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12 weeks out after back surgery & still having probs.!

curlyblonde29ccurlyblonde29 Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:01 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had L5 S1 discotemy (sp?) surgery (12 weeks ago) to repair a very large herniated disc. I had immediate relief from the sciatic pain going down into my right leg. It was so wonderful! I am now 12 weeks out, and do not have the leg pain (except for occasional pulling if I stretch too far). But my ongoing problem is now horrible soreness and stiffness even with stretching and exercises daily. It is still difficult for me to stand in one place for longer than 5 minutes, walk for longer than 10 min., and sit for longer than 20 min. Also, bending over is an absolute nightmare! It hurts so bad! I am so frustrated! I am supposed to be looking for a new job cuz I lost my other one due to this injury! But I can't even sit very long to do job searches! The only relief is lying on the couch with a heating pad on my lower back! Idk what else to do cuz I have been cleared by my spine surgeon to go back to full duty work. Am I just being a baby and need to get over this? Or should I go back to the surgeon and talk to him about my ongoing problems?


  • have you had your follow up appointment with your consultant yet? .and NO your not being a baby ,i too an in pain 11 weeks post ALIF fusion .so i know how you feel .its very common for a good result instantly then pain again ,it tend to be the nerves waking up after surgery ,its happening to me i am getting problems peeing {L4/L5} typical problems and my back is a bad as ever so i do understand ,if i were you i would try to get an appointment with your consultant for a check up {that's what i am doing]
    tony {UK}
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • When you go back to Dr I would have him do a nerve test. Or you could have a failed back surgery. Mine was nerves damage

    remember I am not a DR But I been where you are

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  • curlyblonde29 -

    Don't be too stressed regarding your progress. You're still in early days. It was six weeks before I could do any kind of work after my L5/S1 fusion surgery, even from home. It was eight weeks before I could put in a full day at my office, and I had to get up to walk around all the time. My surgeon warned me that maximum medical health wasn't to be expected until one year after the surgery, and I had flare ups of pain very frequently well beyond the one year mark.

    It is INCREDIBLY frustrating, because you've gone through this intense surgery, and you want to feel better afterward. But in many cases (certainly in mine), the surgery is just a major initial step in the solution. The whole healing process takes much longer, and whenever you're dealing with nerve pain, there are going to be ups and downs. People here like to say that you're running a marathon, not a sprint. So don't be too frustrated that you're not feeling too hot at 12 weeks. It's still early days. It took me 2 full years to get to the point where I could say that I was feeling good. Not 100%, not like I did before I was injured, but good.

    I, too, had a lot of employment pressure because of my spine injuries. I didn't lose my job, but the threat of it was there. I had to convince them to let me take the time off that I needed to have my ACDF and PLIF surgeries and recover, which they eventually agreed to. But it was made clear to me that their agreement was premised on an assumption that I would come back from the 6-8 week recovery from my second surgery fixed and "good as new," ready to kick ass and take names. Of course, that was not realistic, and on many occasions, I faced having to choose between disappointing my employers and compromising my position at work or taking care of myself and doing everything possible to enable a successful fusion. It sucks, especially in this economy and job market. All I can say is that you have to put your physical well being first, because without that, the rest doesn't really matter.

    So try not to get too frustrated, do as much as you can, but not to the point of hurting yourself, and if you are not certain about your progress or have questions, by all means, call your doctor. I still bug the hell out of my doctor with questions 3 years out. Take care.
  • Curly - see below my diary notes for your period. Stay strong it does get better, just annoyingly everyone heals different. Keep it mentally solid and the body should follow. If you have any QU's PM me or have a look at my post think its on about the 5th page of the threads. microdiscectomy - time pain surgery & recovery.

    Week 8-12 (Pain 5-8/10) I honstly felt in this period I had taken a step back. Possibly as a result of returning to work part time. I had to though as money dictated I was without income and stretching money into loans etc. This stress period didn't help and I believe set me back. I did slip back into taking my opiate drugs and again became lazy with stretching etc. PLEASE DO NOT copy me and stay strong. I will add I had sex for the first time in 4 months in this period, the three days after were very painful in the leg mainly. You've gotta have your partners support, I knew it wasn't easy for my wife but on this occassion I wish I hadn't. Stretching is so difficult, I know the scar tissue needs working off and it will take time, lots and lots of time.

    Hope you find some inspiration here from someone:)

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