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5 weeks post op from 2 level PLIF and still in alot of pain... Please help!!!

mky_frkmmky_frk Posts: 51
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:31 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had L4-S1 fusion with all the hardware including cages. I have been experiencing alot of pain still and don't feel like I am any better then what I was prior to surgery. Is this normal? I originally had pain in my back around where my hip bones go into the spine. And now after the surgery that pain has started up again! I am still taking quite a bit of pain pills, but I am stubborn, so I haven't taken as many as I can. Could this be the problem?

Please Help! I go for my first post op on 5/20... do I need to call my doctor before hand?

2 more bulging discs; spinal stenosis; osteoarthritis; reverse lordosis at L3; degenerative disc disease; inflammatory joint disease; nerve root cysts at T1-T3; 2 level PLIF 4/9/09 and 3 level PLIF 9/6/12 with hardware both times


  • One thing my doc told me was don't wait until you have pain to take your pills..They need to be taken as scheduled otherwise it takes time to catch up...I was like you with the pills but once I was told about taking them as scheduled it helped me alot..Can't address any of your other issues but it seems to me that after 5 weeks you should not be experiencing as much pain....Good Luck
  • and had same as you along with discectomey. My last visit my dr said, remember I told you it would be 6 months to a year before you will be healed. So I knoww that it is to soon for me to make any judgements. I deal with pain dailey and still have hope it will get better. It has somewhat. Also keep your pain under control. Once it gets ahead of you it is hard to control. I take my meds as percribed, dont want to have it get ahead, cause it has and I really like it when I control it, not it control me. Hope this helps and good luck.
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  • Like everyone said, by all means take the pills! Curious to know if you are having nerve pain postop and if it is worse or better than preop and how has it progressed after surgery if it is there.

    5 weeks out is pretty soon to not be taking pain pills if you are having back pain. Would be good for you to write down exactly what you are doing and what hurts when, and bring another adult with you to the appointment to hear what is said and act as advocate.
  • I had a 3 level PLIF fusion 1 year 3 months ago, and I STILL ache and hurt. I can barely remember 2 weeks post-op I was so doped up, and absolutely miserable!!! Even thoughts of suicide, which is totally NOT ME!!!! I was out of my mind in pain.

    You are perfectly normal!! You are not going to heal that quick, and you have to get your mind set on that and accept it! I wasn't even fusing until 23 weeks, (and that was just beginning to see fusion) You are going to have many ups and downs in the next YEAR!! You will be taking pain meds everyday for a long long time. Our Physicians kinda leave that part out when discussing our "healing process". I couldn't even start physical therapy until I was at 26 weeks, and then it's a really slow process of the PT they give you.

    What you had done is a "life changing surgery", it's a really hard one to swallow, it takes months of tears and incredible pain and having little talks with yourself of accepting it.

    At 1 year 3 months, I still take about 3 percocets per day and still do my PT, but the biggest thing is I have accepted the word "handicapped", and I know my limitations, and I don't push it. Life is not the way it was before my surgery and never will be.

    Take your meds, don't think you can do without them, because it's like everyone else said, "then it takes time to get them built back into your system in order for them to work".

    Take it easy on yourself, you just had major surgery, and it truely does take from 1-2 YEARS to heal.

    My puppy tripped me the other day, I fell down (it's been my biggest fear since surgery) my knees hurt like heck from catching myself, but guess what, my back is fine!!! YEA!!! I MUST be fused all the way. I was hurting from falling, used muscles I haven't in a long time, but on the other side I was so excited that my fusion area did NOT HURT.

    Hang in there sweetie, it's going to be ok, really....
  • Lynn's email was an incredible one. Your life will be forever changed
    Please keep in mind that 30% of all back surguries fail while 70% succeed. 70% that is a very high number..

    We all heal differently and I can tell you from my experiences alone, if you have any stress in your life, yup, it settles in your most vulnerable spots that hurt.

    Pain meds are an important part of the healing process and you must take them regularily. I know it's difficult because of the fear of addiction BUT they are there to help you deal with and through the pain you and all patience experience. before and after surgery. I learned my lesson long ago to succumb to taking them and not feel guilty about what family members, friends and anyone in between said. They do not have to live with the pain like we do.

    It will be important that you bring a list to your first post op with questions or concerns you have. This way, you don't walk out, get home and realize you forgot to tell the doctor something that YOU feel is important.

    I have found that massage is one of the best things for post surgery. It is not only relaxing but if you can locate a massage therapist that has a lot of knowledge with back surgeries and the muscles/tendons that surround the spine, they can assist with keeping the area a little less "stiff" by working specifically the areas in the fusion region.

    Remember, you just had surgery...It is a very intricate procedure and needs time to heal.

    Chin up and God Bless..
    Feel free to PM me if you have any questions...Having had 3 back surgeries and many other ailments that have been related to them, I can share my experiences with you.
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  • These have been great posts...very encouraging. Thanks so much. You not only help the person who posted, you're helping those of us who read them.
  • Sorry, I just got back on here to check my replies. It is around 7 weeks post op and I am doing a lot better!!! I am still taking my pain meds, but I am so stubborn, I take 1-2 a day, if that!! The doctor upped them to percocet 10s and I only take my flexeril maybe once every day or two. Now I am experiencing bad neck pain, so it doesn't look like I am out of the woods just yet!!

    But thanks again for all the advice!!!! I greatly appreciate all of you!!!

    2 more bulging discs; spinal stenosis; osteoarthritis; reverse lordosis at L3; degenerative disc disease; inflammatory joint disease; nerve root cysts at T1-T3; 2 level PLIF 4/9/09 and 3 level PLIF 9/6/12 with hardware both times
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