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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

Figured I'd post up a response to sjb...

I am now 4 weeks post-op. Today is my first day back at work (I am a software engineer so I sit a lot). I thought I would be ready to go back after 2 weeks but the doctor said not to rush it since I shouldn't be sitting for extended periods.

Overall I am very pleased with my outcome. I still have some discomfort in my leg, but it's more of an annoyance (pain level is a 2, whereas before it was a 9). I spoke with both my physical therapist and my neurologist about this and they both believe it is a combination of inflammation and nerve damage that will just take time to heal. I take 3 Aleve when I wake up and 3 at dinner to help with any inflammation and discomfort. I am not taking anything else at this point, I am off of the Vicodin and the Lyrica.

At 2 weeks post-op I had a strange allergic reaction to something. I broke out in hives but only on my sides (around my outside ribcage area) and thighs. I don't remember ever having hives since I was a little kid, it seemed odd that I just got them now after surgery. Benadryl did not help. I called the neurologist and he said he did not think this had anything to do with the surgery, so I went to my PCP. She said it could be anything from something I ate, to a delayed reaction to some antibiotics I was on at the hospital. She said sometimes it takes a week or two for signs to show up, and a week or two for them to go away. I got a prescription for some overpriced antihistamines and they were gone a few days later.

I started physical therapy my third week post-op. I went 3 times that week and twice last week. I get heat with TENS, do the arm bike, the regular stationary bike, do some core strengthening exercise, then finish up with a lower back massage and ice. One thing I can say is that when I do physical activity, be it PT, mowing the lawn, or whatever, my leg is usualy more sore afterwards, and if I rest it for a day or two, it calms down. The PT's explanation of this is that not only is the nerve healing, I'm beginning to use all of these muscles that have been more or less ignored for the last year or so, since my body would compensate for them (limping, slouching, and just not being active). The muscles will be sore, they may swell a little, and I end up feeling it.

Overall I feel good. I've been told that the aches and pains in my leg should go away over time as I get back into shape and the nerve calms down. I still get tired after standing for a bit, and I won't sit in an office chair for more than 45 minutes before I walk around a little, otherwise my lower back gets sore. I am focusing a lot on keeping good posture as well. I am making slow but steady progress. I told my wife 2 weeks ago that after walking for 20 minutes, my back felt like I'd been walking for 2 hours. That's getting noticeably better. I'll post back up in a week or so.

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