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3 months post posterior L5-S1 fusion

Started by Nicole81 on 02/22/2016 11:08pm

Hi All,
I am new to this site. I had a PLIF of L5-S1 in November for spondylosethesis. My surgeon told me recovery would be 2 weeks. First week, no work, and second week - I could work from home. He was completely wrong! I am now 13 weeks post-op and have horrible pain. I feel worse than I did before surgery. I went back to work part time about 4 weeks after surgery, and am working now trying to power through the pain. My surgeon has been extremely bad with follow up and answering questions. He sent me to pain management and PT, said X-ray and MRI look fine. He won't give me any answer or explanation of why the pain is still so debilitating. I spent 4 days in bed last week unable to move. I called he surgeon and he said take more meds. Some days are better than others. I am definitely improved from where I was about 6 weeks post-op, but the last 6 weeks haven't seen much improvement. Anyone else have similar results? It has taken over my life and I am so afraid it will never get better! I am relatively young and otherwise healthy. I need to work. I am so stressed and frustrated. Sorry for the complaint, just looking for any advice or ideas. Thank you!

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Hello Nicole.
You didn't describe your pain. I had a laminectomy a year ago and had horrible leg and foot pain for 4 months postoperative. It took 4 months to feel better and another 4 month's for it to go away. So there is light at the end of the tunnel. Good luck.

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Pain is in my back, glutes and legs. The back pain is similar to what I had pre-op (shooting low back pain), but also sensitivity and pain around surgical site. Overall, the pain is worse than pre-op. I saw my surgeon a couple day ago (finally), and he doesn't know why recovery is taking so long. I am getting a CT scan next.

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I'm sorry to hear about your recovery from this horrible surgery. I don't think that the doctors should be telling their patients about a quick recovery time. If they were a little more up front about how severe a surgery this is and about the possibility of nerve pain forever , then people wouldn't be having this procedure unless absolutely necessary.
I had this same multi level fusion in November 2014. I was told 6 months out of work , and I'll be back. Well when the 6th month came up I went for a mri and X rays and my surgeon said I'm healing slow I need 8-12 more months before any physical activities. That was devastating , he didn't care to help in anyway that I asked . The last time I went to him was a 1 year follow up after surgery. He looked at me and said its my own fault and there's nothing he can do for me.
"We are all done with each other " he says to me.
I have not yet mentioned the pain that I'm in . Every day morning-night .Some day worse than others ,some days I can't get out of bed the pain is so severe. I ended up with neuropathy in both feet from the surgery , sometimes I cant even put on a sock or put a blanket on my feet at night because of the pain . I'm working with my primary care physician and I'll be going to a pain clinic next month.
Because my surgeon misled me I didn't look into alternative treatment and as a result of this I lost my job, my health insurance, my company vehicle, a job I liked with people I liked for over 15 years . Now I applied for ssdi and got denied and I've been with out a pay check for 16 months. Sorry I didn't mean to complain.
Hopefully this is still early in your recovery and you'll respond well to therapy.
I wish you good luck and hope for a pain free future.
Paxton terrier

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Hello, I am so sorry you surgeon is acting this way, I am baffled at why he would say 2 weeks recovery!! The recovery process is alot slower and when you do to much your body will sure let you know it! the ealiest for someone to go back to part time at work is normally 6 weeks.....and the more involved the surgery the more recovery time...I would like to invite you to come join our spondylolisthesis group on facebook, it has over 2000 members if you have a facebook account? If interested.. email me at pennie92@aol.com and Ill give you the name of the group...I had a spinal fusion in 2002...I have a 100% slippage....I can tell you that you are in such pain because you are dong to much, try icing your lower back...and you should be trying not to be bending over, twisting, or lifting anything at this point...just getting in and out of a car and driviing back and forth to work can really start getting your back to hurt...things are healing....medication should be taken as directed....taking meds still at this point is very important .....it is normal for most to have pain and find that it is more like 3 months before they start to feel improvement..but if you find you are in bad pain..you need to back off of doing to much and letting your body heal...

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I'm sorry but I had an infusion spine from 2012 from L1 to s5 from a four wheeler accident. It hurts alot but I had to take pain management for 3 months. i still have have problems everyday. It can cause alot of other problems if you work 8 to 12 hr shifts. I just broken a side bone on my foot and hurt my left knee. You have to stable your feet with padding like the insloes. Cause when your back forms straight. It causes to walk kind of weird. No I have to walk with a cane. Does any one else has a problem like this...

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I'm 2 months from my surgery (lumbar spinal fusion) L4-L5,L5-S1. I had chronic nerve damage to my L5 nerve path root before surgery. I did not feel no nerve pain for 4 weeks after surgery and then bam it hit me and got worse and worse. I'm on Lyrica which I say helped like 20% up until yesterday with the rain and dampness . I'm having trouble with my balance and have pain from lower back-buttucks-hips calf-foot -toes big toe and pinky toe, archilies tendon deep ache, burning, electricity/shock radiating . I thought surgery would make me better,nope. I just want my life back, I was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease sence 2003 and it got worse over time,and I just want to be normal but I don't think that will ever be possible.

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Hi I had 2 surgeries 1 in April of 2013 second in January 2014 and I'm still hurting some days are worst than others but there is no relief in sight I can tell you now it can only get worst cause all you can do is p t and painkillers but after years of that it will not help either

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Thank you all for your comments and advice! I'm sorry, I didn't log in until tonight.

Paxton Terrier - I am so sorry for the awful experience you are having. Your doctor should be ashamed of himself for treating you so poorly! It seems many surgeons just want to get in, operate, and shoo the patient off forever. I really hope you can find some relief soon. That is awful you were denied SSDI! My thoughts will be with you during this tough time.

I am now 5 months post-op and haven't made a lot of improvement since the 3 month mark. I got a CT scan. My surgeon says everything looks OK - but there was some concerning items that I have been researching online. I know it is bad to self-diagnose, but my dr really brushed me off when I told him my concerns. I'm now trying to find another good spine surgeon in my area for a second opinion. I am afraid the cage is in the neural foramen -- and that is what is causing such severe pain in my right lower back and leg.

I would love to join the spondylosethesis group - I will send you an email. Thanks again, all. I hope you all continue to improve!

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