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Fusion Recovery

Apr 10, 2019 2:08 PM

Hello. In the last 9 months, I have had C2-T3 and L3-S1 fused. Ref L3-S1, if anyone else had it, how was your recovery time.

Apr 10, 2019 6:53 PM

Welcome to the community. Read the topics about FlappysLady81 journey.

Apr 10, 2019 10:40 PM

Hi I have a rod in my back for a long time now and itโ€™s fused , but now that Iโ€™m older itโ€™s giving me a pain on the lower part of my back the L4 , So I know what you are talking about . Good Luck ๐Ÿ‘ hug to you ๐Ÿค—๐Ÿค—๐ŸŒˆ๐ŸŒˆ๐ŸŒˆ

Apr 11, 2019 12:14 AM

It was many years ago that I had C3-C7 fused and L1-L5 fused. The cervical took me 6-9 months went well. The Lumbar had to be refused because it failed to fuse the first time. Had the fusion came out of surgery to find out I was pregnant! Lol wore a special brace for 9 months. My son was 9 pounds 8 ounces. Needless to say upon natural delivery he really screwed up my fusion big time and had to have it redone.. took much longer to heal. I have rods and pins in my back and a plate in my neck. I hope your recovery is going well for you. Sending you hugs and get well wishes๐ŸŒบ

Apr 11, 2019 6:55 AM

Hi mike was years ago when I was younger Iโ€™m an adult now in my 40 ish years.But I am slowly trying to deal with it . I get pains in my left leg and feet a lot that why I donโ€™t go to many places . I stay around where I live. Now it snowing again not helping o well . I hope thsyour pain is ok ๐Ÿ‘Œ praying also ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™๐Ÿค—๐Ÿค—๐Ÿค—๐Ÿค— later

Apr 11, 2019 1:43 PM

Bll, I've had 4 surgeries between 1992 to 2017, all cervical fusions. I had a plate and 5 screws that had to be removed (took 18 months to recover), but a new plate was put in this last go around. My last two failed to heal (pseudoarthrosis) and the doc now wants to reopen me up to deal with multiple issues from C2-T3 (posterior entrance, cutting through muscles, tendons & ligaments down my spine). He told me for 6 months I won't be allowed to raise my arms above my chest or I'll risk resurgery or permanent damage, and it will take 6-12 of strict recovery protocol. I'm not looking forward to it.

I've not had surgery anywhere lower although I have disc issues at T10-12, L3-4 & L5-S2 and into the coccyx. I have OA and DDD along with stenosis, neuropathies, and facet issues. The doc said I've developed a 30% curvature but he won't address it until it's at least 75%, with rods (breaking my discs apart, realigning and inserting rods). I'm thinking heck no! I've had lots of steroid injx all down my spine.

My first surgery only took 3 miss too heal, my second 18 most (both used my hip bone for fusions in the 90s, and was done from the anterior entrance). The 2016 & 2017 fusions entailed much more complicated procedures, using donor bone tissue, and to date neither has healed. I wish you the best and will pray you have a full recovery as quickly as possible. Hugs love and prayers! ๐Ÿ™‚โค๐Ÿ™๐ŸŒผ

Apr 18, 2019 6:54 PM

This is a remark to myself so I dont forget . Two levels of pain: C2-T3 (neck low grade headache spiking on either side requiring me to sit/lay down for hours) and L3-S1 (right to left then down left leg). Iliopsoas is the likely culprit; however it has also been 2 months since surgery. Pain meds and muscle relaxants have yet to sync (as in pharmacy inventories, availabilities, etc..). Best recipe yet has been Nucynta 50, Nucynta 200 ER, and flexeril.

Today was extra special. I could barely get out of bed unassisted and walking was like barefoot on glass. Speaking of that, when I massage my trouble leg, it also feels like glass or sand. Very interesting.

The last 2 surgeries were the 8th and 9th. 1-5 were attempts to get it right. The suspicion is 4 let the infection in and it went rampant. 5 was a failed attempt to fix 4. 6 (new and current surgeon; only one who nailed it) was to remove all hardware due to infections. Then 90 days with a PICC. Surgery 7 replaced C2-T3. 8 and 9 were lumbar.

Apr 19, 2019 8:53 PM

Pain management meeting today. I am maxed out on Nucynta dosages (50mg for immediate; 200mg for ER). No problem. Add the Flexeril and I have a 50% solution. The challlenge is as I mentioned above: the upper fusion may be pushing on a nerve, thus 24/7 headache; the lumbar fusion resulted in a torn or strained iliopsoas so the entire left leg burns all the time and I need a cane due to the ne trick knee.
I have a thought about pain medications, and as I know next to absolutely nothing about them, I would appreciate someone keeping me straight. I am wondering if replacing the Nucynta with a Fentanyl patch (or oral?) for a short amount of time (say 1-2 months) then return to Nucynta as/if needed would have a more productive effect. Like most people in this forum, if I could just have a few weeks pain free (breakthrough), that would be a God send.
Not asking anyone to play pharmacist, just looking for some ideas (really need that pain free eek or two). :-).
Thank you.

Apr 19, 2019 9:14 PM

I will say when my wife asked for ideas for my birthday, I asked for a walk-in morphine bath. All tongue in cheek, but wow...wouldnโ€™t THAT be something.

Apr 20, 2019 11:23 AM

Bll the walk in bath made me laugh. ๐Ÿ˜‰Maybe a pharmacist or someone creative can design something for us all!

The Nucynta & Fentanul patch idea seems logical to me. But because of my very long list of pain med allergies, I'm not the one who can help you know if that's possible. I'm limited to Tramadol with Baclofen muscle relaxers, Lidocaine ointment for my spine, and Gabapentin for neuropathy. And due to my high sensitivities I'm limited to a maximum of 600 mg of Gabapentin a day (300mg on avg per night to help me sleep better). It knocks me out, and gives me scrambled brain for days. I've had to learn to cope through my pain until it reaches a 7-8 (every day starts at least a 3-5), then I will take extra gabapentin and the Tramadol. When I had my last neck fusions I was given the Fentanyl patches for 6 weeks only but it was very helpful in controlling the pain. I refuse to ask for it or a few other strong pain meds on a daily basis, because when I have surgeries I need something stronger than Tramadol. I hope you can get a handle on your pain soon. But if you're like the rest of us there will likely never be a pain free day. Hugs love & prayers for as painless a weekend as possible! ๐Ÿ™‚โค๐Ÿ™๐ŸŒผ

Apr 20, 2019 12:03 PM

Hi guys I loved what you wrote. Happy Easter to you both . The other day I was in so much pain I wanted to give up . But I realized and starred to relax more saying it well all be ok at the end.
I have a wonderful fiancรฉ who will be there for me sd wonderful friends where I live also. In time of need thatโ€™s all we do need are family and friends by our side.
Hug and prayers to everyone here ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™๐ŸŒˆ๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿค—๐Ÿค—๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒนShore it a sunny day here supposed to get to 70 later ))))

Apr 21, 2019 11:18 PM

Fentanyl is not for short term use. Having been on it for a few years it is a beast to get off of. Not to mention anytime you want to shower or get a sweat bubble under the patch you start feeling withdrawals. The only way I would maybe possibly consider it again is if I knew I was going to die and never have to detox off it. Just my two cents.

Apr 21, 2019 11:19 PM

Also I have my entire T-spine and part of my L-spine fused. PM me if you want some more info.

Apr 22, 2019 6:51 AM

Hi lmb in Dhore I hope that you have s nice day . I hope that everyone have a nice week come up also .
Right now my back hurts a bit and left shoulder and legs oh well. Hug to all Shore๐Ÿ™๐ŸŒˆ๐ŸŒˆโค๏ธ

Apr 25, 2019 12:29 AM

Most difficult tasks to currently perform are getting up/sitting down from a chair/car and getting into/ out of bed. Feels like everything south of the waistline is on fire for just a few seconds, just enough to really tick me off.

Apr 25, 2019 1:22 AM

Hi everyone. I completed a Pain Management 6 week course. I relearned biofeedback, meditation and diaphragm breathing. I love music so I listen and it helps me meditate. I pray, contemplate and reflect with the aid of my iPod.
Just sharing what has helped me getting off of pain killers. Though I realized that having RA has put a stop to any kind of surgeries. Iโ€™m at a high risk for infection. Have shingles and doctors donโ€™t want to risk it. So I wholeheartedly feel for you all and pray that something works for each of us. Iโ€™m also sensitive to meds and cannot take Baclofen nor Gabapantin. Heck I donโ€™t drink and when I tried CBD drops it triggered the shingles. So, Bill, Iโ€™m saying a special prayer for you. Hope that something works. Since Iโ€™m a light weight could not give you a honest suggestion. Same goes for LBM, will be praying.

Apr 25, 2019 5:13 AM

Hi monina Iโ€™m Shore nice note messasge . I have chronic Siatica and back pain .
My leg and calf and feet spasms at night when I test it . I ice and heat it not sure what to try next. I even had back injection few weeks ago May 2 going to follow up do Iโ€™ll chat to him about it more . Hug gently to all have a nice day ๐Ÿ‘‹๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™๐ŸŒˆโค๏ธ

Apr 25, 2019 7:49 AM

Thank you both for the replies. Having had a bad opioid event in the past, I keep tight tabs on everything prescribed. I agree there are not enough non-pharmaceutical options recommended. And as there is no "one-size fits all" solution, you would think there would be (naive opinion; $$$ rules). I find it humorous that I have become a professional amateur on everything from bed covers and pillows to what may as well be a pharmaceutical degree (and I bet I am not the only here). I still believe there is something to the aforementioned morphine bath. Here's to a pain-free day!

Apr 25, 2019 12:31 PM

Hi everyone have a nice day ๐Ÿ™๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿค—๐Ÿค—

Apr 25, 2019 2:30 PM

After you heal and your fusion is stable it is critical to keep your core muscles strong. I like pilates alot. The pilates do not seem like you are doing much but trust me they can kick your butt.

May 22, 2019 7:53 AM

Hey Bill, I had my fusion in October 2018 L3-S1, so Iโ€™m in my 7th month recovery. Iโ€™m so, so sorry to read of all the pain you are still going through!!!! I have NO pain near the incision site. About 2-3 month in, I had a lot of pain at SIJ, but that resolved itself once I started physio. I was in the body brace for 4.5 months and after that had physio for 2 months. Iโ€™m in significant amount of pain but itโ€™s all muscle pain Iโ€™m trying to get back to work again. Like you, Iโ€™m on Nucynta and Nucynta ER but not because my back needs it, but because I need the same surgery on my neck now. As for my back, I feel so blessed, I know the mussle pain will eventually go away, but I feel like I have my life again!! I truly wish every one of you could experiance what successful surgery means. (I do not want to come accros as somebody who glotes or is rubbing your nose in, thatโ€™s not my intent at all, but would genuinly wish you could step in my shoes and experiance what it means to be pain free.) Btw, did they stapple your cut or glue it? Just curious...
Wishing you all the very best, but most of all, pain free.

May 22, 2019 10:44 AM

Hi there I have back pain and Brusitus it really hurts . I have been getting back injection and going back folllw up in June .
My legs hurt as well now Iโ€™m putting ear drops in and Have amoxicillin to help clear it up .
So far it is. . I hope that you feel better soon as well Hug Shore ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน My neck hurts as well Hug ๐Ÿค—๐Ÿค—๐ŸŒˆ๐ŸŒˆ

May 25, 2019 2:38 PM

All lumbar iurgery incisions were sutured. I did have staples for the cervical fusion.

Having to prioritize, I will have the top four screws for the cervical fusion removed in a few weeks as they are the likely suspects causing the perpetual headache. It looks like they are impinging the occipital nerve (which I may have mentioned before).

The leg pain caused by the torn soas has changed. While no longer so painful around the hip flexor, the entire thigh is extremely sensitive to touch, burning at the slightest contact. I am continuing bi-weekly injections as there is little to be done; only time will fix it.

May 25, 2019 2:43 PM

Oh..and the fatigue is incredible! I function for about 2 hours after waking, then am flat on my back or 2-3 hours, then up, then down, rinse/repeat all day, every day.

May 26, 2019 7:59 AM

Bll, I went back and re-read your description of the sensations in your leg. I just had surgery on my left hip for a labral tear and tendon/ligament tears; they put 2 pins through the labrum into the hip joint socket & stitches to repair the other. I'm non-weight bearing for 6 weeks. Anyway, your description of the leg sensations, of glass, is what I'm feeling if I touch my foot or toes. Did your doc mention how long it might take for that to get better? ๐Ÿ™‚โค๐Ÿ™๐ŸŒผ

May 27, 2019 3:18 PM

Bill, I am horrified reading your post op recovery journey. I am so sorry that you are still in so much pain. Btw, I had a 15โ€ incision that was glued shut. Not a single staple. Donโ€™t know if that makes any differens or not... wish there is something I could suggest to help with your pain...

May 27, 2019 4:51 PM

Hi I hope that you are all doing good today on Memorial. day, hugs to you all . You are in my prayers as well๐Ÿค—๐Ÿค—๐Ÿค—๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐ŸŒˆ๐ŸŒˆShore sorry also to here of your pains. I have my ears are bothering me today at times and my back yet sigh ๐Ÿ˜” hug Later

May 28, 2019 6:54 AM

Hello, Flappy. No estimate for leg recovery; however, it is my understanding, and like most things, the amount of damage determines the amount of time. In my case, the docs had quite a bit of scar tissue from some prior โ€œscrapesโ€ to contend with which most likely led to more than average damage to the psoas. Leg functions and strength are returning albeit slowly. The greatest challenge right now is a complete weakness and failure of the knee. Thanks for asking.

May 28, 2019 6:57 AM

Hi BLL I hope that you feel better soon and have a nice day today hug ๐ŸŒˆ๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™๐Ÿค—๐Ÿค— Shore

May 28, 2019 10:00 AM

Thanks Bll! I guess I just have to be patient, not one of my better attributes. ๐Ÿ˜‰

May 28, 2019 10:11 AM

This whole process has been fascinating to me. I have defintiley come to rethink my definitions and concepts of pain. The pain before any of the surgeries was different than the pain associated with recovery, and the current pain reimagines itself almost daily, it would seem. And as simple as it sounds, there is no remedy fo absolute pain mitigation (all my opinion and experience of course. I do not pretend to speak for anyone else). If nothing else, maybe this assists someone else go into any surgery or rehabilitation with eyes wide open. And yes, our patience is tested in ways never thought possible. Maybe someone here could write a book. โ€œWe Caught Our Pain...and It Is Fighting Like a Marlin!โ€

May 28, 2019 10:14 AM

and should be written in the spirit of โ€œHitchhikers Guide to the Galaxyโ€.

May 28, 2019 10:23 AM

I totally agree, in that my pain before & after surgery are different; before was so much worse for me. And in my last 10 years (30+ years dealing with various chronic pain issues), I've not had a single day pain free. I don't imagine anyone with chronic pain conditions will; we just have better days vs worst days. I have developed functional ability on otc meds, to tolerate up to a level 6-8 pain (dependent on cause & symptoms), but after that I must rely on prescription pain med. The book idea is great!

Jun 07, 2019 7:03 PM

New EMG results. So, the latest EMG indicates and the doctors position indicate permanent nerve damage of some flavor in the left leg. This has made itself known since the last EMG (DEC2018) just prior to my lumbar fusions. Additionally, a tremor, complementary to the persistant headaches, has been developing in my left arm/hand and right hand which is believed to be related to the cervical fusions. Surgery on a few weeks to remove 4 screws (redundant comment). No idea how to proceed ref tremors and nerve damage, but I am still vertical and breathing so none of this is a complaint, just a situation update.
One thng is absolutely certain: when I break, I go all in! My commitment will never be questioned, that is for sure. ;-)

Jun 07, 2019 8:49 PM

Hi BLL sorry to hear about what you are going through. Iโ€™ll pray for you and everyone in here . My back injections two left side is on Tuesday and my Mammogram my fiancรฉ iscobe with me he so nice.
We care so much for each other that helps so much , what ever happens to one we all ways know we can count o each other for support.
Itโ€™s also nice to vent in this community also and have support also.
The dr did say if the shots donโ€™t work they might have to try other options invasive surgery? So Iโ€™m really hope that this Shot really works. July something is my follow up for the back injection.
Just was letting you all know hug ty for your support also .. hugs to BLL and all Shoreโค๏ธโค๏ธ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™๐ŸŒˆ๐ŸŒน

Jun 08, 2019 8:32 AM

Bll, do they think removing the screws will help reduce the symptoms of tremors & headaches? Or do they think this is permanent? Do you think a nerve block or ablation can help with the neuropathy symptoms?

Several others on here mentioned cervicogenic headaches to me in regards to increased worsening cervical headaches I was having; they start in my neck and crawl up/over my scalp to encase my head, and they're very painful & nonrelenting. I mentioned it to my neurosurgeon and he agreed that is the headaches I'm having after he ran some tests; it's my facet encroachment to C2 causing it. He did a local block in the office that helped some; not as frequent or severe. But he's waiting to do an ablation when he redoes my C3-4 & C7-T3 fusion surgeries (pseudoarthrosis).

Before my C7-T1 surgery I was having severe tremors in both hands, but the surgery to fuse them helped reduce it. However, I've noticed increasing neuropathy (stinging, tingling & burning) in both my hands since my hip surgery.
I think it's where I'm bearing my body weight for my left leg onto my arms & walker. Reading your post now has me concerned that my having to bear my weight in my arms, hence into the shoulders & neck, that I'm causing permanent nerve damage where the fusions did not actually fuse.

I will certainly be keeping you in my prayers, that they can do something to help reduce or relieve your symptoms. Of course we all know permanent nerve damage isnt something that gets better, but maybe they can find some way to lessen further damage. Hugs love & prayers for you! ๐Ÿ™‚โค๐Ÿ™๐ŸŒผ

Jun 08, 2019 10:28 AM

Hello. Screw removal is expected to resolve the headaches, believed to be caused from hardware impingement occipital nerve. I have tried injections in the past (6, the most recent this week) to no avail, but we keep at it. I just keep thinking that some day it will all kick in. The tremors are relatively new and I will not be addressing until after the upcoming hardware removal.

Jun 08, 2019 12:31 PM

Hi BLL gl on your up come procedure Iโ€™ll be praying for you hugs Shoreโค๏ธโค๏ธ๐ŸŒˆ๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ™๐ŸŒน๐Ÿค—

Jun 08, 2019 12:43 PM

Thank you.

Jun 08, 2019 1:01 PM

Your Welcome have a nice weekend hug Shore๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™โค๏ธโค๏ธ๐Ÿค—

Jun 13, 2019 3:37 PM

Well, my pain manager conducted an EMG which indicates increased nerve damage since the last lumbar surgery. I guess I was naive to think it should be the opposite of that if anything... live and learn. Seriously, this is a surprise to all, which led to a quick series of appointments, all in advance of the upcoming cervical surgery. If nothing else, I am hardly bored. Feels like a 3-ring circus with extra clown cars.

Jun 14, 2019 10:53 AM

Bll, that's so disappointing to hear. We do one thing to help something and before it's even resolved another problem starts or worsens. It gets monotonous & tiring. I don't think you were naive to think the nerve damage would improve; I would have thought the same. I'll be keeping you in my prayers for the cervical surgery. Sending you hugs & love too!๐Ÿ™‚โค๐Ÿ™๐ŸŒผ

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