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L5 S1 Spinal fusion, pain worse then before the surg

HI, have not been on on the site in years, prob since my last fusion, L4.5 in 2011. This year 11/25 had L5 S1 fusion, I am told while he was in there he replaced the hardware from prev fusion, so was a bigger surg than they thought, was 5 hrs instead of the expected 3. I am now 5 weeks post op and feel worse than before the surg. I have more pain going down my left leg, sometimes into my ankle, and some on the right also. Before surg, was pretty much just on left side but never that far down. Had xray 2 wks ago, said all looked good, incisions looked good. I have another sched for 1/12. then scheduled to go back to work the next day. Granted I do desk work, but to sit for more than s few mins is an issue, also at home i use my ice machine, still lots of swelling. now on to more pain, a week ago i was on the couch w my legs up flat against the couch, someone came and sat on the lower section of my legs, like below the knee, he is approx 160-200 lbs, he also wouldnt move until I had to beg, about 5 mins. Now seems to me, I am in more pain since that happen. Called dr, he said to just watch it and let him know if it gets worse. It hasnt, but has not gotten better. My activity level is very low, I can get to Walmart or the groc store and am lucky if I can gt in the store and walk around with my cart, I think the longest I lasted was 15-20 mins, went home back to ice machine. They just lowered my meds, was on percacet, am now on 7.25 (I think) of vicoden every 4 hrs. I know its going to take a long time to feel better, but should I feel worse at 5 wks out? Also, how long have you all been out of work, . I now for a fact that my body will not last if I go back in a week. So looking for thoughts, advice, help? oh forgot to add, i have little or no support,. pretty much have to do what needs to be done and alot of the time, most of the time I am having to do things I shouldnt do, (bending, twisting and lifting)
should also mention I am 48 and quite over weight, which certainly doesnt help, plus vicoden makes me starving! oh yeah, am also up against poss losing my job, so lots going on.


  • Oh gosh, sounds like you are having a difficult time! From reading the posts and my own experience of recently having a l4/5 s1 fusion and laminectomy on 11/5/14 , there are good days and HORRIBLE days taking what felt like three steps back. I had a flare up of symptoms 6 weeks out.. and dr prescribed meds for flare up and I think I am 95 percent better. Remember you had MAJOR surgery and your muscles and nerves are angry little beasts due to being moved around and it takes time for thinks to settle down. Each person is so different with recovery some from what I read are doing great 3 weeks out, while others take longer. I have been out of work since 11/4/14 and will return on 1/5/15. I had a ton of sick time accrued and am fortunate to have that time off to recover.
    Also, from personal experience the more you do in terms of the BLT's the longer it takes to feel better, again that it is my experience.
    I wont comment on the person who sat on your lower legs....
    I would talk to your doc about your concerns and see what the doc can offer, perhaps linkages to some additional supports. I don't know where you live but a number of grocery stores, same with laundering have delivery services at little or no cost... I have used those and that has helped a great deal so I could focus on my resting.

    Hope things get better for you! Keep us posted.




    L4/5 S1 Decompression PSF with TLIF 11/5/14
    Spondylolithesis (congenital)
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