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2 Back operations in six months now how long does it take to recover.

Started by Dr. Lisa on 03/04/2011 12:41am

I am 49 years old and have had two back operations in the last six months. In addition to this, I have a physical disability, known as cerebral palsy and is affecting my rate of progression. I am wondering if anybody has had two back surgeries within a six-month period and an already, existing disabling condition known as cerebral palsy or another orthopedic disorder.

The first was a L1-L4 herniated disc which was ruptured disc removed at the L3- L4 lumbar area and this surgery was completed in July. My recuperation was extremely slow, and the pain was extremely persistent. For example, I had difficulty completing basic physical therapyand would have extreme pain for days after therapy.

In December, they found a cyst on the L3 level, and it had to be removed immediately in order to prevent
paralysis in my left leg. The surgery was done two months ago, and I still have chronic

My question is: could people people please share with me their rate of recovery, and how long it took them to return to everyday life without chronic pain. Is chronic pain, something that is associated with a spinal fusion for the long-term or does it decrease over time? I would like to return to work, but I'm wondering if it's going to take more than seven months
after spinal fusion? .

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2 Responses



I was originally told that in 6 months my lumbar fusion should be pretty solid but found out later that some people and was told they do not know why but some people takes more time. I now am in my 11 month of recovery and I can say my pain is diminishing but still very painful. I have been on Opana now for 4 years because I have other degenerative disks. I am still hopeful that eventually my pain will go away. I have what they are calling a delayed fusion. I have fusion around the instruments they installed for holding the bones together but for what ever reason fusion is not taking around the metal cages that they installed. I have heard that nerve pain can take a couple years to go away. I had cervical fusions that were healed in 8 months and is now painles. Suggest staying off lumbar fusion no matter what for at least 10 months ! The longer you stay off it the quicker it will heal. Hopefully I am just a slow healer !!!!

Good Luck , Jerry B


Hi Dr. Lisa, I had my fusion L3-L4 july 22. I`m worse now then pre surgery. I worked up to the day of my surgery now I can`t do a thing other then walk. I have had maybe 3 weeks that the pain was a 5 or so. Most days were 7 to 9 on pain level. At this point after massive pain from surgery I`m really not happy I had the surgery. I`m going to pain Mangement in the morning. I hope they have something to help me. I went to work on Monday I have been sick from pain since. I`m in the same shape as you Dr. Lisa.
Best of luck to you, Sam