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Recent L5 S1 fusion



  • Mamacita57MMamacita57 Posts: 52
    edited 11/16/2012 - 9:18 AM
    It is very helpful to ready all of your comments. I will be having a 2 level fusion L4/5 L5/SI in 4 days. I have dealt with pain mgmt for over 12 years and I am keeping my fingers crossed that the surgery works well. Laughterandtears...I hear you...I don't like to depend on anyone. Luckily my boys are grown and one is moving back home to assist and save money. I have been going crazy trying to figure out what I can do to assist everyone while I am down. I am just hoping after surgery I can get rest. I haven't slept more than 3 hours at a time for the past 5 years! Being able to sleep and walk...damn that shouldn't be too much to ask for. I too like the above posts want to eventually get off the narcotics.

    Please keep posting any helpful comments or suggestions. Good luck to all for speedy recoveries.
  • JoeWJJoeW Posts: 36
    edited 11/19/2012 - 5:04 AM
    Got a confirmation for the Dr's office and all's set for tomorrow. She said that she'd wish me luck but it wasn't needed with her confidence in my Doctor.

    Still worried and hope I can get some sleep tonight.

    XLIF 2-4 on 11-20-2012
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  • Hi I had a double fusion posterior and anterior at the end sept / beg oct and just found this site. It's great to be in touch with others with similar experiences. I'm doing core exercises and walking. I've had four hydro therapy sessions and start with a spinal physio next week. Pain is relatively low although I do worryingly get some nerve pain in my left foot and leg. Also a few niggles in my back but feel that's probably normal. I'm wearing a body brace all the time apart for bed and showering feel my recovery is going well. I feel very frustrated about not being able to, or ever will be able to bend over to do anything but its still early days and my aim is to get fitter than I've ever been so my body can deal with these changes. Again , nice to be in touch with you all.
  • I am now 8wks post Op and feeling really well. I am almost off all pain medication. If I do too much during the day I do have a very achy back and both my legs ache so I am very mindful about not over doing it. I am so glad I had the surgery now, even thou it was tough and the pain was so intense a few days after surgery. I have seen my neuro 2 weeks ago and he is very pleased how I am coming along. He has asked that I stop Hydro and only do walking and to increase the walking each week. My left leg is still numb but at least I can feel my feet and toes. I have kinda got used to that feeling I do hope I get the feeling back but if I don't then I am not going to dwell on it I would rather have that than the pain I endured before surgery. I wish you all the very best in your recovery, I have found this website so useful :-) Take Care everyone xx
  • Thanks to everyone for posting their experiences. Everyone is different, but I usually find one or two things that I have in common with each post.

    I am recovering fairly well, I think. The first week after surgery was very difficult, lots of pain and nausea. I was in the hospital 5 days. I had trouble with nausea and my blood pressure kept dropping too low. Since then, I have been recovering at a relative's house, as my home is a 5 hour drive from the hospital (just in case I needed to go back in).

    As of 72 hours ago, I no longer take oxycodone or valium, and am using only Tylenol to control the pain, which is manageable. Like others, my body sure lets me know when I've done too much. On that score, I've been pretty darn good about following the rules. I wear my brace ("Miss Scarlett" since it feels like a corset) whenever I am out of bed. I take several short walks each day, and am up to about 1.5 miles total each day. I am using a cane, which I don't need when I start out, but I notice I lean on it as I tire. I'm sure most of you know the fatigue factor. I suppose major surgery does knock the stuffing out of you for a while, but I'm always a little surprised at how quickly I do tire out.

    My only really difficult issue remaining is the constant nausea. It never goes away and I have no desire for food of any kind. I've been hoping that the use of oxy for the better part of the last year has just trashed my stomach and it will just take time to go away. Is anyone else having trouble with constant nausea?

    In a couple of days, I will go home to my family. That will be the real test for me to not overdue it. I have 2 kids and I, too, am compulsive about dirty dishes in the sink, laundry, etc. My husband also threatened me with a spy cam. My kids are 11 and 14 and they are more than capable of doing things for themselves - if I let them. My incentive is that I never want to have to do this again. I already had a microdiscectomy in April, and I overdid it then, to my detriment. With degenerative disc disease, I have to be careful I don't end up needing fusion further up the spine later.

    The only PT I am allowed is walking, walking and then walking some more. I see my NS December 10 for a check up and he may then release me to do other things. Until then, I'm not taking any chances.

    Thank you all, again, for posting. It really helps to know there is a community out there who understands all the details of pain, surgery and recovery.
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  • Two weeks ago had my surgery, L5/S1 with bone fusion. Staples removed two days ago...what a relief. Discomfort and tenderness at incision site but was told this is the norm. Feel some strange achiness in my buttocks but try to stretch and reposition often. Stiffness and muscle spasms also occur so I try to breath it through and stay positive....healing includes keeping a strong is still very early in my recovery but I am hopeful, afterall the original pain is gone, Thank's "Not cool" Hubby acccidently rolled in to my back while in bed....I kept my composure but wanted to scream out all kinds of vulgarity...."lil one" in the room so I kept my cool. It felt like a tremendous electrical jolt, I felt a bit nauseous and had a slight head ache...needless to say he went back to snoring and I arranged a pillow wall between us...
    Angie V.
  • Checking in again, just over 3 weeks post op to report that my walking a mile + every day so soon after surgery was too much. I was treating recovery as though I was entering the Boston Marathon and had to be in perfect shape. Since I've cut back on the amount of walking, I'm feeling much less pain and the nausea is all but gone. I really do have to remind myself that I've lived with the pain for years, and I can take a few or more months to heal it properly.

    Kudos to all of you for fighting the good fight!
  • Hi everyone,
    I am 3 month post op of L5/S1 PLIF. At the moment, I am able to go up and down the stairs. I dont feel discomfort going up and down at the moment. and I dont have to wear braces all the time. When I walk, I will need to wear braces. and I can shower on my own right now.
    On good days, I am able to walk and sit all together for 1 hour or a bit more, 5-6 times a day. but on bad days, it will be lesser than that.

    The pain is still there. At the surgery area, inside the incision there is still pain and I was wondering if there is anything to do with taking more time for recovery. I have started physio few times with some pain at times. They asked me to bend my knee while lying down. thats one of the exercises.

    Hoping to recover soon.....
  • It's been a while since my last post. I have had some small improvements since last post. I am still feeling pain at the surgical site and in my left leg. I find if I do almost nothing for a few days that I feel really good. Really surprised at how small everyday tasks can really flare things up in a hurry. I live by myself so it's pretty hard to avoid doing certain things. I really need to be more diligent about not pushing it. I have been for an xray and my surgeon says everything is looking good and the bone is starting to form. Scheduled for another xray in mid Jan to look again. My Dr. says that the pain I am still feeling is normal and that is why it is such a long recovery. He says no physio until month six. He has a great reputation so I'm confident in his plan. Just trying to not get frustrated about the little setbacks. I wish everyone well and keep working at it guys! We'll get there!
  • Vange, It's great your still doing well. Slowly slowly. It's a long recovery. Funny how surgeon said recovery would be 3 mths and now saying 6 mths. I know he is good, it seems that many quote overly optimistic timeframes. Is that because a lot of people would bork when told the realistic ones? (Rhetorical question only)

    Are you still walking on your treadmill or are you walking outside mainly.

    I am enjoying my walking and have just learnt how to walk on real soft beach sand and get good traction. And enjoying the sunrise and sunsets.

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