Lady! Great to hear from you! I can promise to send you some lovely weather---we had 70 & sunny yesterday & so far today...so get those shorts & tank tops out!
Re my recovery: I'm about
16 weeks out now & the fusion is doing well (saw neurodoc on Wed & he checked it visually & felt around it & said "Seems nice & solid") My main concern is the return of my sciatica & leg numbness, which had been gone until about
3 weeks ago. He seemed a little concerned too, so he ordered me an MRI for Monday. Said it could be scar tissue on a nerve, or some new fusion bone growing into some area that may be affecting the L4/5 nerve roots, etc. Or just muscles trying to find new places to be, etc. So the MRI, with contrast, should help distinguish between any scar tissue or other stuff...he said not to worry, as fusion recovery is all over the map, symptom-wise and to concentrate on the good news that I sm fusing & just go easy, rest, walk, etc...no PT yet or any deep massage, as he doesn't want anything to "move" in there yet.
It's not as bad as the sciatica or leg numbness/pain as b4 my fusion, so that's good. He said this stuff can "come & go" for up to a year or more port-fusion...and then it can "just disappear" on its' own"...he agreed that the back is a mysterious thing & it's very hard to pin-point exactly where things originate, etc...Did say it could be the disc below the fusion, now hurting b/c of the lack of mobility above. but said when I'm ready, some core exercsies and PT could help that. (It's DDD at L5/S1, we knew that, but I wasn't a candidate for an artificial disk & he didn't want to do a 2-level b/c of the greatly limted mobility you're left with) So I'll just let him be the doc & figure this out!
So he has me back on diluadid (morphine-type meds) 4'xs a day again + valuim for the back muscle spasms that go all the way up to my shoulder blades sometimes + now that I'm 4 months out, he said some Avdil can help w/ the achy-ness in the operative site & also reduce the muscle pain.
So over-all it was a good report...the MRI will reveal anything to be concerned about
, but he said "Maybe not---pain doesn't always show up on MRI's" and ain't THAT the truth!
My fusion surgery was Jan 11, so he said "Oh, 4 months is NOTHING on the recovery time-line" too,which made me feel better. Said it can take up to 18 months for things to "settle in & become comfy" w/ the new arrangement back there. "Fusions are big deals" he said. Also said that just when you start to feel better & get an increase in activity levels, that's the dangerous time. "Continue to rest more, do less, and see if that helps too".
Time! Patience! Hard to adhere to!
So how are you doing? I think we had similar situations. Hope you are holding steady, not getting worse & hangning in there! It's a much longer time-line than I first thought---the 6-9 months they tell you is just the BEGINNING...!
Have a lovely weather day---I promise if not today, you WILL get some good stuff soon! :) Great to hear from you! sorry I haven't been around lately--lots of pain, but should find out more on Monday what's the cause. Thanks for asking!
Nov. 06-- Lammy @ L4, removal of spinal cystic tumor @ L4/5(benign)
Dec. 06--Re-operation for post-surgical spinal fluid leak. 2nd surgery caused sciatic nerve damage & radiculopathy in R leg/foot, increased spinal instability (grade 1 spondy, 17%), epidural scar tissue binding nerve roots, damaged facet joints & worsened DDD @ L4/5
Jan. 08--PLIF fusion/discetomy surgery w/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 total discectomy @ L4/5. Good relief from sciatica & leg/nerve pain, tho some residual CP--hope to be "Healing Well"...