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Posted in: Back pain, Chronic pain, and Surgery.

Recovery time for minimally invasive back surgery

Started by kb62inala on 11/08/2013 1:15am

I had a minimally invasive back surgery two weeks ago and I am still feeling the clinching pain in my back that I had before the surgery. I am still feeling some nerve pain in my leg as well. Does anyone know about how long it will be (approximately) before I notice a lessening of this persistent pain? I had a more invasive surgery in 2009 on level
4-5. I had hardware put in my back. That recovery period seemed to last for a good two to three months. My recent surgery on levels 2-3 and 3-4 was the lesser invasive surgery. Am I being impatient? I don't know when to decide whether or not the surgery was a success. Does anybody in the community have experience with this type of surgery? I would like to hear your stories about your recovery time.

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I had an L5-S1 fusion 11/13/13. It was a MAST quadrant plif. It is minimally invasive compared to an open plif. It involves 2 smaller incisions one on each side of the spine. The recovery time is supposed to be shorter than the traditional plif because there is less muscle damage. That being said, it is still spine surgery and recovery of the muscle, nerves and bone can take 12-18 months. I left the hospital less than 24 hrs post op. It is supposed to be a 2-3 day stay, but my husband and I both work at the hospital and my husband is a neurosurgery nurse in the OR. My neurosurgeon knows both of us well and the condition for leaving early was that we call his cell phone with any questions or issues. I felt much less pain and burning than I had been experiencing as soon as a couple hours after surgery. Turning in bed was the hardest part. Don't try to be a hero and not take your pain meds as prescribed. I learned the hard way. Set an alarm if necessary. I am 5+ weeks out and have very little back discomfort. Most of my issue is burning down my leg, numbness in my calf and foot and an odd sunburnt sensation on top of my foot. Most of these sensations started 5 days post op. I got sick for some reason and the motions of vomiting tore some internal stitches on one side which caused a hematoma to form and it is pressing on / irritating the nerves on that side. I'm taking neurontin for the nerve pain, flexeril for muscle spasms and percocet for the leg pain. Walking helps tremendously. Sleeping is difficult. But sleeping propped up and with a large (sleep number reading pillow) under my legs does help. You can see by the hour I'm typing this that I still have difficulty sleeping, but I would have this surgery again in a heartbeat. The leg and back pain I was having prior to surgery was debilitating. This odd burning sensation seems to be lessened by meds. The pain prior to surgery wasn't touch by anything.

What type of minimally invasive surgery did you have? There are several types that fall into this catagory. Are you feeling any less pain?