View Full Version : Post Op recovery on a graph

03-11-2013, 01:07 AM
I am about 5 months 1 week post op. I noticed a great change this past week. :) Even though I have pain, this is the first week that I feel better than I felt before surgery! Picture recovery being a graph. Before surgery, the waiting and in great pain stage, was at ground zero. Then surgery makes the graph line drop straight down. The first three weeks or so is a flat line at the bottom and then begins a slow climb back up. After three months, the line begins to ascend rapidly. This past week, I actually felt Above ground zero! Which is why I had the surgery in the first place because even a small relief would be worth it. I suspect the line might dip below ground zero a little here and there as I increase activity. But I am so happy to reach this point of hope.

If your post op recovery was a graph, what month did you feel better than before surgery?

03-11-2013, 04:30 AM
I think about the third month. Prior to that, when the pain meds were doing their job, I felt good, but weaker and wobblier. Three months, I was off medication, doing lots of walking, feeling stronger and things were getting back to normal but without that lower back pain I used to feel pre-op. At 6 months I remember saying I felt 100%. But there were further small improvements, up to 2 years.

03-11-2013, 11:42 PM
That's why I'm undecided about the surgery. I can't say 100% I feel better than before surgery. It's true, I don't have that awful fatiguing lower back pain I would sometimes get before surgery, and my occasional leg pain that was bad is gone. However, those pains have been replaced with irritation from the pelvic fixation, which is constant and worse with exercise, as well as upper back fatigue that hits every afternoon. Pre-op, at least I was pain-free when sitting or lying down (and pretty much when walking). Now I'm only pain-free lying flat on my back. But I am still holding out hope that I will eventually clearly pass ground zero. I do continue to see small improvements every month, even though I'm a year post-op now. And I do think certain activities--like cooking or standing in line--are improved over pre-op, when standing for long periods of time was painful.


03-12-2013, 05:25 AM
Evelyn, when you say "irritation from pelvic fixation" what do you mean exactly? Can you describe what you feel e.g. is it pain, is it burning, general soreness?

You say you're only pain-free when lying on your back. Is the pain you're talking bout from the pelvic fixation? Or elsewhere in your back?

I see you're 12 months out now. I think you'll still get improvements for at least one, perhaps two years. I hope one day it's easy for you to say, it was definitely worthwhile having the surgery.

03-14-2013, 04:44 AM
Thanks, Jennifer! I am still optimistic that I will eventually be able to say surgery is a definite improvement. I am still seeing improvement, and I am hopeful that by two years most of my lingering soreness will be gone. If not, maybe I can have the pelvic screws removed.

The irritation from the pelvic screws is a dull pain that increases with activity. It feels like the left side, especially, is moving just a tiny bit when I walk quickly. I don't know if it really is moving or just feels like it's moving. So I have this sense that healing can't be complete in that hip because it continues to pull and stretch at the tissue there. Most of the time it's just a dull pain, maybe a 1-3, depending on how fast I'm walking. Once in a while I get a zinger, or a short, sharp pain.

My other reference to being pain free lying on my back maybe should have said "comfortable." I wouldn't say that I have really strong pain all day long; it's just aches here and there and general discomfort. It's mostly from the pelvic fixation, but also fatigue in the upper back and sometimes neck. I am going to ask Dr. Lenke about all this at my appointment next week. I'll report back.

Thanks for your concern!


03-14-2013, 05:13 AM
It'll be interesting to hear what Dr. Lenke says about it, Evelyn. My surgeon said that sometimes he removes the pelvic screws if they cause discomfort. I'm sure I've read of someone on this forum who had their pelvic screws removed, but I can't remember who it was now. But I still hope it's just a matter of more time, more healing, because nobody wants further surgery. Though I'm sure it's not nearly as major as your original surgery and if it fixes your current soreness, it'll be worth it. Sometimes I think certain pain causes referred pain as well, so eliminating one pain, might eliminate other pain. Fingers crossed for you.