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One month down

I'm on week 5 since 360 fusion on levels l4-s1. Recovery is going really well I think, but how long does it usually take before you're back to being yourself? By that I mean, being able to watch your kids play ballgames without having to come back and lay down because of being so sore. I live an hour from any town, so even getting groceries is a pain. Usually at least 3 hours to get there and back, and really sore afterwards. I feel great while not doing much, but it seems like I can't do much of anything for very long. I'm 32 and this sitting around is for the birds. I'm so ready to go back to life but my body won't quite let me yet. Have any of you guys that have had this type of surgery played sports afterwards? I love softball and basketball but I've wondered how this surgery will effect that. I'm a huge auto race guy. Drag, dirt track, ATV, I've done it all and I know for the most part this is probably an end to those but i didn't know about the others. Anyone have any advice? If not thanks for listening to me rant lol.
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1

Comments

  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 971

    Cole

    Come on now... patience... patience.  You had a BIG surgery and recovery is going to take a longggg time.  Bones  fuse in months NOT weeks.  Back muscles and nerves also take months to recover.  You're going to feel sore from sitting, walking, and standing until you fully fuse as your spine isn't yet solid and all the loads of your upper body weight are pushing against the rods and screws.   It took me 12 months to get back to "normal" but hopefully with your age you will go faster.  You MUST still obey the no BLT rules even if you are feeling better. DON'T push it... you will regret it... this is a marathon not a sprint.  It's very important to get yourself into the right mindset... be happy you are out of pain.    Are you off all the pain meds???   How much daily walking are you doing???   

    Harry - 65 year old male...
    PLIF L4-L5-S1 due to disc degeneration... May 23, 2013
    PLIF L5-S1 due to failed fusion and broken screw... Jan 19, 2015
    Microdiscectomy, decompression L3-L4 due to herniated disc... Jan 19, 2015
  • Bruce EitmanBruce Eitman Akron, OH, USAPosts: 1,510
    I agree with Harry and will add celebrate the improvements.  Focus on that and not on being anxious to get it over with.

    Bruce

    Read my story at Bruce - My Story
    ACDF C4-C5-C6-C7, and getting better every day
    It has been a process of healing, learning, exercising, and resting - and figuring out when to do which.

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  • Taking one pain med around noon and two at bedtime. Walking around three times a day. I figure if I could've not went to my daughters ballgames this week I could've been down to one a day. The long rides and sitting in the stands put me back a little I think because afterwards I was sure bad sore. It made for some rough nights.
  • I will add Mr.Hvills and this site has been a Godsend and a true blessing  for me . Thank you all for your support. Every doctor needs to recommend this site to their patients .

  • Hey there!!
    Glad to "see" you again!  It sounds as though you are doing AWESOME with your recovery.  I'm also going to echo Hvills--slow and steady wins this race!!! 
    Two things you absolutely want to guard against doing are, 1)  Messing up all of your surgeon's hard work, and 2) Overcompensating with other muscles, vertebra to make up for the area that's busy trying to fuse right now!!  In either scenario, you'd be doing some serious backpedaling in terms of recovery.  Be gentle and patient with yourself, and don't let your mind make decisions that your body will regret!

    Kimmy72, Spine-health Moderator
    Firm believer in PMA!
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  • Well shoot, little bit of regression last night again!!
  • I was wiping my dairy-air last night and I got a tremendous pain down the entire length of my back on my right side (I'm right handed). It went away right as soon as I straightened up but I'm really sore there now. It felt as if the muscles just gave away and that is the soreness I feel now, kinda like a pulled muscle. This marathon is getting aggravating! Seems like I'm always having some small something that takes me backwards. Have any of you guys ever used the bone stimulator belt thing? I was told it was painless and for the most part it is, but afterwards it makes me feel a little sore and sick at my stomach plus a really bad metallic taste in my mouth. Anyone else have these symptoms with this? This idle time is bad for me also. I catch myself reading and pondering about all the what ifs. I didn't even really consider this surgery failing because of it not fusing. Is this something that I should be concerned about, does it happen often? Is there any one thing that could make this not fuse? 
  • Hey there!
    Uh-oh!  Glad to know that pain was temporary, though.
    The one common denominator of "failed fusions" that I've seen is smoking.  Boy, what that does to a body even WITHOUT fusion!!  There are plenty of other contributors to failed fusions (overdoing it...hint hint ;) ), but cigarette smoking is a big one. 
    I know it's hard to be a "patient" patient, especially when you are used to a certain activity level.  I don't use a bone-stimulator "thingie", but that is such a strange effect! 
    I just started showing bone growth at my 3 mo. checkup!! YAAAAY.  It takes a WHILE, and no fusion is identical--meaning it may be sooner OR later when you start to show bone growth.  There are things you can do to possibly help it along like dietary changes/additions or vitamin supplementation, but those are things you'll need to discuss with your doctor, of course! 
    Stay on course, fellow spiney! 
    Kimmy72, Spine-health Moderator
    Firm believer in PMA!
  • Bruce EitmanBruce Eitman Akron, OH, USAPosts: 1,510
    32racingjunkie:

    Don't give up, only 5 weeks so don't expect to have fused yet.  At 3 months, my x-ray shows fusion is happening, but not yet fused.  I'm looking forward to my next x-ray early next month (7 months).

    You will have ups and downs for the at least the next year.  Use those downs to learn what you can do and more important can't.  The cant's should decrease over time as you heal.

    For the last year, including pre and post surgery, I have had a problem were my muscles occasionally tighten up more that I expect based on what I am doing.  I didn't have this 2 years ago.  I wonder if this is similar to what you experienced with your back muscles.  Hurts like heck, but goes away quick.

    I am using a bone growth stimulator.  I did notice muscle feelings when I started using it, but haven't noticed anything for the last couple of months.  Never tasted metal.


    Kimmy72:

    Yeah!!!!   Great news about starting to fuse!

    Bruce

    Read my story at Bruce - My Story
    ACDF C4-C5-C6-C7, and getting better every day
    It has been a process of healing, learning, exercising, and resting - and figuring out when to do which.

  • Thanks, Bruce!! Now back to 32's original post...
    I have terrible hamstring tightness since my surgery, especially on the left side where I experienced the majority of my symptoms pre-op.  My left leg also feels "heavier" than my right.  I know I'm still young in recovery, too, and my muscles are likely still getting used to everything being properly aligned in there for once!
    Kimmy72, Spine-health Moderator
    Firm believer in PMA!
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