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I just joined!

This is my first post. I've been reading all of your stories and it's really helped me know what to expect. I had ALIF L5-S1 four weeks and 2 days ago. My issue began with a ruptured disc and subsequent microdiscectomy about 2 1/2 years ago. I jumped through all the hoops (PT, steroids, epidural,medication, etc.) and finally ended up with fusion. I a 42 year old reasonably fit female. I don't do crossfit or run marathons, but I maintain a healthy weight and try to eat reasonably.

So far the surgery and recovery have been much easier than I expected!! I was up and walking less than six hours after my surgery. PT tried to give me a walker, but I didn't need any assistance. I was able to walk up and down stairs on my first post-op day.

I now wear an LSO brace and avoid prolonged sitting. I feel great. Minimal back pain and intermittent leg/ nerve pain. I take about 2 vicodins a day and sleep fine. I won't be back to work for another 6 weeks since I'm off for the summer. I'd like to be off all pain meds (I'm so tired of pills and side effects), but I can't make it through without a little help just yet.

I guess my biggest concern is if/when is this nerve pain going to subside? Anyone else who had horrific radiculopathy? Does it go away?

Best wishes to all of you!


  • LizLiz Posts: 8,835

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Nerve pain can take a very long time to heal. Sometimes it is as short as a few months or it could be years before it is totally gone. Doctors can give what I like to call "nerve" pills in order to help subside the symptoms of nerve pain such as gabapentin which may be something you want to ask. For me gabapentin hasn't been a huge help but I've also heard some people where it has been a life changer. It also made me very drowsy so if it is something you are considering then it may be best to try while you are off work. It is great you are feeling so great, just remember not to push it too hard and to follow all of your doctors orders to prevent problems.
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  • Thank you. I have read that some people thought the gabapentin was helpful but it has some nasty side effects. I may look into Lyrica if the nerve doesn't start to feel better soon.
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