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6 weeks post surgery - feel like im taking 5 steps backwards- any advice?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:38 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi, Out of desperation im posting this. Oct 6th had spinal fusion & a laminectomy at L5-S1. Generally everything went great. Six days later came home. I was happy with the recovery outside of developing pulmonary embolisms im my lungs which landed me back in the hospital for 3 days. But my back recovery was still great. Up until 2 days ago (at home)I would wake up log roll out of bed like 2nd nature. sit at the end of the bed for a sec., get my stability and stand up. No Problem. Then all of a sudden two days ago I found that stability in my mid-section almost non existent. Rolling to the end of the bed was just like my 3rd day after surgery (pure hell) trying to get myself to sit up was, again utter hell. walking al of a sudden, I felt so unstable that i would be grabbing for the walls or whatever was closest.

Again, mind you, 5 days ago, I would get dressed by myself, head outside for a neighborhood walk slowly albiet stable and with confidence.

I had noticed that the pain im experiencing now seems to be coming more from the lower right part of the back rather than the left - which is where all my immediate post-surgery pain & instability seemed to come from.

I have a back brace from the ol'pre-op, try anything to get rid of the pain, physical therapy days which I put on last night, just to try and it does give me some of the stability as well as relief that I had just a week ago. (Its allowing me to sit at my desktop to type this)

When I spoke with my surgeons office 2 days ago, they said ups and downs are part of the healing process but this feels more like a skydive.

Is this normal? anybody else ever experience this?
Could it be the im building up a tolerance to the pain meds (oxicontin-5mg, oxicodone-5mg, valium2-mg.)

Also the northeast is experiencing a big nor'easter - could the pain be weather/pressure related?

Its saturday but come monday if this persists, ill see my dr.

Thanks in advance, Mark


  • It is very normal to have ups and downs, but, at least as I interpret what you are describing, this does not sounds like a normal "down." It is not unusual to have some new pain symptoms, or a change in the quality of the pain, but I don't like the sound of a weakness.

    I think most of us are affected by weather changes, be it the change in barometric pressure, the damp, etc. but again, it would account for aching and increase in pain, but should not cause you to be weak or unstable on your feet.

    I am perplexed! Did I misunderstand your description of your problems?

  • Hi Gwennie,
    No I dont think you misunderstood my question at all. Up until now Ive kept, pretty much to the prescribed med treatment, but lately it just seems sooo much more arduous to get up and going from a laying down position. I was getting to the point, as I mentioned in the post, where I could roll over, prop myself up to a sitting position with minimal need of hand support while sitting then with one energetic umph get on my feet and start walking around no problem.

    Now, within the last two days, I feel like its the 3rd or 4th day from surgery where once sitting upright, I constantly need to support my upper body with my hands or else I have that pain as if you have no mid section muscle tone.

    Now, when im up and ready to walk, my midsection muscle tone seems non-existent. I shuffle & constantly looking for something to grab on to for support.

    I just upped my dosage of oxicontin from 5mg twice a day to 20mg (so far ive only taken the morning dosage) and I also took at the same time 20mg oxicodone for acute pain till the oxicontin kicks in and now 4 hours later I feel as I was feeling 4 days ago - much better

    One thing I did not add to the post is that, at least using yesterday, the 2nd day of feeling like this, as an example, Once I walk around the apartment to loosen up for an hour or so things seem to get better. But its that initial getting up and about that is really worrying me.

    Thanks for the ear
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  • It could be just a normal set-back that feels huge because you are so freshly out of surgery. You didn't fall or partially fall and then lunge to catch yourself or something of that nature? I think you are wise to see the doctor tomorrow if you are not feeling better. I also know what you mean about changes in the barometric pressure -- it has gotten very cold and damp here and I swear, every past injury is coming back to haunt me this week, particularly the end joint of my left index finger, upon which a window fell about 10 years ago. It feels as though someone has freshly crushed it with a hammer! Yeeeeouch! Anyway, I hope you start feeling better and the logrolling does the trick again.


    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
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