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I've had my fusion - where do I go from here?



  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,299
    Do not allow those demons to take control. You are in charge. The post surgical pains you are dealing with will start to fade
    away. BUT, if you allow those demons to start in on you, then for every step forward, you will then have to take 2 steps back!

    The best path to success always start with the face that is looking ahead to see how much they can really do
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • I had l4-l5-s-1 fusion on sept 30 it's been a slow recovery I went through pt and did my exercises at home everyday felt like I was progressing slowly.Now I I had a set back I got up out of the tub and used hands to help me up and felt a really bad pulling now feel like I did the first month after surgery I hope I didn't pull any screws out.
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  • ADRJenAADRJen Posts: 211
    edited 03/18/2014 - 2:08 AM
    At my 3 month checkup I had no sign of fusing. My surgeon acted like he didn't expect it. Hopefully there will be a different story when I have my 6 month at the end do this month. I'm still on 2 or 3 Norco a day too. To answer the question from a while back, Norco is the same as Vicodin with half the Tylenol. Not super strong, but it does help.
    Artificial disc at L5S1 for 10 years. Had 3 Level lumbar fusion and Laminectomy on Sept 27, 2013. It was an OLIF (Oblique Lumbar Interbody Fusion) with cages, BMP, rods & screws. Norco, Plaquenil
  • EMS GuyEEMS Guy Posts: 1,582
    edited 03/18/2014 - 2:15 AM
    Hi Sarah,

    Steve hit it on the head with his description of a bone growth stimulator. The nice thing about it is that when it's on, you feel nothing at all! I wondered at first if the thing was just snake oil or something.

    I think mine is still at home. Talk to your doc about it and if he says you can use one, I'll send it to you. It will have to be programmed for the number of treatments the doctor wants you to have though.

    Just PM me if you would like to use it. I'll check when I get home to make sure my wife hasn't thrown it away during her cleaning tirades.

    Keep your head up! Our own brains can be our worst enemies sometimes!

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • my surgeon said it would take up to ONE YEAR to heal. i had to wear a brace for 9 months including work. it takes that time for the bone graphs for the fusion to harden and heal. if you don't give it time, then you might break the fusion, bone and then the metal. i am surprised you doctor did not tell you this i could not lift anything over 5 lbs, stand, bend ro climb for a year also. they are very strict about that. so if you don't then your fusion will have to be redone. talk to your surgeon. 3 months is nothing. it has been 13 years since my first fusion, i have had 4, and still suffer from chronic pain.
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
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  • SarahLindeauSarahLindeau Posts: 766
    edited 03/20/2014 - 10:44 AM
    It was not a heartwarming, exciting appointment yesterday. No signs of bone growth, but I'm learning to let go of that because there is nothing I can do to control that. I was also disappointed that my surgeons practitioner decided to halve my Norco and expects me to be off it in one month. My surgeon didn't mention halving the dosage from 10mg to 5mg at all, only "yes, I will refill your script." When I walked out, I read it was 5mg and not so much of a plan in place for how I'm going to go from 3x day 10mg Norco on a bad day to 1x 5mg Norco from now on.

    I feel like they could have discussed this with me and my husband in the room, which they didn't. Or they could have met in the middle at 7.5mg. I don't know how I'm feeling right now. I'm still in pain and now don't feel supported by my dr office.

    How did the rest of you taper off?
    2015: Thoracic protrusions C7-T1, T3-4, T6-8
    Dec'13: 360FusionL4-S1 w/bone graft
    2013: 3x2-level disc injections: 12mo surgery postponement
    Dec'12: DiscogramL4-S1
    Sep/Oct'12: Bi-lateral Rhizo AblationsL4- S1
  • Sarah,
    I don't think 3 months is enough time for bone growth, so don't worry about that. Can you call the surgeon's practitioner and ask if they could refer you to a pain management doctor? Tell them you're still in a good amount of pain and need 10X3 Norco in order to work and take care of your kids.

    I'm sorry your appointment didn't go as well as you'd hoped and I hope you can get some help getting your pain under control.
    Synovial cyst removal in 2008. L4-L5 facet joint.
    Lumbar fusion at L4-L5 in December 2013. TLIF posterior entry
  • SarahLindeauSarahLindeau Posts: 766
    edited 03/20/2014 - 4:26 PM
    I left a message with the PAC and am hoping we can form a plan that I'm more comfortable with but I won't be too hopeful.
    2015: Thoracic protrusions C7-T1, T3-4, T6-8
    Dec'13: 360FusionL4-S1 w/bone graft
    2013: 3x2-level disc injections: 12mo surgery postponement
    Dec'12: DiscogramL4-S1
    Sep/Oct'12: Bi-lateral Rhizo AblationsL4- S1
  • Sorry your doctor's appointment didn't go well and they should have discussed the dosage. I think I was about 3 months out and had to go off the Oxycontin, even though I still had pain. I had to reduce to every alternate day, and it was very hard, but I eventually got there. I'm much older than you and it took 6 months before I felt "normal" again, but I did fuse in under 6 months. After my 6 week appointment, I didn't have to go back to the surgeon until 6 months. I'm in Australia and they probably do things differently here. I felt it took another 6-9 months before my fusion felt strong.

    I still have some pain and need to take Oxycontin (10 mg) and Endone (5 mg oxy) as required and I'm 4 years out now. I'm very happy that I had the fusion because I can do most things and life is good.

    At times you may feel that you're never going to get to that day when you're feeling much better, but it does come for most of us, and I hope that's how it'll be for you.

    take care

    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • Thanks for your reply. It's so difficult because I don't want my doctor to view me as a problem patient, and yet, I feel like the outcome did not correlate to the conversation we had. I completely agree that life would be wonderful minus the narcotics. But I've been on them for four years. This is going to take some time
    2015: Thoracic protrusions C7-T1, T3-4, T6-8
    Dec'13: 360FusionL4-S1 w/bone graft
    2013: 3x2-level disc injections: 12mo surgery postponement
    Dec'12: DiscogramL4-S1
    Sep/Oct'12: Bi-lateral Rhizo AblationsL4- S1
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