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Back surgery
olivia100 posted:
Recently I had lower back surgery to fuse L3, L4, L5 and S1. I was told by my doctor that it would be a lengthy operation (5 to 7 hours) and a 3 to 4 day stay in the hospital. As a result of a tear in my Dura tissue, the surgery did last 7 hours, however, 2 additional operations were required and a hospital stay of 5 weeks was necessary. The additional surgeries and extended stay were the result of having to stitch up the tear, treat pneumonia and two urinary tract infections.
Fortunately I was in good shape prior to the surgery, as I suspect I would have had additional complications if not. I lost 25 pounds and became very weak. I have been home for 4 weeks and am trying to regain the weight and strength but it is slow going. The pain in my lower back and legs is considerably more now than I had prior to surgery.
Has anyone out there experienced a similar situation and if so, I would appreciate any recovery advice that worked for you.
davedsel responded:
Hello and welcome.

I am sorry you have had such a bad experience and now have so much pain.

While I have never had back surgery, I have managed chronic multiple degenerative spinal conditions for over 35 years. I've also been a long-time member of this WebMD Back Pain community and have done my research.

My first thought is that you should be contacting your surgery for better post-operative pain management. Make sure you are following his/her instructions strictly. Four weeks after such a major surgery (surgeries) is not that long and you most likely require more time to heal. Take that time to recover. You also may need the assistance of a pain management specialist.

You can do some research by reading information on the following websites:

WebMD Back Pain Center:

Spine Universe:


I pray you can continue to heal and get relief soon.
Click on my username or avatar picture to read my story.


dianer01 responded:

I completely agree with Davedsel about contacting your doctor. If you feel your pain is uncontrollable, you may consider going to the emergency room. The problem with pain is if you let it get too bad it takes longer and a lot more medication to control. Pain may also be an indication of a problem.

I have had L3-S1 fused about 6 years ago. Do not be in a rush to get back to "normal" Be willing to take your time to heal, and be willing to ask for help. I was in a hurry to do everything and overdid everything and really paid for it for the better part of a year. It wasn't worth it.

Take good care of yourself.


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