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recovering from spinal fusion - disc replacement one week post op

lisadaylenellisadaylene Posts: 79
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:46 AM in Recovering from Surgery
One week ago, I had disc replacement between L2 and L3, and also between L3 and L4. I have a cage and screws holding everything together. My surgery lasted about 4 1/2 hours. I had my surgery on Friday morning, went home on Sunday afternoon. I have experienced some pain that was bad at times, then other time, nothing. I am on percocet, and just today started prednisone. Most of the pain I am now experiencing is due to muscles on my back on either side of incision, and sciatic in the hip. I am not surprised, I do know all the trauma that nerves go thru with this surgery, and the way I now move to protect my incision causes some discomfort to my back muscles.
I am really bothered by the skin on my butt and top of thighs burning, but do not have a red rash, is it from laying down so much? What can I do to help that burning feeling? I am on a bone stimulator 2 hours every day to help the bone fuse. Overall, I am doing great. I used a walker/seat for one week, and now only use it if I need to go out, or because other chairs are too low. I have joined this site to see if what I am feeling is normal, and to help anyone else if I can. I havd this surgery due to 20 years of lower back pain, and slight scoliosis. When my back went out this time, it lasted four months and after my MRI, saw that their was no more disk, and vertebre was on top of vertebre, squashing my nerves. Right now, I feel I made the right decision.


  • Ok, 11 days post op. As I slowly feel better, I find myself trying my limits, like can I get out of this chair by myself, things like that, and then worrying myself silly that maybe I hurt something. I do notice the feeling of tightness around the repaired spine more than before, but not pain. Not there, but still the skin on my rear and top of thights burns like sunburn, but no redness at all. When I am up and walking around, feel no pain, sitting not bad at all either. Laying down, trying to get comfortable, that is hard. I walked around Target yesterday, that was great, nice to get out. Anyway, that's all for now, hope everyone has a good day.
  • Good to hear your recovery is going well! I haven't had a disc replacement but just wanted to day Hi and I'm wishing you the best during your recovery!

    Take care!
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  • Thank you Jayhawk for your nice message. This is the first back surgery I have had, hopefully the last. I do think that I am recovering at a quicker pace than I had thought I would. After reading so many terrible outcomes (before surgery) I was really worried. I know it will be slow, but to not feel any of that sciatica pain is wonderful, hope I never do again. Take care
  • Hello Lisadaylene Glad to hear your doing so well so soon.I'm having Surgery Sept.28 ADR L4-5 Fusion L5-S1.It's great to hear of someone who is having only a few minor issues following such a major surgery.How long after surgery before you were feeling up to walking?At this point are you using anything for assistance in walking?How's the pain from the incision site ? Sorry for all the questions.I look foward to hearing about your progress.Take care and be good to yourself.
  • Sounds like you're doing great. It's so nice to hear from somebody that they are actually feeling better following surgery.
    Please keep us posted. Hope you continue on your road to recovery.
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  • Thank you Juvap for your nice reply, yes I think I am doing pretty good considering.

    Kaitiedid, I am glad reading my post made you feel a better about your upcoming surgery. The day after my Aug 27th fusion I was up walking around my room with a walker and sitting in a chair, and later the same day the physical therapist took me down the hallway with the walker, and said I was doing great, no dizziness or anything. I was able to walk without the walker to the bathroom just walking with my iv stand. I was released on the 3rd day after a long walk with the therapist.
    I have a walker with seat, I used it for any walking that was further than a room or two at home. And 6 days after my surgery I was able to go watch my step-daughter have senior pics taken, just made sure I took my walker, because it is higher and easier to get in and out of. I am not using the walker for walking at all, actually went to the park today for pet expo. But I am now 16 days post op. I do use it for sitting at the table and computer, and I sit on my recliner with the back reclined when relaxing.
    The toilet riser is a must! Could not have done without it, and a grabber for anything from putting on clothes to picking up anything I dropped.
    I have no pain from the incision site. The pain from my nerves is the only real pain I feel, not sure what it is, hopefully Monday the doctor will have an answer. If you have any more questions please just ask me, of course as you have seen, everyone has a different outcome. I have no regrets that I did this, hopefully I will continue to feel better everyday and I hope that setbacks are few. I wish you the best with your upcoming surgery. I tried to have a positive attitude from the beginning, I do believe it helped me in my progress. Take care.
  • Thank you Lisadaylene it was very sweet of you to write back and share all the info.WOW I can't believe how well you were getting around so shortly after surgery. I have had two Cervical Surgeries and didn't get around as well as that early on. But I'm hopeful this time will be different.I was at the pharmacy on Friday and was looking at the toilet riser just wasn't sure I would need it and hated to spend the money if I didn't. I will be going back to get it.I have the grabber and have been moving items that I use alot into linen baskets so I can get to them.
    I think nerve pain is almost impossible not to have after this type of surgery.I know I had it with both of my Cervical Surgeries.It takes alot of time for nerves to heal after such trauma.But it's definetly a good idea to talk to your surgeon.
    I completely agree with you that a good attitude is everything.It's funny you said this because I had just had that conversation with my children this morning.And they all agreed a good attitude was key in a sucessful outcome to surgery.
    Thanks again for the great info. Hope you continue down the road to pain free days.I look foward to hearing about your continued recovery.Take Good Care.
  • Congratualtions for doing so well!! Amazing, keep it up!! It is remarkable how much better you feel w/out severe pain. I'm glad that you are going to your dr. Monday so you can ask him the questions you have asked here. I'm not giving you advice, just sharing my experience, I had the burning like sunburn feeling down my legs after surgery(fusion L/2-L4)from nerves. I couldn't have any clothes or heavy covers touch my legs or the "sunburn" feeling felt worse. Boy, it's tough for you to avoid that position right now so I hope that it improves soon for you! Keep up the good work and don't over do it as you feel better!

  • Kaitiedid, sounds like you are preparing yourself well. I tried listening to what others said helped them, and it really helped not to have to have others running around at the last minute. Keep up the positive attitude, please keep in touch.

    Kathy, a lot of people are telling me that they felt that pain down their legs too. Guess I am lucky it has not spread down my legs yet. I am kinda glad it is not winter, no need to wear heavy clothes or blankets, just light cotton clothing. I appreciate what you said about not overdoing it. I keep telling myself that, I have read enough stories of people feeling better, and driving too soon, or lifting or whatever and find themselves in trouble. I do not lift anything over 5 lbs, do not bend at the waist, or sit for over 30 to 45 minutes without walking or lying down. Well, we will see how I feel tomorrow with the staples gone. Thank you for writing, cannot tell you how much I appreciate it.
  • Im so amazed at your speedy revoery..Over here in Australia, each time Ive had spinal surgery I had to spend 8 to 10 days in hospital and then it was a slow process from there..

    I had the burning in the legs and bottom and when I asked my Surgeon he said it was from the nerve being squashed for so long and now it was released and had to try and work again...I have permanent nerve damage to my spine and it has left me with a numb top right leg..

    Goodluick and congratulations on your recovery as it amazes me how well you are doing.

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