Thank you, PAlady! I'm sorry you have issues w/ healing your fusion. I know nothing more, personally, than that it DID reduce, greatly, my sciatic nerve problems & the neuropathic pain in my leg/foot. But my back---well, that's still very sore, stiff, tight, etc...& as you describe, the muscles are just so painful not only around the surgery site but above & below as well. Doc said last week that's normal & doesn't want me to do any PT or massage yet, as there is a fusion starting & he wants to be very conservative at this point.
My fear/worst case nightmare is that it'll continue to fuse & my pain will reduce---only to recur later on, as so many others have stated, & then what?! I know it's conunter-productive to "worry ahead" b/c many people have fused just fine & go on to lead reduced-pain lives, etc. But many others have not. I guess I'll keep taking it "one day at a time" & try not to "what if" so much!
I did read your post on the other thread about
bending while being sick....made a note of that, for future reference! Right now, of course, I am not bending over at all, only from the hips if I need to, but never @ the waist & laugh each PM when I try to brush my teeth, knees bent, leaning over from my hips & the stuff all runs down my arm...LOL! Gotta keep a sense of humor! So many little invisible "adjustments" just to get thru each day...I think that wears us ALL down, as I read the others' posts, too. All the accommodations we have to make just to achieve some normalcy, things that "normal" people don't even think about
! Just getting thru our daily routine, such as it is, is sometimes exhausting!
I too, tho, inspite of not bending right now, am pleasantly surprised by the amount of flexibility I have retained. First my doc was going to do a 2-level, from L4-S1, but decided the S1 looked strong enough (yet...) so did the 1-level L4/5 PLIF. I think had I had the S1 fused as well, there would be greater restriction of movement, not to mention more pain. Altho this "1 level" has been painful enough for me, after the 2 priors, etc.
I will take your advice, when my doc allows PT, to have them work on those tight muscles, etc. I'm sure those are contributing to my pain right now, but hope the PT can help relax them. Altho, a friend of mine, who had a fusion 3 years ago, says she still needs 10 minutes to limber up every day b4 getting out of bed & still has muscle spasms, tightness & such.....I guess it's just part of the deal!
So leave those fat cats on the floor! (We have two: a very skinny Siamese & a HUGE mackerel tabby @ 19#'s!!) They have can walk on their 4 feet & they don't have back problems! (Maybe that's why!!)
Thanks for the comments, advice & support! Hope you're feeling better today! And yes, re your DDD: that's what I had & myDoc said fusions are classed as "salvage surgeries" in that they can't fix much but do help prevent some things from getting worse. Cold comfort, tho, in that! I think we just trade one type of pain for another, actually!
Nov. 06-- Lammy @ L4, removal of spinal cystic tumor @ L4/5(benign)
Dec. 06--Re-operation for post-surgical spinal fluid leak. 2nd surgery complications includied sciatic nerve damage & radiculopathy in R leg/foot, increased instability (grade 1 spondy, 17%), epidural scar tissue binding nerve roots, damaged facet joints & DDD @ L4/5.
Jan. 08--PLIF fusion/discetomy surgery with pedicle screw instrumentation @ L4/L5, another lammy (@ L/5 this time) & bone marrow harvest from left iliac crest for packing bone around disc cages after discectomy @ L4/5. OW!!!