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when were you pain free after fusion surgery

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2

Comments

  • Not to be mean but unless your daughter is a doctor and one who deals in orthopedic stuff at that then I wouldn't listen to anything she has to say. I had a one level lumbar fusion and wore my huge back brace for three months afterward. I walked with a walker the first couple of weeks and then began slowly walking short periods without it. I fatigued very quickly and had plenty of pain. My surgery was fairly minimally invasive. Now I just got out of my big back brace one week ago tomorrow and wear a smaller brace that the doctor called a corset brace. I had my first physical therapy since the surgery last Friday and it seemed easy enough and then my husband helped me get the movement right on Saturday and Sunday morning I awakened very stiff and sore and even had some sharp muscle pains.

    I'm a chronic pain patent due to psoriatic arthritis and I take one Percocet every six hours for pain. 

    Now I'm sharing my story with you and of course everyone is different and we all heal at different rates but it sounds like your daughter expects way too much too soon.
    Good luck.
    Jennifer
  • Had level 8 lumbar fusion 6 months ago.  Day 1: threw out the pain killers.  Relied on Tylenol.  Day 2: chucked the body brace.  Used walker to lift and lower myself (not to walk) for three months.  Stayed as active as possible while scar tissue began to heal.  Pain free at 5 months.  Fused at 6.  Back to normal activities.  Age: 69. 
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  • noni9 said:

    Five weeks out from L4-S1 spinal fusion. In so much pain, I can't stand to walk in the hall of apartment. I've been out of Percocet for 36 hours. When will the pain end. My daughter says I should be off pain meds and able to walk 3000 steps per day. I am so depressed.

    Yeah, agree with your daughter.  Sure, people heal at different rates, but not RADICALLY different rates.  The pain will end when you decide it will end.  I literally dumped my "official" pain meds down the drain first day home.  Went to Tylenol.  You have to start out by compartmentalizing your pain.  Your mind creates pain, technically it's an illusion designed to keep you from "over-injuring" yourself.  However, you know you can do stuff anyway -- to do nothing (and keep taking pain killers) is a lousy idea.  My surgery was 10 hours.  Week in hospital.  Two weeks after coming home I was "really needed" in a face-to-face meeting.  My wife drove and throughout the meeting, because I was focused on the issues at hand, zero pain.  Focus on something else besides your surgery.  Keep active -- do a little bit too much.  Get rid of those pain killers and go on extra-strength Tylenol.  Get up.  Walk.  Do stuff whenever you feel crushed.  I like your daughter's attitude. 
  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 971

    scrannel said:

    Had level 8 lumbar fusion 6 months ago.  Day 1: threw out the pain killers.  Relied on Tylenol.  Day 2: chucked the body brace.  Used walker to lift and lower myself (not to walk) for three months.  Stayed as active as possible while scar tissue began to heal.  Pain free at 5 months.  Fused at 6.  Back to normal activities.  Age: 69. 



    David

    What is a level 8 lumbar fusion??


    Harry - 65 year old male...
    PLIF L4-L5-S1 due to disc degeneration... May 23, 2013
    PLIF L5-S1 due to failed fusion and broken screw... Jan 19, 2015
    Microdiscectomy, decompression L3-L4 due to herniated disc... Jan 19, 2015
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,299

    scrannel said:

    Had level 8 lumbar fusion 6 months ago.  Day 1: threw out the pain killers.  Relied on Tylenol.  Day 2: chucked the body brace.  Used walker to lift and lower myself (not to walk) for three months.  Stayed as active as possible while scar tissue began to heal.  Pain free at 5 months.  Fused at 6.  Back to normal activities.  Age: 69. 

    I like Harry am curious about what is a Level 8 fusion?
    Plus, while you actions may have worked for you,  would NOT recommend this for anyone who is coming out of surgery. Before you take any drastic actions, you always need to discuss with your surgeon.

    You may have a pain tolerance that is above most people, but getting rid of the body brace.  That could just be asking for trouble.  Pain free at 5 months, good, fused at 6 good, but you do not understand the potential impacts of not using the back brace.  Again, I assume you are talking back brace when you said body brace.   There are definite mechanical reasons why back braces after specific surgeries are used.  

    Word of caution.  I would not recommend following this person's actions right after surgery.   Too many pitfalls, which may not be immediate, might not even show up for a long time.   But when you consider the amount of work that the surgeon put into a level 8? fusion, why risk just throwing all that effort away.scrannel said:



    noni9 said:

    Five weeks out from L4-S1 spinal fusion. In so much pain, I can't stand to walk in the hall of apartment. I've been out of Percocet for 36 hours. When will the pain end. My daughter says I should be off pain meds and able to walk 3000 steps per day. I am so depressed.

    Yeah, agree with your daughter.  Sure, people heal at different rates, but not RADICALLY different rates.  The pain will end when you decide it will end.  I literally dumped my "official" pain meds down the drain first day home.  Went to Tylenol.  You have to start out by compartmentalizing your pain.  Your mind creates pain, technically it's an illusion designed to keep you from "over-injuring" yourself.  However, you know you can do stuff anyway -- to do nothing (and keep taking pain killers) is a lousy idea.  My surgery was 10 hours.  Week in hospital.  Two weeks after coming home I was "really needed" in a face-to-face meeting.  My wife drove and throughout the meeting, because I was focused on the issues at hand, zero pain.  Focus on something else besides your surgery.  Keep active -- do a little bit too much.  Get rid of those pain killers and go on extra-strength Tylenol.  Get up.  Walk.  Do stuff whenever you feel crushed.  I like your daughter's attitude. 


    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
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  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,299

    scrannel said:


    noni9 said:

    Five weeks out from L4-S1 spinal fusion. In so much pain, I can't stand to walk in the hall of apartment. I've been out of Percocet for 36 hours. When will the pain end. My daughter says I should be off pain meds and able to walk 3000 steps per day. I am so depressed.

    Yeah, agree with your daughter.  Sure, people heal at different rates, but not RADICALLY different rates.  The pain will end when you decide it will end.  I literally dumped my "official" pain meds down the drain first day home.  Went to Tylenol.  You have to start out by compartmentalizing your pain.  Your mind creates pain, technically it's an illusion designed to keep you from "over-injuring" yourself.  However, you know you can do stuff anyway -- to do nothing (and keep taking pain killers) is a lousy idea.  My surgery was 10 hours.  Week in hospital.  Two weeks after coming home I was "really needed" in a face-to-face meeting.  My wife drove and throughout the meeting, because I was focused on the issues at hand, zero pain.  Focus on something else besides your surgery.  Keep active -- do a little bit too much.  Get rid of those pain killers and go on extra-strength Tylenol.  Get up.  Walk.  Do stuff whenever you feel crushed.  I like your daughter's attitude. 

    Contrary to what is said, pain does not end when you decide it will.  I need to stress to everyone, that will this person was able to work things out for themselves, DO NOT FOLLOW this path.   There could be too many potential dangers involved.  Pain medications can be the only defense for some.  Scrannel, for whatever reason, your body did not have pain that required the need for narcotics.  

    There are plenty of medical studies that document that your mind does not create pain and it has nothing to do with any illusion.   If you were to ask 100 doctors/surgeons they would agree that pain medications are an important piece of the overall recovery process.  And I would not jump so fast at extra-strength Tylenol.  That has many associated risks

    The total recovery process is a complicated set of actions, that all work together in creating the desired end result.   Exercise, activity is part of that, but again, all within reason.  Before you start to undertake some new set of exercises, make sure you have your doctor's approval first.

    Bottom line, so much boils down to common sense.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • jodieddieojjodieddieo Royal Oak, MIPosts: 18
    I was hoping an admin would weigh in on this. 
    I question the legitimacy of scrannels post to have a level 8? surgery and have NO pain seems inhuman to me. 
  • shemphilsshemphil Louisiana Posts: 1
    I had a spinal fusion on my l5 s1 on March 14, 2016. I have been off my meds since May 26, 2016. I still have some pain but it's nothing I can't deal with. I take an aleve here and there. I am still required to wear my back brace tho until June 7th. I believe I will continue to wear it when I drive tho and if any pain comes back stronger than current pain. I have been in pt since 6 weeks post op. My herniated disc was sitting on my sciatic nerve something awful. I never had back pain tho until post fusion which was a big worry for me. My pain went down my left leg so I had a disectomy  Feb 16, 2015. A yr later had the fusion and now have some back pain. I'm hoping the pain is gone by 6  months post op. I had the disectomy  a yr ago bc I could not walk. Had the fusion this yr bc I could not sit up at all without extreme pain. I can say that I will choose this back pain over the other 2 sciatic nerve pain. I am a mental health professional  and I did not like the side effect of meds. The withdrawal symptoms were the worst. I thought I gradually decreased the dosages but I guess not gradual enough.  I went from taking morn, noon, eve, night dose to the next week taking morn, mid day, and night dose to the next week taking morn and night dose to the next week taking night dose. This was one of the worst months of my life. I cried all the time, didn't think about hurting myself but was very ok to go to sleep and not wake up. I felt worthless and developed depression for the 1st time in my life all due to these withdrawal symptoms. Bc of course I felt fine on all this meds but I didn't lime then effecting my brain/emotions. I need my brain for my career. Needless to say, May 26th I went to the Pharmacy and gave them back their gabapentin, oxycodone,  diazapam, and trazadone. I also stopped taking the benadryl for the itch and is still going through the withdrawal symptoms such as insomnia. It is 3am and I am wide awake. One of the things listed as a symptom that can occur after coming off a lot of these meds. Be careful  with the meds is all I'm saying.
  • I had spinal fusion T10- L3 and I am 16 months into my recovery. I still have a lot of lower back stiffness. I stopped medication with in 6 months because of back spasms. Now, I stretch, and roll the muscles along my spinal with two lacrosse balls taped together. That seems to help a lot. I workout 5-6 days a week and that includes CrossFit 4-5 days. 
  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 971

    Majohns86

    I had L5-S1 fusion almost exactly 18 months ago... Jan 19, 2015.  I can honestly say that is wasn't until the past 5-6 weeks that I really felt strong and solid in my back. Prior to that I would experience various daily pains and discomforts with different movements or positions of my body.  I wasn't in constant agonizing nerve pain like before surgery... but it was certainly noticeable pains... and not normal.  Several times during the long recovery period I doubted that I would ever be normal again... but my doctor kept reassuring me... "give it time".   Since 4 months post-op I have not taken any pain meds... and I walk every day for 30 minutes... and I swim 30 minutes/800 meters 4-5 times a week.  If I don't do the walking or swimming... I tend to feel tight and stiff in my back... something like you I guess.  The swimming is the best... I really like it.. maybe you should try it as well.     

    Harry - 65 year old male...
    PLIF L4-L5-S1 due to disc degeneration... May 23, 2013
    PLIF L5-S1 due to failed fusion and broken screw... Jan 19, 2015
    Microdiscectomy, decompression L3-L4 due to herniated disc... Jan 19, 2015
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