I think we just talked about this recently. I had my three-level 360° spinal fusion in November 2008. It took me over 18 months to recover, and I was actually feeling pretty good. Sure, I get stiff and painful every now and then, but it hasn't been too bad, especially when I think back to how I was before surgery, barely being able to move, nevermind walk, without screeching in pain. Well, I've had to have a lot of work done on my house lately and, I'm not sure it's related, but I had to request part-time employment with my former employer (I'm retired) again so I can pay for the repairs. Shortly after them telling me that yes, they wanted me, and asking me to send in my resume, I got this really bad sciatica going down my left leg. Usually, my sciatica is down my right leg. It got worse and worse and, by Thursday night, I couldn't sleep and was writhing around in the bed, on the couch, on the ice pack, going nuts all night. I was fortunate to get an appointment with my internist yesterday. Because I had driven in, they couldn't give me dilaudid, but they did give me an injection of toradol, which surprisingly, worked really well. I had them give it to me right over the area of most pain. That, coupled with some muscle relaxers, helped the burning pain to stop. I have prednisone in case it gets worse, but I think I can avoid it for now.
So, just so you know, that fused spine can still cause you trouble down the line. Hopefully, if you have a great doc like I do, you'll have it under control in no time.
Edit: so funny - the spelling editor thought toradol (an anti-inflammatory) should be toreador. Yep, it did feel like I was getting those little spike the toreador shoves into the bulls spine in my own. Is that a spine-health exclusive? JK
3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.