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Is it normal 7 months after an L5-S1 Fusion.

I had a fusion of the L5 to S1 July 19th, 2013 I was able to get up and walk out of the hospital the next day, back to work about 6 weeks later. But I am still having pain especially where the nerve was being pinched by my disc, I still have to take 50 mgs of Tramadol 3 times a day and 150 mgs of Lyrica in the morning and night. Before the surgery I had pain but was able to function with no meds, I guess my question is "is it normal to be having this pain 7 months after the surgery,if so how long after surgery can you continue to see a reduction in pain before it is categorised as chronic with no chance of improvement" ?
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Comments

  • I had my fusion a day before you. I am in a lot of pain since surgery. I go to pm. The surgery fixed my nerve pain that went into my toes. I must say i am super tired, but each day is a little better.
    Jenn
    40 year old mom
    Tlif July 18
  • I had my L4/S1 fused in February 2013 so over the year mark now, and am still having nerve pain problems which on the face of it might appear to have increased substantialy over the last 8+ months! however that has to be balanced against the fact that over that same period I have been trying to increase my activities in the hope of returning to some semblance of normality (my new normal). Prior to my surgery I was unable to function, even whilst heavily medicated on Tramadol, so I still have to remind myself of a positive outcome post surgery, however it can be frustrating at times and easy to forget how badly effected I was before my surgery. I have an appointment with my surgeons Registrar this Friday and hope to get referred to see my surgeon and/or get some imagery to check everything is as it should be, part of me hopes all is ok, but a part of me actually wishes that they identify a problem so there is a reason why I am still suffering!
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  • dfhughes57ddfhughes57 Posts: 32
    edited 03/11/2014 - 2:07 PM
    Pink although you are still having pain you are heading in the right direction, I would love to be able to say the same but I have seen no improvement since about two months after my surgery, please keep us in the loop would love to know your progress especially as we had our surgeries about the same time.

    Nick I feel the same as you, if ok would appreciate an update after you have seen your surgeon, I have been debating making an appointment to go back and see mine. I am not even sure if I fused, to top it off my surgeon never bothered to make a follow up appointment after the last time I saw him about 5 months ago, although I was still not happy and having a lot of pain wondering if anyone else had a similar experience?

    What bothers me I am in more pain than before the surgery, I try to stay positive and keep telling myself things will improve as I have heard they can for up to two years, but this has definitely not been the case to date
  • I'm 4.1/2 years out and at 7-8 months, I was feeling very much better. I only had a one level but have residual pain (not like pre-surgery) from the levels either side. My surgeon did not want to operate on those levels at the time.

    What work do you do? Did you perhaps go back to work too soon, or was it necessary to go back at that time? It took me up to 6 months to feel "normal" again, but I'm older than you. I did fuse before 6 months.

    Sitting or standing for long periods can put pressure on the spine. I find moving about is better for me now, which it wasn't prior to the surgery. Have you been able to do any physio or walking/stretching? I did lots and still do.

    Do make an appointment to see your surgeon, and if everything checks out ok, then perhaps some gentle exercise in the pool would help?

    Trish











    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • Nick_MurphyNNick_Murphy Posts: 168
    edited 03/12/2014 - 10:09 AM
    dfhughes57 said:
    Nick I feel the same as you, if ok would appreciate an update after you have seen your surgeon, I have been debating making an appointment to go back and see mine. I am not even sure if I fused, to top it off my surgeon never bothered to make a follow up appointment after the last time I saw him about 5 months ago, although I was still not happy and having a lot of pain wondering if anyone else had a similar experience?

    What bothers me I am in more pain than before the surgery, I try to stay positive and keep telling myself things will improve as I have heard they can for up to two years, but this has definitely not been the case to date
    Sure thing, I only see his registrar this Friday, but hopefully will see him some time soon after. I hope things improve for you, everyone's recoveries are different so it is hard to draw direct comparisons
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  • I had pain a whole 8 months after my fusion. We did another fusion due to other symptoms like weakness. I am still in pain but am only 5 months post op. However my surgeon says after the 3 mots you really shouldnt have any more pain. My PT says that he has had patients that have had pain for 1 year however not as high as mine (8/10 on the pain scale). I you re sure it I are nerve ask your surgeon about nerve injections or nerve blocks. They helped me and we ended up clipping the C2 nerve in my second surgery. Hope you feel better!
  • Thanks 102876 appreciate you response, I am hoping the pain will reduce slowly over a couple of years and not stay at its current level although I must admit I am able to function pretty well just the pain gets on my nerves ;-)
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