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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

Im no stranger to surgery, I've had 8 with 3 of them being on my spine since2007, plus countless epidurals, trigger points and prolotherapy. Both my husband and I have been EMT for 18+ years so medicine is second natur to both of us.
I underwent an L4-s1 ALIF fusion with fixation on June 12. Going into the surgery was stressful, both at home and at work, do I never got in the right mind set for this surgery. I'm 43, my neurosurgeon is on of the top 50 in the USA and is awesome. I was told around week 2-3 I could drive...HA! Anyone who thinks they can is putting themselves and fellow drivers at EXTREmE risk. But that's not we're my problems start. In the hospital, pain management was challenging since I have been on narcotics for several years, despite reducing my meds to 1/2 maintenance dose 2 weeks prior. My O2 levels kept dropping into 70% range in hospital on O2, and I was sent home without O2 or discharge instructions. I was just told to walk,walk,walk. Well it's hard to walk went you have migraines the whole first week at home triggered by lack of O2... My levels were routinely in low 70s. After my husband secured home O2, and my pain was finally getting managed after a week at home, I started walking more, 7-8 minutez 3-4 times a day on treadmill at a toddlers speed as i live on a mountain side, there is no flat, level even ground. This lasted 3 days then I couldn't bear weight without excruciating pain in my thighs and hips. This prompted another call to dr. And was told that due to extensiveness of surgery I shouldnt be walking but to the bathroom and kitchen for first couple weeks. Only single level fusion patients are vigorously encouraged to walk like I was walking. Then he told me no treadmill as it is not a natural gait... I get doc, but find me a piece of ground that is flat without 4-10% slope with no gravel or rock! I was told to just do what I could.
So here I am 6 weeks. I walk about a mile a day around my "block" whose road is gravel and had a 3-5% slope on on end and 10-15% slope on other end. I am still in excruciating pain! My spinal pain has started to settle this past week unless I make the tiniest twist (several of you mention trying to wipe butt without twisting) it's not bad but gets my attention. My calfs and hamstrings are tighter than a banjo and I can't stretch them out and nobody will massage them. My groin muscles have been getting increasingly worse since week 2, and I think my stomach hurts more now that right after surgery. I have lots of rebound tenderness, my whole lower abdomin is generÓlly firm/hard (mind you Im probably average by todays standard for a 5'-8" woman at 180lbs who is...was physically active hiking and sking). I also have a mass on right side from all the lovalox? Injections to prevent clotting (dr. Assured me this would eventually go away). I have a internal suture that has worked its way thru the incision site and is very much attached to me, but my incision looks great! I can't sleep at night... Insomnia... Not pain. And like most, I'm fighting a bit of depression. I am an active person. I hate sitting stilll, mostly because it has hurt for so many years to be still, sleeping was impossible this past year due to pain.
I know I've rambled a lot, but this forum allows such a great sharing of information and I know there are those that just passively read others stories to see if what they are feeling is " normal". I guess I'm seeking general feed back from some of you guys on this stomach pain and leg, specifically groin pain. It seems like it should all be settled much more than it has at 6 weeks, even with some of my setbacks. I have F/u Monday with dr. This whole surgery just seems to really be taking its toll on me. I was quick to rebound after lumbar laminectomy and neck fusion, both in 2007. But this number 8 of surgeries is frankly, kicking my ***! I have two good days then a bad day... Today, where I slept until 10:00 am, ate about 11:00 napped until 2:00 finally got dressed to try to motivate and my gut has just been killing me. Tried to work thru its pain by organizing bookshelves and had to give up after 30 min. I don't mind my brace, but today it hurt to have on. I had BM this morning, nothing feels backed up. Anyone else have a lot of stomach problems 6 weeks post ALIF or increasing leg pain... This is muscular pain not nerve.
Thanks for any insights.

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