As some of you know, I had a two-level TLIF at L4/L5 and L5/S1 on 10/1. After the first week post-surgery, my recovery seemed to be going very smoothly - all previous nerve pain I had in my upper thighs and down into my calves was gone. I did experience some new numbness in my left upper leg, but it was intermittent.
At the 1-month mark, I had X-rays done and went back to my surgeon. He said it looked as though fusion was already beginning and at that point, wearing my brace was no longer needed. He also said that he didn't feel I needed any PT, as I am relatively thin and in good health. He then told me to bend over and touch my toes. I almost bust out laughing! I gave him a blank stare and said "Huh?"...I hadn't done any bending since wearing the brace, so it was difficult to say the least. I tried bending, but only got about a quarter of the way; he reassured me that I wouldn't break the instrumentation inside of me, and that I should begin trying to get some flexibility back. I am still on my 10-lb lifting restriction (although I have violated that a couple of times). I have to remember not to go over that 10-lbs, no matter whether I *think* I can lift the object or not.
I'm currently at almost the 6-week mark, and my previous nerve symptoms have returned. They occur typically after periods of sitting. I am pretty freaked out at this point...I know nerves take time to heal, but when initially the pain was gone and now has returned, that concerns me.
Has anyone else run into this same issue? I am trying to stay optimistic but am very afraid that perhaps the nerve damage is permanent? I am scheduled to return to work on 11/15, and now I'm a bit concerned with the return of the nerve symptoms.
Any thoughts or suggestions? Thanks - Kevin