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Good & Bad

On Thursday, I will be at 6 weeks post op from L5-S1 decompression and posterior fusion. This is my 2nd fusion and now have L3-S1 with hardware. Some days i am doing great. Some days I have extra pain. Today is one of those. I still have swelling along the incision. I cannot lay on my back yet. Today I have pain and fatigue. I feel exhausted. My doctor said this is all normal. Is anyone else having good and bad days? I dont feel so "normal" .

DDD 2 level ALIF L3-L5 in 2007. 4/11/13 posterior fusion w/decompression on L5-S1.


  • Hi Michelle, I had L4/S1 fused just over 3 months ago, and after the initial recovery period from the operation and on addressing my nerve pains through appropriate medication, began to improve. However, just these last couple of weeks I have begun to notice increased nerve pain and lower back pain, and believe this may be simply because I am starting to extend my activities and beginning to stretch things perhaps a little too far. I have even been playing golf the last 3 weeks, and up the driving range, and this too has likely contributed. Time to lay low for a few days and hopefully it will subside.

    What I have learnt from this forum is that everybody recovers differently in terms of pain, duration etc. No 2 surgeries are the same, even if they have the same label, and it seems everyone's surgeon has a different approach to what you can / can't do, when PT starts if at all, etc. However, what I can say with some certainty is that in each of our recoveries, there are most definitely highs and lows, and often we suffer set backs in our recovery and begin to feel low, but actually in most cases it seems to be just a small set back which when viewed day by day can be defeating, but if you were to view your progress week on week, even month on month in the long term, things appear much more level.

    I wish you all the very best in your recovery,

  • I definitely have better days where I feel great, can stretch my pain pills to 6 hours at a time, and get some things done for myself. Which of course brings the bad day where I realize I overdid it. Its a constant balancing act. Definitely learning to just accept what each day brings and deal with it accordingly. :)
    DDD 2 level ALIF L3-L5 in 2007. 4/11/13 posterior fusion w/decompression on L5-S1.
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