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Emotions running high 3 weeks post-op

48 y/o female. L5-S1 lumbar fusion, and repair of a Pars Defect.  Surgery was on 2/1/16.  Two days ago I broke down crying.  I stopped taking the pain meds 4 days ago.  I normally work M-F, 8-5.  I'm guessing I'm emotional because I have been home for 23 days!  Not working, just sitting watching tv, playing on line games and doing crossword puzzles.  I've had enough of it.  My pain is minimal.  I'm bored.  Calling the doc tomorrow to see if I can drive now at least.  Is this normal to just break down and cry? ??  My husband is very supportive and thinks I should call the doctor and advise him of my emotional state. 


  • dilauroddilauro ConnecticutPosts: 12,072
    It is not unusual to have varied emotions after surgery.  Surgery of any type is an invasion of your body.  Spinal surgery sometimes is very invasive.   So, along with the physical pain you suffer, emotions can run wild.

    Each doctor is different, but I know my doctor had a minimum of 3 weeks before attempting to drive.   And of course that depended on the type of surgery.   Good to call your doctor to get their view

    When you do talk to your doctor about driving, I agree with your husband, you should at least talk to the doctor about your emotions.
  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 991
    edited 02/25/2016 - 6:14 AM

    Hey Cariann...

    We've all been there and done that post surgery.  Don't ask me why...  it just happens... don't worry about it... it's perfectly normal.   Fusion is a MAJOR surgery and recovery can be long tough road... don't be overly anxious.  Being out of pain in only 23 days is REALLY GOOD... most people are still struggling at 23 days... for sure you're one of the lucky ones.  A call to your doctor to check on driving sounds like a good idea as it might help with your boredom if he approves it. How much walking are you doing each day??? Besides being a must for the physical recovery... getting outside for a daily walk always provided me with a positive emotional boost and a chance to maybe chat with neighbors a bit. 

    Harry - 65 year old male...
    PLIF L4-L5-S1 due to disc degeneration... May 23, 2013
    PLIF L5-S1 due to failed fusion and broken screw... Jan 19, 2015
    Microdiscectomy, decompression L3-L4 due to herniated disc... Jan 19, 2015
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  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,212
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • cholt67ccholt67 Indiana Posts: 2
    Thank you all for the feedback. It was very helpful.   Doc approved driving. Yeah!!  I am walking every hour around the house. Up here in Indiana it's pretty snowy right now so I think I'll save the outside walks for a better day. The only pain I feel is discomfort at the incision area. I'm sure that will take some time to heal. Thanks again to all of you for your feedback.
  • Glad to hear the good news. I think the more active a person is plays a big role in post op emotional stress. I had to get on a low dose depression med due to this issue. I think all the laying around you must do during recovery drives you down and in your case the weather limits you from getting outside and walking. Better rest and heal properly so you fuse up solid. Good luck!
    TLIF L4-S1 2007                                         TLIF L3-L4 2008                                          TLIF L2-L3 2016
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