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T-LIF surgery recovery

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,321
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:35 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Had a question for anyone out there that may be listening. I had a T-LIF fusion about seven weeks ago. There has been diminished pain in some of the areas I have experienced it before (buttocks and heals), which is a good thing. However, I am having a hard time getting out of bed and standing every morning because I'm having intense sharp pain in lower back area around the incisions and across both sides of rest of back. Dr. says I'm doing fine, but got massage therapy yesterday, as Dr. recommended, and just about flew off the table several times with sharp pains when massage therapist was working on those areas on scare tissue.

Is this normal at this satge? I'm concerned since Dr. said at 6-7 weeks I'll have a major breakthru but the pain seems to be getting harder to deal with. Thanks for your help.



  • is the pain muscular or from nerve pressure in spine? if its muscular you may have trigger point problems and need deep tissue massage to relax muscles...
    if its from pressure on spinal nerves you just have to be patient to allow nerves to calm down after surgery...to me it sound muscular......pete
    oh by the way welcome i see youre a new member...good to meet you....
  • 7 weeks after surgery is still pretty early in the healing process. I don't want to contradict your surgeon but seems too soon for much massage. It takes time for things to heal.

    You need to just take it easy, and try and be patient while this heals. If the pain in your buttocks and heels is better, that is what the surgery was supposed to do. I think you are still getting over the surgery

    Good Luck
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  • It's too early to develop scar tissue. I think the discomfort is coming from the pain and inflammation in the incision site and it takes a long while to heal. I had a TLIF over a year ago too but it didn't relieve the lower back and sciatica. Around 8 months later they sent me in for another MRI since I was having severe pain, and it found scar tissue growing on the nerve root and against the thecal sac (L4-S1).

    Just give yourself more time and get plenty of rest. Besides, this is major surgery and the recovery period is long. Hang in there and take care :H
  • Pete...Thansk for your help....feels mostly muscular. Several severe contractions when massage therapist worked around area were probably muscular. I think I just need to be patient because its still early but sure feels like its been longer than 7 weeks!
  • Thanks Dave
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  • Appreciate the comments. m
  • mmiller, it sounds like you are doing all the right things. I started massage therapy after my 6 weeks of PT, , about 12 weeks post-surgery, and remember that I could not allow the massage therapist to touch the area of the incision. Too painful!

    I also recall the pain in the upper buttocks about a forefinger's length out on either side of the spine. My PT said it was the piraformis muscles, and first he and then the MT worked on them every session until they loosened up. There is a stretch of these muscles that also helped a lot; ask your MT to teach it to you. It's the one done on your back, with legs bent at the knees, crossing one leg over the other and pulling the knee toward the opposite shoulder.

    Finally, I found that a couple of Soma tablets a day helped loosen me up and also prevented most of the back muscle spasms that I had then.

    My "major breakthrough" that your Dr. predicts for 6-7 weeks, happened a little later, at 11-12 weeks, so don't despair if it doesn't happen on your Dr's schedule!

    Best wishes for a quick recovery.

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