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Posted in: Spondylolisthesis.


Started by mls on 06/12/2017 1:58pm

or on 5-3-2017 fusion l1-l5, 3 grafts, scoliosis and laminectomy. i'm 60 year female cts like 45.. what is normal healing process? help please

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Hi, mls! I'm 64 and recently (4/17/17) had a laminectomy and fusion at L3-L5. Of course, healing depends on so many factors, including your health going into surgery, your nutrition, if you smoke, and how extensive the surgery was. It is major surgery, so it will take quite some time to heal completely.

But basically, I understand that there should likely be a good fusion of the bones around 3 months. Nerves take a long time to recover from being compressed, so the numbness, tingling and nerve pain may take some time (weeks, or maybe months) to resolve. And don't forget the muscles that may have been cut!

At 8 weeks post-op, I'm still having a lot of muscle spasms, and mild to moderate pain if I walk too much. But I've just started physical therapy, which is beginning to stretch and loosen my back muscles. No more incision site pain. All of my pre-op pain is gone, but I still have some areas of numbness that will probably take awhile to improve.

My physical therapist says it will take 12 - 18 months for a complete recovery. I totally expect it will! My surgeon said that this type of surgery is a "big deal" and he was right!

I hope that your recovery is progressing well. Just be patient with yourself and give your body plenty of time to mend! Always follow your doctor's instructions very closely! You don't want to cause yourself any more pain and complications than you are already dealing with!! Best wishes!


Thanks alot for the info. I NEVER thought i would feel this bad. The first 2 weeks were terrible, not really know what to expect. My surgion told me I would not have physcial therapy for at least 3 months (july), when i go for my second visit to a NP. My xray shows the back or took well. Just soo much of different things occurring which i was not aware of. I would call office and they acted like no problem.. If i had issues, look it up-for real. I finally called my pcp for a follow up. They gave me the best explanation yet.
I guess i should have done more homework before surgery for knowing what to expect for recovery. I had this because i wanted my life back. I guess i'll work thru this for a year and be thankfull why i did it.
Just must keep reminding myself it was a major surgery. i was told it will take time.. what else do i have right now.
Pain during day ok,just at night is tough. following all direction, wearing my braces and doing alot of praying.


Hi, mls--BonnieRae gave an excellent response to your question, and we'd like to chime in, too!

Overall, the best way to achieve success after scoliosis surgery is to follow your surgeon’s instructions. So, ask questions at any time if you’re not clear about your recovery (what you can do, when pain is out of the ordinary, etc.).

Also, we'd like to share this article ( Can You Make Spine Surgery a Positive Experience? I Did! ). We think it does a good job of humanizing the spine surgery process, including some recovery notes. We hope it helps (and maybe you can relate to some of it).

We hope the rest of your recovery is a bit easier, but a few bumps in the road doesn't mean that your long-term goals of having more manageable pain and a better quality of life are any less attainable. We wish you the very best!


HELLO,I'm in my6-7 week of recovery. I had my tlso brace adjusted for the lat time(ost lots of volume).and now I am prn with them. I see the Nurse Practicianer on July 31, 2017,@6 weeks. I am able to pick up 10 lbs, no blt's and walk.(which I try to walk 2 miles daily) I have lower right hip/waist pain enough that I still take a Percocet q 4 hours for pain..I have tried Tyleno; but it just doesn't cut it.I wear my tlso brace all waiking hours except to shower.. I have a bone stimulant brace I wear 4 hours at night.
I called to get my benefits adjusted for work which will end Jully 31??( I hve back-up) I asked what will be done at that time.??
Is physicall therapy (which my surgeon said would start in 3 months) a for sure process.
Not really sure whats going to happen next. Very concern of pain in right lower area, or is this a normal healing.
I have rls which I took Mobic(anti-inflammatory), also for other reasons and Klonopin (at bed only), but I cannot get my legs to relax to get a good night sleep. Can't take Mobic for 6 months post op.
Any Ideas PLEASE. I'm really or was anactive 60 year old, just wanting to get back there.