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Recovery from a L5-S1 fusion

garzolaggarzola Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:58 AM in Recovering from Surgery
I am almost 2 weeks post op from a spinal fusion with pedicle screws and disectomy on the left. I am feeling so much better. The pain in my leg is gone. I still have some discomfort from the incisions but other than that I'm feeling good.I haven't been doing much of anything except laying down and walking around some in the house. I am a school teacher and wondering if I should go back after 3 weeks or would that be too soon.


  • Hi and Welcome,

    I am glad to hear of your good recovery.

    I had L5/S1 fused in march. It was my 3rd fusion. With the first 2 I went back to work after 3 weeks but with L5/S1 they had to replace the disc and the vertebrae were stretched along with a ligament so I took 6 weeks off. I was given the ok after 3 weeks but because of the extra pain I took more time.

    Just remember the no bending, twisting, lifting. Walking is great after a fusion. I went to PT after each fusion and still do core strengthening (I did that stuff before my fusions). I also swim alot which is great for my back. It is wonderful to feel weightless.

    Good luck and keep us posted.

    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
  • I had an L5-S1 fusion with hardware and laminectomy on November 3rd. 4 weeks ago. I returned to work part-time this week. Everything has gone great, except that I tire quickly and am really wiped out in the evenings. I would suggest having a week of "test run" before you commit full time. I am supposed to return full time on Monday and I am a little concerned that I will just be too worn out to last all day.
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  • I am feeling good. Laying around the house and walking several times a day inside the house. Great idea, I'm thinking I'll go back to work part time next week as a test run, but will give myself until the end of the week to make that decision. I know I might need another week off.
  • I had an L5/S1 Fusion done on 12-23. Coming up on 3 weeks and I feel pretty good, but i'm adhering to recommendations by the doc and friends who've had the same surgery. They all told me when you start to feel better is when you really have to watch yourself, as this is the time most people screw up and overdo it. I had managed not to do anything dumb until last night, when at 3 am my 8 year old woke up screaming and instictivly I jumped out of bed to go check on her. Unfortunately, after jumping out of bed I hit the floor in pain, and still managed my way to her room to check on her. It was a nightmare, which caused me more than a nightmare in pain. I'm still feeling that mistake 16 hours later. I've gone back to my office a couple times to to "light administrative" type work. I work in a family business so my parents are pushing me to come back faster than I think I should. Bottom line is, test yourself, walk around the neighborhood a bit and when you get back see if you are worn out. I know I am, and that tells me that driving to work, doing some work, and driving home alone would wear me down. So take a test run and see what happens, best of luck!
  • Did your surgeon give you any restrictions, i.e. no bending, lifting or twisting, and if so, for how long?

    After my fusion, I wasn't allowed to drive for the first 6 weeks. When I did, I instinctively, without thinking, twisted around whilst reversing and felt an awful sharp pain in my back. It was never quite right after that and although my fusion was last July, I've just had to have revision surgery as things were not stable.

    I did return to work after 6 weeks, but was told to go home by my employer after working for 2 weeks. It was an awful experience and was only necessary because they did not carry out the required assessments beforehand. It was another SIX months before I could return to work and I lost alot of salary because of it.

    You need to give yourself time to recover from your surgery. I was told it'll take up to TWO years for the 'fusion' process to be complete, so good care needs to be taken to ensure you don't compromise the good work of the surgeon. It's so easily done, in my experience.

    If you work in a school (like I do), there's probably lots of bending involved and it's so easy to forget when you do something on the spur of the moment.

    I presume (and hope) you'll go back to work on a 'phased return' to allow you to slowly build up to your normal working hours. You can use this time to see what affect it has on your back and, if it causes you any pain whatsoever, then you'll need to think about what adjustments can be made to support your return to work. Your place of work may have an Occupational Health Department and it might be advisable to seek advice from them first before you return (i.e. to find out if a workplace risk assessment can be carried out first to see if you require specialised equipment/chair etc for added comfort/support).

    Please don't make the mistake of rushing back to work too soon just because you've had a good few days painfree at home. It's far too easy to exacerbate your pain levels by taking on too much, too soon.

    Perhaps you can let us know how you get on?
    2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!
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  • Bigtex67BBigtex67 Posts: 1
    edited 10/02/2014 - 4:38 PM
    Teacher friend, if you have the days and your doctor recommends, take your time. I had an emergency discectomy 3 years ago and went back to work as an AP just short of 5 weeks. Pain meds free for over 2 weeks and was back on them in 3 afternoons I just 3 days from stress, bending standing and broke up a girl fight. My doctor wanted me away from that school for the rest of the year (3 weeks) and the rest of summer. I regret not listening to him as I believed incidents there during the three weeks contributed to premature degenerative breakdown of my back and increasing loads,of pain over the past few years. I am 2 weeks post l1s5 fusion and doing well. I have the days and am listening this time. 8 weeks minimum. Walking, therapy, yoga, swimming, you name it before I go back. Screws in the back surgery suck. But the promising hope of a new back is causing me to take excellent care of tspine his time so I can return and provide the best care I can for my school and not tear myself up again. Best of luck to you, DO WHAT EVER DOC RECOMMENDS and take they days to recover andstrengthen.

  • abaab Posts: 4
    edited 09/12/2015 - 4:51 AM
    I am 7 weeks post l5 s1 fusion surgery with 4 pedicle screws,2 rods and bone graft.My rt leg which was having numbness and pain in hip and lower leg-calfmuscle area-is alright now post surgery.However, i had rt hip muscle strain two weeks ago, which reduced my activity-walking etc.Now its 7 weeks post operation, but not feeling confident do resume my work/duties as a banker which requires at least 10 hrs of sitting, including driving to work area.I am 47 years old, male.can any body guide me about steps for returning back to work...quickly

    Fusion one to three months post surgery

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    Liz -Spine-health Moderator
  • abaab Posts: 4
    edited 09/28/2015 - 8:58 PM
    I Am Post 9 Weeks Of Fusion Surgery.but feel lot of pain in my rt buttock muscle when I walk.sitting or lying on bed causes no pain.can anybody help?

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  • EnnaEEnna Spain but BritishPosts: 21
    I know these posts are going back a while, but how is the l5/S1 fusion gone?   Having to think about the same op in Spain but then may go back to the UK - looking for a surgeon there.  
  • LizLiz Posts: 8,835
    As you mentioned this is an old discussion the members have not been seen online for a long time so will not respond. I am closing this discussion

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
This discussion has been closed.
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