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cheriesback posted:
Hi, I just found this website and found alot of helpful information posted. I had my l5-l4 fused about 5 months ago. I really did quite well for the first 3 months. Then I started doing things like dancing and heavy duty gardening. Now I am hurting again, but not from my initial problems. I have alot of muscle issues. I started out after surgery taking 2 hydrocodine every 3 to 4 hours and tried going off of it after 5 months but found that my pain at night was impossible, especially nerves. Now I take 1 hydrocodine at night with a muscle relaxer and I am pain free all night and most of the day. I am worried about taking the pain medicine after 5 months. Should I be worried?
bj1208 responded:
hi and welcome to the support group

did you intend to post a website link?

First - you are 5 months post op from a major surgery and should still be under your surgeons' care. and you should be going by the strict guidelines from the surgeon.

When I had my fusion (L5-S1) I was under the surgeon's care for 8 months and I was not allowed to pick anything up weighing over 10 lbs - I was not allowed to bend forward or backwards - If I had to pick something up off the floor I had to squat down. I was not allowed to doing any pushing/pulling which meant I could not vacuum - same with sweeping as this would add stress to the back.

Fusions are a major surgery (as with all surgeries) whereas they normaly will put a plate, screws,cage (maybe rods) and can take up to a year or longer for the fusion to heal - I was an exception to this as by my 6th week post op I was 100% fused.

Even as that, fusions can herniate, not take etc., if not careful and this means following the usrgeon's recovery guidelines.''

As far as the medication you are taking - my story is I was doing great up to my 3rd month post op and then after that my pains came back worse than before the surgery (surgery was almost 4 years ago) and I am on some very heavy narcotics - If I wasnt taking my pain meds I would not be able to get out of bed and do simple things -

If you take your pain medication as prescribed there shouldn't be any concerns or worries - you should always discuss this with your surgeon as they will be able to examine you and adjust the meds based on your diagnoses etc.,

I hope this helps - please keep us posted as to your recovery progress etc., Take care - Joy
cheriesback replied to bj1208's response:
Thanks for your reply Joy,

My doctor has never mentioned that I should restrict myself from anything other than lifting and bending backwards. From what your are describing, I probably am doing too much. I am sorry that you are worse since your surgery. I was hoping I would be able to get back to normal soon, but I have heard a lot of stories like yours. I will take your advice though. Thanks
MMMarta replied to cheriesback's response:
I think your doctor would tell you if there were any concerns of drug dependency.
Nomaan Ashraf, MD, MBA responded:
I would follow up with your surgeon and make sure that the fusion is healing properly if your pain was initially much better. He may need to get a CT scan. As for medications it is always advisable to take as little as possible and for as short a duration of time as you can.
Good luck