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Recovery Expectations

jh236jjh236 Posts: 27
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:49 AM in Recovering from Surgery
Hi All,

I'd like to thank everyone for sharing their experiences, it's very comforting and valuable to hear how others have faired through surgery and recovery. As with many posts, mine here is related to recovery.

I'm exactly one month post-op from an open TLIF L3-L5, L2-L3 left side discectomy and L3-L5 laminectomy. After a tough 10 days-2 weeks, except for bad leg pain first thing in the morning, I'm left with issues mainly along the surgery area. It can go from soreness/pressure along the spine to fairly significant pain. I think I'm realizing that it's worse the more I sit upright vs reclined. I know it's still relatively early in the recovery time but it does not seem to be getting any better.

I'm just curious how others have faired through similar recovery and whether my expectations at "feeling better" 4 weeks out are realistic.

Thanks to all.



  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I don't have any experience with the type of surgery you had but just wanted to wish you good luck. I know that I am very impatient with myself during recovery periods and feel like I should be bounced back to soon. You should ask your surgeon about any concerns you have. It is very early yet and remember you've had major surgery. I know it's hard to be patient but that's what you have to do. I hope you feel better real soon.

    Good luck,
  • I am 4 weeks out of a 2 level fusion. It is my 2nd. At four weeks, you are still early in reovery. And also, when you sit upright, you put alot more pressure on your spine. That is why reclined feels so much better. I am in a hard shell brace, and am only suppose to be sitting no longer than 20-30 minutes at a time. Hope this helps. Keep your chin up. Hopefully, it will get better for you!
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  • It seems like there are a lot of us "4 week post-ops" out here!

    I am 4 1/2 weeks XLIF L3-4 with posterior fusion L5-S1
    Yes, 4 weeks is just too soon. Some days I feel great and other days (like yesterday) I could not even get out of pajamas the whole day and felt like crying. Today I made myself get dressed and go for a walk (despite the 24 degree) Keep positive. This is my third surgery. I KNOW it gets better. I have recovered in the past and I'll do it again. You will too!
  • I had a discussion today about the difficulty transitioning from "chronic pain patient" to "healing pain patient." It is hard to remember that this is different from chronic pain- it will get better.

    I think it's too easy to slip back into old habits that might not be good for our healing bodies (like "pushing through the pain" and not asking for help). We need to keep reminding ourselves that we're healing!
  • Lots of great points, thanks to all!

    I think everyone agrees that there are good times and bad times. I use time because, at least for me, it sometimes day to day, sometimes hour to hour, sometimes no specific time duration at all.

    The longer it goes on, the more I feel that people around me think I should be "better" by now based on other people they know who have had back surgery. It's tough for other people to understand not everything is the same for everyone and there's so many different surgery combinations. Very frustrating and I don't want to sound like a whiner.

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  • Thank you. Two week post op from 360 lumbar fusion and am struggling with being patient and allowing myself time to heal. I have been so used to working thru the pain. Thanks for the reminder.
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