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Good recoverys???

raygirlrraygirl Posts: 22
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:42 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am 7 weeks post lumbar 4-5 fusion. I am walking a mile most days and am not taking anything more than a tylenol.
I have good days and bad. I guess I just wonder if anyone
else has swelling around the hardware...not all the time.
I guess it is jsut when I have overdone it. I would be
interested to know how much of the time someone at approx
this week in time recovering is up and doing "stuff" around
the house, etc. walking at the gym. I would say I am up about
6-7 hours a day and then in eve- Im resting my back on the
couch. I'm trying to get a feel for this-it is so depressing
to have a couple really good days and then two bad ones. I have been progressing. It probably is the same question everyone has! Be interested in hearing from anyone on this .


  • Welcome to Spine-Health. Good for you taking only Tylenol - many of us are still on pain meds and muscle relaxants. I am and I'm 10 weeks out from my TLIF.

    I've had swelling around the incision and some pain around it still, as well.

    Could it be that on your good days you overdo it and pay for it for the next two days? That's something we can all relate to and have done on a regular basis. It's so difficult to take it relatively easy when you have those good days. I usually feel pretty good on Mondays because my hubby babies me over the weekend, so I go grocery shopping and carry all those bags in, put them away without thinking too much about the bending and lifting restrictions. Consequently, Tuesdays are usually my bad days because I overdo it on Mondays.

    This is a vicious cycle. I realize that it can get depressing not feeling great yet, but relatively speaking, you're still early in your recovery at seven weeks post-op.

    Now, with all that being said, each one of us recovers at a different rate and although it's nice to hear about others' experiences, your recovery is yours and yours alone. You'll recovery in time, but in your time, so try to be patient and understand that your body has been through quite a bit.

    As is often said here, spine surgery is unlike any other surgery - you break a leg, get surgery, it heals and you go on with your life as before. That's not so with spine surgery. It's a long process.

    Take care of yourself and hang in there. Try to measure your improvement in weeks, not days. It's a long row to hoe and you're just beginning.

  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,745
    I think your doing very well for 7 wks. Most don't do that well in 7 wks. But everything else you mentioned is par for the course And to be expected.
    On your hardware swelling, If your working those muscles, I think they will get inflamed. From the muscles rubbing against the hardware. You can try using ice 20 min. on and 30 min. off. It's very effective for me and most others. The Hospital surgical staff recommended it.
    Good luck, Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
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  • Do I have it right that you have had cervical and lumbar surgery? Thank you so much for the words of
    help. I am rather inpatient and also a worrywart for
    lack of a better word. Your letter was very helpful
    and gives me a better perspective on the daily things
    and routine. I have a great husband who really helps
    me physically and mentally. Thanks again.
  • Thanks for your reply about the swelling around the
    metal area. I will try to ice it. This site I believe
    is a God-send. I know it is an individual thing but I
    have always been pretty active with a really active
    husband. I'm just adjusting to a somewhat different
    lifestyle and wondering too much what it will be down
    the road. Thanks again.
  • J- I did read your history!! You have been through it.
    It is nice that you trying to help others cope. That's
    what it is all about. I wish you the best.
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  • Yes, I've had both cervical and lumbar surgery and believe I'll need more, but not in the near future (fingers crossed).

    I believe that almost everybody here was very active before their spine problems. In 2008 and before, I was living a very normal life, golfing almost every weekend, doing the normal stuff, working, cooking, gardening, etc. Just having a good ol' time living life. Then in May of 2008 I started having strange arm symptoms and then crippling pain in my back. I went to my PCP who took x-rays, went to PT that didn't work, had an MRI then referred to a surgeon and it was all downhill from there.

    I had major neck issues that were causing my symptoms and ended up with a 3-lvl ACDF and four months later, my lumbar issues started.

    I'm no longer as active of a person that I was before, but I also don't let my spine issues keep me floored. I work and play through the pain the best I can, I walk my dog every day, I cook and I overdo when I feel I need to knowing that I'll be sidelined for a day, but one day on and one day off is the best I can do (although those days where it's two good days in a row are very cool.)

    I know that I'll never be who I was before all this began, but I'll live my new normal life the best I can and that's all us spineys can do. The best we can.

    Take care and hang in there. It'll get better with time, just follow your doc's orders and remember what we've said, that lumbar surgery comes with a long recovery. I hope you're one of those who recovers very well and in time is able to move on to do the things you did before surgery.

  • It's a LONG and arduous journey we face after major surgery like this, and patience is one thing that will definitely pay off in the end! As someone who was an avid softball player for 25 yrs prior to surgery (and was active in many other ways) I can definitely agree that adjusting to your new life can be tough. But now at about 6 mo post-op, I fell like there's little or nothing I can't do, and my OS even said if I wanted to go back to softball he wouldn't stop me. But...(and that's a big BUT!) I have chosen to find other outlets and activities because it's just not worth the risk for me. Take your time, stay diligent with all of the things that will help your recovery and try to be patient! There is (good, normal) life after fusion lol
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