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Anyone with a successful recovery from post operative leg pain

I have seen many doctors and at last decided when every one said the same solution for my problem spinal fusion at l5/s1 level. I am 10 weeks post surgery l5/S1 Fusion and My leg pain is not stopped while sitting/walking and I started getting the same leg pain after 4 weeks of surgery. I never saw any post who says its fixed after x months or x years that's kind of not a compassionate forum. I would like to hear some success stories which helps being positive with a mindset that its ok for few months and I will be alright in coming days. Sometimes I feel why I decided to surgery if the problem still persist after surgery, sometimes I feel that the instruments loose which gets rub when I walk.


  • You are right, you won't get many fusion success stories here. Not that they don't happen, but when they do, most people are off doing things like, oh, I don't know, living!

    Anyhow, it also depends on how each person defines successful back surgery.

    I had excruciating back and leg pain, and eventually had fusion of L5s1 in 2012. I was mostly in bed and in excruciating pain for about 4 months. But I went back to work (albiet part time), and with time and the right meds, was able to resume most activities. I have always been, and most likely always will be, in some kind of pain. My thinking, which has been proven in my case, is that, if your back was bad enough in one or two areas to require surgery, then chances are you have other issues that will become worse after surgery. The levels above and below are now stressed. Si joint problems are almost a given. In my case, that plus a recently discovered annular tear above my fusion was the cause of most of my post option pain. Thank God I have a wonderful pain management dr, who lobbied to get me approved for the Butrans patch, which I had discovered doing research. It has given me back my life. I now work full time, plus workout 6 days a week.

    So yes, I consider myself a success. But then, I didn't give myself any other option. I could have stayed off f work, could have filed and most likely received disability. But I didn't want that. Life is too short, and I have too much to do.
  • kyle112kkyle112 Posts: 2
    edited 03/29/2015 - 12:33 PM
    my story..

    Hi everybody,

    I´m new to this forum.I would like to share my story with the rest of you, since it´s been a success after all the horror stories I have come across.
    I was diagnosed with grade 1 spondylolisthesis at the age of 18 but it never gave many problems till 3 years ago. (I´m 41 now)
    It's started with leg cramps at night and soon after buttock and severe leg pain. Like the rest of you, tried about everything: PT, the usual painkillers (lyrica, celebrex etc), heat treatment, aquatic therapy, massages. Nothing worked. pain had gotten worse, couldn´t walk more than 500 m and had severe pain in my feet and legs.

    I asked for an MRI and a surgical consult.( so far had only X rays taken). The surgeon told me right away I was gonna need a spinal fusion, after I told him everything I had tried so far. Was put on the waiting list and 4 months later received a call to show up in 2 days for surgery. I was gonna have " old school" surgery (nothing minimally invasive), 2 PLIVIOS cages and RAPTOR pedicle screws.
    When I woke after surgery, the pain in my right leg like I had prior to surgery was a lot better. However the pain in my left leg a lot worse! They told me it was normal and would go away after a few days. (swelling/bruising of surrounding area). But it didn't.

    After a week and a half ( I was still in the hospital under surveillance) they did a Ct scan (had to insist a bit) and it turned out one screw (S1 left) was practically touching the nerve root. (medical error..it happens) So 3 days later I had my second surgery. This time everything went well, although surgery hurts like hell. Had another ct to confirm that everything was ok now. Totally I stayed one month in the hospital.

    Recovery from this type of surgery is extremely slow. I'm 18 months post op now and doing well. I don't have pain anymore, just some discomfort once in a while.
    Here is my advise for everyone going through this:
    -try to remain positive, the road to recovery is long.
    -listen to your body, if it hurts, don´t do it.
    -no smoking or NSAIDS
    -walking is the best exercise for your recovery. I walk at least 4 miles a days, sometimes up till 10. But start slow.
    -no bending, lifting or twisting yet. Till my next appointment ( in october) I´m still not allowed.
    -full recovery will at least take a year.

    Good luck to all of you.
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