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Achy legs and hips after fusion

angelanicaangelanic Posts: 256
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:48 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Anyone experience achy legs and hips after fusion surgery? It is uncomfortable enough that it makes me want to take my pain meds or muscle relaxers..I can't decide. If any of you experienced this what did you use to get comfortable?




  • Hi Angela, sorry to hear you are suffering!

    At 3 months post op both my legs, hips & right groin are extremely achy. Muscles, bones & nerves. (ALIF L4-5)

    Unfortunately for me, my post op pain meds are more then pre op. I did have bone graft at left hip, oddly the right hurts more, but I have a very large L1-2 herniation and I think that is playing a role on my right side. I also have weakness in both legs, left worse then right. Waiting on my Myelogram results, I get them tomorrow, hopefully will shed some light for me.

    I take oxy, soma, valium & neurontin as well as lidoderm patches.

    Now for you, you are still very fresh from your surgery. You know the muscle relaxer will help with spasms, are you having spasms along with ache?

    This early out, I would follow your doctors direction on your meds, don't let the pain get ahead of you. You need to allow your body to relax in a calm environment so that you can heal.

    I still alternate with ice packs & heating pad.

    I hope this helps a bit. And I hope you start feeling better.

    Take care of yourself and take it easy, no overdoing it.

  • Hi Angela,

    I'm just days behind you on when I had my PLIF. I have been having allot of aches in my legs and hips especially today!! I now it's normal because I remember going through this with my last fusion. I know it can be a little discouraging.Hope you have a better day! :)


    spondylolisthesis at L4-5; stenosis,
    Lumbar surgeries 1999 L4-L5
    Lumbar staph infection 1999-2000"
    Meningitis x5 in 1999-2001
    Brain shunt 2000"
    Brain shunt removed 20001"
    ALIF/PLIF fusion 8/5/09
    Failed fusion and Failed Hardware
    PLIF Fusion scheduled for 10/29/10
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  • virginia..thank you. It really helps to hear it is normal.

    Maria: What do you do for it? I took my oxy full does (15 mg) last night and feel so much better today. Hoping no more meds until tonight...staying in the chair today.

  • Hi Angela,

    Glad you are feeling better today! I have been keeping on my meds..This fusion this time around the pain is harder for me..I started about a week or so ago spacing them out.

    I to am in the chair today. I try not to do to much but,having two kids I find sometimes I do to much and the pain gets very bad!!! My hubby gets mad at me. I'm trying to be more independent around the house cooking, cleaning ect. I'm still not there yet!!

    Someday we will look back and say it wasn't
    that bad! :)

  • Just know that if you are hurting, aching, burning (which are all signs of pain), and your Dr has prescribed meds for you, the meds are there to help you get through this period.

    I was just breezing through some of the posts, so I'm not sure how your last couple of weeks have gone, but wondered, has someone told you that you shouldn't take the meds? I promise there are no benefits to being stoic and suffering right after such a big procedure. You will especially find that true as you increase your walking, or begin PT.

    Absolutely go by your doctors orders as far as pain management goes. Just wanted to share with you my experience during those first few months.

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  • I have come to the realization with all of your help that I was pushing myself to get off meds a lot sooner than I should have been. Also, as Maria put so well, have been feeling pressure to clean the house..the husband just has a higher tolerance level for dishes piling up than I do! I also had no clean pjs.


  • Angela, even though I consider my recovery to be going very well, my legs still get a little achy, not too bad but noticeable, mostly my hamstrings. I also have some pain in the very center of my spine, basically the surgical site. My hips not so much, in fact I used to get pain in my hips prior to surgery but that has seemingly been resolved with the surgery. I’m definitely sore in the morning from lying still all night, but I always feel better after a shower and after I have been moving around for awhile.

    I also tend to push myself off of pain killers as fast as I can. I never go cold turkey, but will start to wean myself off as soon as I feel I can. This doesn’t mean you should, if you’re still in pain use ‘em. So long as they’re not abused, pain killers are your friend. Was taking 2 Norco’s plus 5mg of valium every four hours right after surgery and have slowly weaned that down to ½ a Norco and 2.5mg of valium every six or so hours, plus some extra Tylenol with each dose (not exceeding 4000 mg of Tylenol/day). Basically when I get up, a couple hours after lunch and right before I go to bed. This seems to be working pretty well. Want to be drug free or just using Tylenol by next week. Might have to start again after I start physical therapy, but will jump off that bridge when I get to it.

    Honestly, walking has always helped me with the pain. Does your doctor not want you moving around much, or does going for walks aggravate your pain? Hot showers also seem to help my muscles relax.

    As far as dishes/laundry piling up, I can’t help you there other than to suggest having a “sit down” with your husband and not taking on so many chores. In defense of your husband, us men do have a higher tolerance for this sort of thing, and to us they are varying degrees of dirty clothes. OK, I’ll just admit it, we’re pigs. Just remember that if you want him to do more house work , honey attracts more bees than vinegar and bribery always works. Hope you feel better soon.

  • Are you in physical therapy? What has your doctor said about activity/inactivity?

    I know it seems like if you do some household chores and make yourself sore, that's just as good as walking or doing physical therapy exercises. But if he's given you specific things to be doing (like walking) be sure you're leaving energy to do those things. They are very important to your recovery!

    This is just my own experience with dealing with a less than optimum spine- choose your activities carefully if recovery/long term improvement is what you're focused on. Some activities give you a lot more fitness with a lot less pain afterward than others, and those are the ones you need to put your energy into.
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