How does recovery differ for a second fusion?

I had a fusion last spring. Things have progressively become worse for me since then. 

At an appointment with my new neurosurgeon I found out my fusion never fused at the L4-5 so that is being redone and then the fusion is being extended down. I am also having an osteotomy because of my scoliosis.

Anyone that has had more than one fusion, how did your recovery differ the second time around? I was told this will be more painful than the first one but I'd love to hear from others that have had to do this.  Did you need extra help or were things pretty similar?

I am tapering down on my pain meds so we can have better pain management after. I've also pushed through the pain and got myself back into shape. I think having a strong core will help too, or I am at least hoping it will. I just want to do everything I can over these next 8 weeks or so to get ready and be as prepared as I can. 



  • I had 2 lumbar fusion surgeries a little over a year apart, L5 first, L3-4 second, for me, the second surgery was not any more painful than the first, but it did take quite a bit longer to get over, all the muscles and tissue that were cut the first time were cut again, I went back to work after 4 weeks following the first surgery, it was 9 weeks and part time after the second.

    Take care and keep us posted


  • i just got home from my 2nd fusion. I got L4-Sac in 2010. Got L3 hooked up to them 2-10 & 2-12-2020. I find it hard to say it's less painful as the first was A/PIF and first was a 1 day surgery, but this time the surgery was XLiF done in 2 separate days with one inbetween. I think i spent 6 days in hospital both times. My help is leaving today. I'm single dad of a 15 year old, so my parents came up and helped keep him fed, clean, and alive for the last week while i was in the hospital.. To answer specifics - I'm finding things similar but am aware that I have gotten good @dealing with back pain & doing this before is a huge advantage. I was not this far along by this point the first time. I think it's a combination of factors that make me able to say i feel more hopeful in this recovery compared to the first. You will be glad you tapered back on the meds. Knowing what i take and what they are giving was helpful at hospital.I had to advocate pretty aggressively for myself to get the pain relief i deserved while in hospital.  Because of my SCS i cannot have MRI. This surgeon may have found an issue that explains why my first fusion caused me chronic pain. My point is i had been living with screws tips in a place they should not be, because it required opening me up and looking. You get that chance and hopefully will not have to wait or learn to live/deal with chronic pain that could be avoided. I know it makes this time easier and more tolerable knowing that what ever i have to suffer through will be worth it in the end

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