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  • Spinal fusion

    Hello everyone, I don't know where I can ask for help so I hope someone will help. All started about 4 years ago when I had a discectomy. Everything was fine until a month and few days ago. For an unknown reason (because I hadn't any accidents), the pain started and I've been forced to visit my doctor and he said that my disc (L5_S1) was ruining again and my spine was crushing. I was forced to do a spinal fusion and a month ago I did it (on 27th of January). I had my spinal fusion surgery, pedicle screws, the doctor removed my disc and put in a cage with donor bone. I don't know what happened that day or what came out wrong but I don't feel myself as good as I need to be after a month. I have been reading other people's posts that they gone back to work after maximum a week, of course not as usual having a light work, but I'm already in the fourth week feeling like the second day after the surgery, feeling miserable: I cannot sleep normally - only a couple of hours a night this month because of the pains I still have. The left side of my back is burning and I still feel pain in my leg. I never thought that the pain was going to last so much time, I try to take less medication some days but every time I end up in terrible pains. I'm getting into a deep depression soon - I cannot go outside the house and I barely walk - only with the help of my brace and I'm totally sick of the pain but my next appointment is in a week. Can someone tell me how long is this going to last? Maybe someone already had it? I'm really frustrated that someone needs a week for getting back to work but for me a month is not enough. Please help with all info you've got! Thank you


  • #2

    Hey, I would like to help you and I’m really sorry that someone needs to suffer so much pain as you do, I imagine how bad it is especially so much time. I understand that is hard to be patient, probably, I wouldn’t be too, but you have to be during the recovery process. You have to remember that you had a surgery and the recovery period for fusion is individual for each. It’s a natural thing that some people recover faster than others. Recovery from a spinal fusion can take quite a bit of time and few weeks aren’t enough for a good one.  Your recovery process also depends on some factors: how weak you were before surgery, how long you had your problem, how long nerves where being compressed and a lot more. I would suggest you to do the following when you have your next appointment at your surgeon: you need to ask him every question you have, you can make a reminder about it and to tell everything you posted here. Tell him about your pain and where you feel the pain, how you feel etc. As well you could ask him to give you muscle relaxer beside pain lowers and other meds, I know that it is given some patients after spinal fusion because a lot of your muscles were pulled aside to move them out when you had your surgery. It may cause some of your pains. You need to discuss everything with your doc. and you will get answers to all of your questions, maybe then you will be a little calmer. I wish you good luck and a quick and painless recovery from now on. You can post your results further to let me know how you are going.

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    • #3

      Hello there, I am in a similar situation and I understand how you're feeling! I don't want to scare you or something like that but I've had my anterior lumbar fusion surgery 4 months ago and I am still in extreme pain. Anyway, everyone is different from one another and with a little of luck you're recovery process will be much sooner than mine because I am still having terrible pains if I am not on the pain killers. I have a lot of pain in my lower abdomen, in my left side of stomach that continues to spread to my knee through my genital area. Obviously I've talked to my surgeon and he said that I have these pains because of my nerves that have been over stretched for many years already. Now that they are positioning where they should normally be I still have the pains. The doctor couldn't say for how long time I am going to be covered with these pains because it depends on how long the nerves where over stretched. He added that someday it will happen and the pains will go away, I just have to be patient. It's hard, it's very hard! But I recommend you to do the same - patience is the key. I wish you all the best and a quickly recovery man.

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      • #4

        Santino and Liam, I'm very sorry that you have to go thru so much pain but I'm sure that it is going to get better. I really want to support you all. I never had a spinal fusion so maybe I will never understand you 100% but I know others that have. If I think about it and compare these people's situations I can assure you that some recover more quickly than others, in that I'm 100% sure. I believe that a little bit it depends on how the surgery was done and how everything passed, but most of it, I believe that's because we are all individuals and we all respond to surgery differently. I believe that the pain you are experiencing is some nerve pains and they are hurting so bad because they were moved during surgery and now they are recovering. Unfortunately, healing nerve process can be really painful and you should inform your surgeon about this and he might give you some stronger pain killers. Also remember that doctors can't provide us with exact information on how long it is going to take for a full recovery, they give us statistical information, but on an individual basis I think that it's almost impossible to give precise information on recovery time. So Liam said very well that patience is the key, you will get better if the doctor says so, and your nerves just need some time for that. We're hoping that you'll get better sooner! Keep us in touch

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        • #5

          hi everyone, as i am reading your posts i get even worse as i am right now.... i had my spinal fusion l4l5 and a lamenectomy about a month ago on the 23th april 2014. i wanted to ask you if the depression i am feeling right now is normal after this surgery ? but reading your posts i am getting more depressed... i can't believe that i have to suffer from this so much time. i thought that i'm going to get better soon, but i see that i'm not... i seem to spend very much time in bed and my sitting is a true killer, i can't endure that. i knew that people are are different in their recovery time, this is something normal and i know that it depends on a lot of things, however i would like to ask you when will i be able to sit longer ? i really would like to get up on my feet and stay without pains because as i said, i'm getting more and more depressed with each day. i am so frustrated and just need to know if this gets better... i have a desk job and i want to return as soon as possible at my work lest i lose my money... moreover i can't feel normal when i see that my husband has to do so much things for me... it's just so unfair, i wish you all my best and good luck and please, those who passed thru this, answer my questions

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          • #6

            I see that you haven't wrote any updates but I really hope you're doing well by now.

             

            I also had a spinal fusion many years ago, on my l5 s1 and it took me a while before I could feel myself back to normal. To be more precisely it took me about a year. I have done some exercises daily and during that time I was seeing improvements weekly. I was trying not to over estimate how much you can do and I strongly advise you to do the same otherwise you can make it much more worse than it was and in the same time you should slowly push yourself and exercise, this is going to improve your conditions. This is what my doctor said and I was just following his advices and it worked great! He said that exercising is very important and I do believe him.

             

            However I'm here now because it seems that my problem is starting again after these years. The last few months I'm having pains that are slowly increasing almost daily. I was at my doctor who said that I will have another surgery. Not the best news for me. Sincerely I thought that I will never have other problems or the second surgery, guess I'm just not lucky. Now I'm wondering how I will be doing this time because I'm not in the same shape I was once those years ago.

             

            Hope we all are going to get better, wish me good luck.

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            • #7

              Hey everybody out there. Here is my story. I’m posting it because I need to talk to those who have some experience upon this and would like to help me. Well, I’m pretty young – I am only 25 years old and I had a L5 S1 posterior fusion 5 months ago because my L5 disc was partially herniated. I’ve had a surgery but immediately after that surgery I was having severe burning and pains. I was having numbness and a sensation of needles in my toes, hip and my leg. It all started immediately after the surgery and now, 5 months later but I still have all of these symptoms. I was having some improvement with my low back pain but few days ago I started to experience a really achy pain in my low back each time when I sit down. This pains are getting worse and worse if I stay and the longer I stay the worse it gets. I’ve tried to endure the pain and maybe it will subdue but it doesn’t it got so bad that it became a throbbing pain that is spreading thru my back, my hips and is getting into the front of my body affecting my abdomen and genital all the way until my butt.

               

              I can’t stand this anymore because I’m not a good student since I have it. I have to stay in classes 2 hours but I just can’t sit for that long. The pains are terrible so each time I have to leave much earlier. These pains continue to cause me discomfort whenever they are shooting in my low back until my abdomen and genitals. I don’t know for sure but I think that the solution for treating the pains that lasts so long after the surgery is to have my hardware removed and my bone graft site to be cleaned up. I don’t know certainly if this would work but I hope so. I don’t know other things I can do but if this won’t work I’ll go crazy because I can’t live like this anymore, I have a miserable life! I can’t work since I’m going to college but I can’t go to college because of these problems. I’m useless now. I don’t understand why I really had the surgery because I’m no better now 5 months after the surgery. In additional, new pains started.

               

              Well, this is why I am here. I wanted to ask for your help, I mean to ask if anybody else here had their hardware removed and what were the results? This helped with the pains? I really want to talk to whoever has some any experience with this! Thank you and I hope that we would get rid of the pains someday.

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              • #8

                This thing sucks… I’m tired of it so damn much. I have had a double lumbar fusion exactly one year ago (on 20th September 2014) and I was nearly sure that until this moment I would feel fine, unfortunately, one year have passed and I’m still having extremely bad pains. Why would have them for so much time? are they ever going to go away?? How much times it needs for the pain to go away completely? How many years?? What should I do for it? I can’t support all this anymore, I’m still having pretty big problems to sleep but besides sleeping issues I also find it pretty hard to sit down, after one freaking year. That’s killing me. I wouldn’t be able to function at all if I wouldn’t be using pain killing medications and muscle relaxants until this day. but I’m tired using them, they are full of chemicals and I know that for the moment I’m getting a little bit of relief but using them for a long period of time (like me… a year) then it would affect other parts of my body and soon I won’t be able to get out of my bed at all and there wouldn’t be a medication that would safe me. I never thought that spinal fusion recovery is so slow, but it also sucks very bad.

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