I'm 8 weeks post AILF for L5-S1. 1st and only surgery. 57 year old male...20 pounds overweight (gained over past year due to less activity)
The good news: walking 3-4 miles at a stretch, nerve pain in legs has reduced 50% and lessoning, and my back feels surprisingly good (pain level @ 1-2). Sleeping better.
Challenging news: A few days after getting out of my back brace (4-5 weeks) I started feeling muscle spasms in my glutes and hamstrings. After started PT 2 weeks ago, the pain in my glutes and some in my hamstrings igrew in intensity to BIG! Going down stairs results in severe muscle spasms, When in spasm, I can walk... but gingerly. Flat ground is best, but I push myself through to 3-4 miles even though my glutes feels like I just climbed a 10,000 ft mountain. Still have residual numbness in feet, but Neurologist says that will take months to (hopefully) resolve.
The PT says the muscle spasm + bilateral pain in the butt has to do with the angle of my spine has shifted in relation to S1 as a result of the fusion. long muscles are shorter and shorter muscles are longer!
I'm stretching, albeit not consistently (my bad) I'm doing core exercises to get my abs muscles to fire-up...yet the muscle spasms in legs remain very strong. I occasionally use the YMCA pool and do water exercises. The PT says be patient, it takes time for the body to adapt & adjust. Epson salt baths help a little.
Any post-fusion folks having similar glute muscle pain/spasms? How long did it go on for you? Exercises or stretching kick in?
Thanks in advance for your advice! Healing vibes to ALL!