Had films done today then saw my surgeon. Everything looks good on all films, hardware in place, cage in place, signs of bone growth already! I am 11 weeks out (they call this the 3 month check) finished with physical therapy. Next check in 3 months. Off most pains meds except for occasional Tramadol (Ultraset).
I have returned to work part time and hopefully will try to go back full time next week and see how I feel.
I do have pain from time to time, my left thigh is still quite numb, surgeon expects this to resolve eventually (its a side effect from the lateral incision going through the psoas muscle).
I think that any patient going for spine surgery has to have realistic expectations at the outcome. I for one know that after three spine operations I can not expect things to be perfect. I expect to be able to walk, sit and stand fairly comfortably perhaps with some discomfort from time to time. I expect not to have to take drugs the rest of my life for pain management. I expect that I will be able to enjoy life again although somewhat limited in what I can and cannot do. I DO NOT expect to downhill ski, do sit ups, touch my toes ever again, lift 50lbs bags of pet food, or have a spine like I did when I was 25 years old prior to my skiing accident. I have lived with recurrent back pain for 34 years and three surgeries within 6 years time. I have been fortunate to find and be treated by the best hospitals, surgeon, pain management teams and physical therapists. I am also fortunate to have an amazing husband and children who have supported and helped me more than they will ever know.
All in all, I am one of the "lucky" patients. I know there are so many people out there with failed surgery, debilitating back pain, unable to work, on disability and on pain medication the rest of their lives. I wish all of you the best and urge you not to give up.
Thanks for reading, I hope I have given some insight to at least one person out there somewhere.....