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Thread: S1 to L5 fusion questions

  1. #81
    KTMTalk Member Cactus73's Avatar
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    Default Re: S1 to L5 fusion questions

    I am 18 weeks post op and due to COVID, I had my first in person follow up yesterday. The doc said the fusion is solid and is happy with my progress. So far I haven't had any of the pain I used to get, but that's not to say I'm pain free. As expected, if I am very active (walking, riding my bicycle, yard work) I will have moderate pain that night and going into the next day. If I take it easy, I am nearly 100% pain free.

    The only thing that is a little puzzling for me is no matter what, I have pain when I try to sleep. It's not a lot of pain, but it's enough to keep my mind active and keep me awake. When I was talking pain meds, I would always take a dose before bed, so it went unnoticed. I have always been a stomach sleeper. Even after I first injured my back, it's always been easier for me to sleep on my stomach or on my side. I absolutely can't sleep on my back. Ever since I stopped taking pain meds, I have struggled to fall asleep or sleep for more than 4-5 hours. It's been going on for a few weeks now and I'm exhausted. Good thing I'm not working. Anybody else experience this?

    Since COVID prevented me from doing any post op PT, my doc just prescribed 6 weeks of PT. I'm hoping the PT will get me squared away so I can sleep, but I'm also open to the fact that it might just take more time for everything to heal.
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  3. #82
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    Default Re: S1 to L5 fusion questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Cactus73 View Post
    I am 18 weeks post op and due to COVID, I had my first in person follow up yesterday. The doc said the fusion is solid and is happy with my progress. So far I haven't had any of the pain I used to get, but that's not to say I'm pain free. As expected, if I am very active (walking, riding my bicycle, yard work) I will have moderate pain that night and going into the next day. If I take it easy, I am nearly 100% pain free.

    The only thing that is a little puzzling for me is no matter what, I have pain when I try to sleep. It's not a lot of pain, but it's enough to keep my mind active and keep me awake. When I was talking pain meds, I would always take a dose before bed, so it went unnoticed. I have always been a stomach sleeper. Even after I first injured my back, it's always been easier for me to sleep on my stomach or on my side. I absolutely can't sleep on my back. Ever since I stopped taking pain meds, I have struggled to fall asleep or sleep for more than 4-5 hours. It's been going on for a few weeks now and I'm exhausted. Good thing I'm not working. Anybody else experience this?

    Since COVID prevented me from doing any post op PT, my doc just prescribed 6 weeks of PT. I'm hoping the PT will get me squared away so I can sleep, but I'm also open to the fact that it might just take more time for everything to heal.
    after I had my fusion I had to learn to sleep on my back. (Not easy) it became a habit and 19 years later I still fall asleep on back and sometimes wake on side. Havenít slept on stomach in a very long time due to shoulder problems.
    The pain could you be left over nerve pain? I know I had some going down my left for probably a year after surgery. For me the main part of pain was where they took the bone marrow from.

  4. #83
    KTMTalk Member Cactus73's Avatar
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    Default Re: S1 to L5 fusion questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy boy View Post
    after I had my fusion I had to learn to sleep on my back. (Not easy) it became a habit and 19 years later I still fall asleep on back and sometimes wake on side. Havenít slept on stomach in a very long time due to shoulder problems.
    The pain could you be left over nerve pain? I know I had some going down my left for probably a year after surgery. For me the main part of pain was where they took the bone marrow from.
    I've had shoulder problems from sleeping on my stomach. My doctor gave me a device that had Velcro straps that held my arms to my sides. It was uncomfortable for a couple of weeks, but now I sleep with my arms at my sides without any problems.

    Yep, I think you're right. He took out a lot of bone, so I figure it will be a while before I'm pain free. All I need is to knock down the pain from a 5 to about a 3 or 2 and I'll be able to sleep. Hopefully PT helps me get there. If not, I'll just try to be patient while it heals.
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    Default Re: S1 to L5 fusion questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Cactus73 View Post
    I've had shoulder problems from sleeping on my stomach. My doctor gave me a device that had Velcro straps that held my arms to my sides. It was uncomfortable for a couple of weeks, but now I sleep with my arms at my sides without any problems.

    Yep, I think you're right. He took out a lot of bone, so I figure it will be a while before I'm pain free. All I need is to knock down the pain from a 5 to about a 3 or 2 and I'll be able to sleep. Hopefully PT helps me get there. If not, I'll just try to be patient while it heals.

    cactus, I think you have the right mind set and that youíll be alright. A good PT is important here as well.

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    Default Re: S1 to L5 fusion questions

    My experience with back surgery is that it takes much much much longer to fully heal than expected. By the time we get surgery we have been damaging things for a long time and it just isn't corrected with the surgery. Don't rush it guys or be prepared to pay the price. The most perfect surgery will not produce a 100% healing so don't make things worse. Patience is a virtue. Good luck.

  7. #86
    KTMTalk Member Cactus73's Avatar
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    Default Re: S1 to L5 fusion questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Irishcoffee View Post
    My experience with back surgery is that it takes much much much longer to fully heal than expected. By the time we get surgery we have been damaging things for a long time and it just isn't corrected with the surgery. Don't rush it guys or be prepared to pay the price. The most perfect surgery will not produce a 100% healing so don't make things worse. Patience is a virtue. Good luck.
    You are spot on. I was just looking at my earlier posts and I was sure I would be back to work at six weeks post op. At this point, if it happens at six months I'll be happy but if it takes longer, I'm okay with that too. Patience is not my strong suit, but I have learned a lot in the last four months. No way will I go back to work or riding dirt bikes until I am 100%.
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    Default Re: S1 to L5 fusion questions

    You are being smart Cactus, I'll bet you have a lot of good years left with your approach.

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    Default Re: S1 to L5 fusion questions

    I am glad my post has gotten so many views. I hope it has helped some people. I am 16 months post fusion and 4 months post lumbar rfa. I am finally starting PT again for the 4th time. Its been a rough road the last 7 months (much tougher than the org fusion). I think I have learned to be a bit more patient with my recovery, but it was hard for me as I have had significant regression in the last 7 months. So looking back it is very easy to see that I was moving too quickly, but its all hind sight. My org fusion has never given me any problems, but it seems some/most fusions will end up affecting other areas of your back. Its important to give your back time to adjust to its new normal. For me my fusion really affected my lumbar facets and the resulting pain is really intense. yep slow and steady wins the race
    Cheers

    dualsportdave
    2011 250 XCF-W 6-days

  10. #89
    KTMTalk Member Cactus73's Avatar
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    Default Re: S1 to L5 fusion questions

    Quote Originally Posted by dualsportdave View Post
    I am glad my post has gotten so many views. I hope it has helped some people. I am 16 months post fusion and 4 months post lumbar rfa. I am finally starting PT again for the 4th time. Its been a rough road the last 7 months (much tougher than the org fusion). I think I have learned to be a bit more patient with my recovery, but it was hard for me as I have had significant regression in the last 7 months. So looking back it is very easy to see that I was moving too quickly, but its all hind sight. My org fusion has never given me any problems, but it seems some/most fusions will end up affecting other areas of your back. Its important to give your back time to adjust to its new normal. For me my fusion really affected my lumbar facets and the resulting pain is really intense. yep slow and steady wins the race
    Sorry to hear you're going through additional pain from your facets. Did you get any relief from the ablation I'm sure you've tried epidurals. Do you think the fusion caused your current problem or was the facet issue always there? Do you think the PT will help or are you plotting a course to have another fusion?
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    Default Re: S1 to L5 fusion questions

    The ablation was delayed because of covid and then my condition became critical (I was in constant pain, no phy activity). The ablation recovery was very long 7 weeks before I got some relief, but by that time I had other issues (meds, gi). Surgeon will not perform a fusion for my facet issue (he thinks it is very risky as they would need fusion all the lumbar joints). I am left with rfa and pt as my treatment opt. Hoping the rfa last as long as possible, but who knows? I think/hope PT will help. Yes I think my fusion put extra loading on my facets (docs agree and this is somewhat a common issue with fusions).
    Cheers

    dualsportdave
    2011 250 XCF-W 6-days

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