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3 months status post L4/L5 fusion-newbie


New to the site. Had surgery 3 months ago and am still finding it difficult to get my life back. Tired. Fighting chronic pain and anxiety. Don't feel significantly improved since surgery. Still experiencing pain and numbness in legs.

Looking for advice, encouragement, and others going through similar experience...



  • Hi Kate39,

    Welcome to the forums! I am just over 4 months out of an L5/S1 fusion and definitely hit some bumps along the road to recovery-- at times where I was depressed wondering if I would EVER get out of pain, and all of that. However, I was constantly reminded that it is a slow but steady process and to ensure that I am following doctor's orders and taking it easy-- yes I know, easier said than done. I am doing quite well- still have limitations, but am definitely getting better. Just remember that recovery does take awhile and back surgery is definitely invasive and major. I found a lot of encouragement and still do on these forums!
    Olivia Douglass
    MIS TLIF L5/S1 on 5/1/13
  • LizLiz Posts: 9,706
    I am sure that you will find your time on Spine-Health very rewarding. This site is a powerful and integrated system that is dynamic and continues to grow.
    Here are just some of the highlights:

    - Detailed medical libraries of Articles and Videos that address almost every Spinal Conditions and Treatment

    - The Wellness section contains articles, tips and videos to help patients after surgery and also to help people avoid surgery.

    - Under the Resource tab, there is a section Doctor Advice Health Center which can be invaluable.

    - As a bonus, Spine-Health provides these patient forums. Here is where you can meet thousands of other people who understand and can relate to your situation. You will soon become part of the Spiney family who provide comfort and the advantages of a Support System. You are now part of this family that is approximately 20,600 International members and growing daily.

    - It is very important to understand the Forum Rules to make sure all of your posts do not violate any of the rules.

    - As a new member, it is helpful to understand the 'makeup' of these forums, how to make posts, tips on adding images and much more. You should read Forum FAQ

    Here are some you should take a look at:
    Read before you post
    Tips for Newcomers
    Understanding the rules

    All of this will help make your threads better and improve the times and quality of responses you will receive.

    If you have any questions or need assistance, you can use the Private Message facility to contact any one of the Moderators on my team:






    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
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  • can take up to a year or more before fusion is successful, and if there is nerve involvement, it can take some time to resolve. Depending on how long and how severely the nerves were compressed, and the damage done to them can make it take up to two years before you see much in the way of improvement. That is why is it so important to follow the surgeons instructions to the letter, not push too hard too soon and of course, walk, walk , and walk some more.
    It is a large surgery and finally some 7 years after my first one I am doing better than I have ever done.
  • I am just over 4 months out and overdid it last week on vacation, now I am back to feeling like I just came out of surgery-- tight calves, pain shooting down my left leg and pain in my left buttock. I am seeing the surgeon on Friday and was going to see if I did anything to mess up the fusion, hoping that I didn't do anything but irritate the nerve!
    Olivia Douglass
    MIS TLIF L5/S1 on 5/1/13
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