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Does it get better?

Hi, I am almost 5 months out of surgery for a L5 / S1 spinal fusion and I am still struggling. I am so depressed at the limitations of my life. I have a 4 year old who needs me. My legs feel so heavy and my back muscles feel so lame. It's hard to walk any distance. My whole body from my neck to my ankles is suffering. Does it get better than this?


  • Have you started pt yet? I had ALIFL4L5S1 SURGERY in march and I was like you until I went to pt.They worked my body and got it strong again.Im back to work now cleaning houses.Pt really makes a difference.Stay strong kathy
    Kathy B
  • Hi Kathy,

    I have started PT and it definitely helps. It is just such a slooooooowwww process. Wow cleaning houses, you are doing amazing, there is no way I could be doing that. Gives me hope for the future though, maybe I am just really slow to heal. Thanks, kylie
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  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,587
    everything takes time. take a look at this thread: patience - improvement will come in time
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,345
    edited 10/02/2013 - 4:35 AM
    It should get better.
    Most surgeries have a much shorter recovery time than a spinal surgery.

    Remember that nerves are known for very slow healing. Also, they don't like to be disturbed and will often protest loudly about it.
    There is so much involved with the spine and movement of it; bones, ligaments, muscles, nerves, facia, etc.
    This has been problematic before surgery which is why you had the surgery. Now everthing has got to settle down again, heal and learn the new positions and working together again.

    5 months sounds a long time, but with spinal surgery it is still early days. Everyone is different; some heal amazingly quickly and that is what we all hope for. However others take longer, but that doesn't mean they won't get there.

    At 6 months after my lumbar fusion I felt much better. At a year I was aware that I felt better still. I was very surprised when at two years I had improved further.

    Sadly I went on to have my neck fused. I am nearly 11 months after that surgery and still not achieved the relief I had hoped for. I was warned before surgery that it was being done to get the compression off my cord and may not help with the pain. I was given 12 months as the time scale for healing and told that by then I would probably be as good as I would get. As I had healing and improvement beyond this with my lumbar fusion, I am trying to stay hopeful. :-)

    Try to remain positive.
    Good luck!
  • Thanks everyone. Great post Ron. Patience is definitely something I am learning, whether I want to or not.
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  • Its just got to get better for all of us spine surgery buddies!!!!!!

    If not, why would people have so many spine surgeries yearly?????

    I had a microdiskectomy in 2002 and was totally pain free for 11 years until a deer totaled my car....So I need to remind myself that the answer is YES, YES, YES
    just sometimes for whatever reason, it takes longer than we want
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