Post spinal fusion

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Hello everyone,

I am ten weeks post surgery for a L5 S1 fusion. So far the pain in my right foot is still worse than before surgery. My physical therapist says to be patient it will take a while to get better. A while? Anyone have any experience with a spinal fusion?

A had the surgery because of excruciating foot and back pain.

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  • Posted

    HI Nick

    I had the same operation in late 2015 and had the same as you (increased post op symptoms).

    It took nearly a year to get pain free in my right foot/leg. The consultant said it was due to the nerve being compressed for a long time and after surgery it takes time for it to heal. I went to rehabilitation physio with a guy who was pain free immediately after his fusion. I suppose it depends on the individuals body recovery and how long and how bad the nerves were compressed. 

    There were many days/weeks/months that I thought it wasn’t going to improve but it did - gradually.

    I’m glad I had it done now and sure you will in the future.

    Best of luck in your recovery.


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  • Posted

    I don't really have any knowledge about the type of surgery you had except what others have told me but I am also a lower back chronic pain patient. Some of my pain is in the same disc you had surgery on. I know that the rate of success from back surgery is considerable low. I think my ortho-surgeon told me 50%. And the other 50% was split between making no difference either way and having what they call "failed back surgery." You can tell that "failed back surgery" is not uncommon if they have a name for it. BUT that being said your PT is right. Surgery of all types takes a long time to heal. You should worry if your condition starts getting worst after it's started to feel better. I do not have a medical license but from my own personal experience with surgeries I know that it could take months for the pain to subside and it will be a very long frustrating wait for you. There are two kinds of medicine that is often given for nerve pain. Those are Neurontin (Gabapentin) and pregabalin (Lyrica). I don't know if you've ever tried either but you might ask you pain management doctor if you could try either of them. I hope you will get better quickly, I know how hard it is to do PT. I've done it periodically thru that past 10 years and I once continued it every other week for a whole year. BTW I broke my ankle in three places and tore some ligaments. I had surgery on my ankle the following day. It wasn't until yesterday that he gave me the OK to walk on it. So I am now looking at what I'm sure will be a lengthy workout with the PT.

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  • Posted

    Hi nick1963 10 weeks is still really early days although it won't feel like it for you, nerve pain can take over a year and even up to 2 to recover it is really slow and arduous, just take care of yourself and once your up and about remember your back will never bee 100% even if it feels like it is so always take care not to over do it, try ice packs the soft gel Ines are great...20 mins every hour you'll be amazed at how helpful they are, good luck😊

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