Day 15

Had my first post-op appointment. My recovery (particularly as it was at the 1 week mark) is well ahead of schedule, most people have extreme pain through the 2 week mark. He thinks this is due to age, fitness, and my state before the surgery. X-rays looked good, it’s too early to see if new bone is growing but implants are still in place. New bone growth won’t be visible for up to a year(!). He stressed that I need to take it easy and follow the no BLT rules for the next 10 weeks, but small exceptions for putting on socks seem to be okay. Back brace is optional — mostly need to alert others in crowded areas to stay away from me. Most of my leg pain is due to nerve manipulation while cleaning out scar tissue, pain should go away soon but numbness may last a few months. This matches my experience after the last laminectomy. I’m free to walk as much as I want. Staples were removed; he said he used staples because there’s a lot of stress on this area and he wanted to be conservative. Next checkup in 4 weeks.

I asked about supplements (vitamin D, calcium, magnesium) to improve bone growth and he didn’t think they’d help. After my son broke his arm his dr. insisted on high vitamin D and calcium doses to assist with bone growth. I’m generally vitamin D deficient so I’ve been taking 5000IU /day for 2 months before surgery and will continue that dose plus calcium and magnesium.

First post-op xray

Side note: Ran into my neighbor who had S1-L5-L4 fusion done a few years ago and she said she was in horrible pain for a full month with very limited mobility showering, getting dressed, etc. At the 6 month mark she was back to work lifting heavy things and has recovered 100%.

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