Hello all. I'm 30 years old and had to make the difficult decision to have a L5-S1 lumbar spinal fusion that was performed on 09/18/12 (7 weeks ago). This is after having a decompression of the L5-S1 nerve 07/06/11 that left me pain free for 3 months before I was right back in the same boat with severe right leg pain, weakness and numbness. I've had a bit of a rough recovery. I fell backwards in the shower 2 weeks ago, landing right on my harwardware/surgical site (xrays showed no damage was done). That really set me back but now I've begun physical therapy and I feel worse than ever. I've done really well with walking, up to 40 minutes at a time but since I've begun PT I've been experiencing horrible cramps in my right leg, the calf muscle and hip/butt. I'm starting to get really depressed, I know that I have a tendency to push myself and sometimes pay for it later but I'm feeling like PT is aggravating the nerve/muscles even more. I wanted to be off of narcotic pain meds by 6 weeks post op, the setback and increased pain after my fall required me to extend that and I'm still taking 4mg of Dilaudid twice a day and it's barely even touching the pain I'm experiencing after PT. I keep ice on my back at all times and now I'm icing my calf muscle as well. I'm starting to get really depressed with these "setbacks". I want to be off of this pain medicine but I can't imagine how much I'd be hurting without it. Does anyone have any suggestions for me? Should PT be causing this much muscle pain? Should I still be taking pain medication at this point after my surgery? I'm trying to toughen up and soldier through this but I feel like a prisoner in my own body. I just want to feel better and be off this medicine.View Thread
Thank you. I agree with you and Dave, that the only person who can help me with this is my surgeon. I did have PT again this morning and brought up the fact that some people don't start PT this early (based on your reply), she agreed that some people wait 6 months or more before starting PT. She did back off on some of the new exercises and did alot of massage. The piriformis muscle was very sore and "knotted", this could be causing the sudden increase in pain. I'm going to give the surgeon a call tomorrow to discuss my concerns with PT and medication. I understand that this recovery is no walk in the park but I don't want to suffer either. I don't expect to be "pain free" but it's only fair that it at least be tolerable. I did explain to my physical therapist the extent of nerve damage so that together we could come up with a better plan of action as far as PT goes. I appreciate the reply. I think, as far as the surgeon, I just need to be honest with him and see what he says beacause you're very right, everyone's recovery is different. Thanks agan.
Thank you. I think you're right, I just hate being "that" patient but I PT again today and even though she took it easier on me and did alot of massage, I'm really sore again tonight. I'm going to call the surgeon in the morning.View Thread