to get any better..Right now I'm in an office and can get up whenever. This fall howeverBack surgery is so different for everyone it's hard to know what is normal and what isn't.....A sunny day would help-it's been raining here forever it seems!!
  • :H Welcome to the forum my dear. I had the same problems after my back surgery. It finally went away for me but since everyone heals differently who can say! I wish you a pain free and happy life!

    Evelyn :H
    Had PLIF in 2008 and a Laminectomy. One level fusion, L4-L5.
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