View Full Version : 18 months is the new 12 months

01-15-2010, 09:19 AM
I had my 6 month checkup Wednesday. Mostly good news. Progress is good and there is a lot of evidence of fusion taking place.

What surprised me a bit is that the doctor said in the last few months, science has shown that mature adults take 18 months to heal. They used to say 12-18 but now they tell people to expect 18 months of recover.

So I am 1/3 healed when I thought I was 1/2 healed. I just need to get used to that and all will be fine.


01-15-2010, 05:54 PM

Glad to hear the good news. 18 months sounds about right for adults around 50.

My surgeon told me 12 months and I would say it took a little longer. Its the last 10% that takes a long time.

In 2 more weeks I will be 2 years post. I'm feeling pretty good and have really tested things, from shoveling rock, to snow skiing. It does takes a long time for the fatigue to subside. I'm missing the afternoon naps.LOL

The storms and low pressure are still affecting me. I guess its a common complaint. We have another round of storms that will hit the west coast starting Monday, they are expecting 10 feet of snow up at Tahoe.. I'm about ready to start documenting barometric pressure and pain levels.

Hang in there, things will get better in time.

01-16-2010, 07:17 AM
I'm glad the fusion looks good!

I totally agree with your surgeon. I've said it until I'm blue in the face: at one year post-op I was still in a lot of pain. I didn't feel anywhere near healed until around 18 months, and I made dramatic progress between 18 months and 2 years.

Now, at two and a half years post-op, I still have days when I'm taking a couple of Tylenol Arthritis by lunchtime, but three-fourths of the time I can live my life without thinking too much about my body. I even shoveled a little snow last month -- something I wouldn't have considered trying last year.

01-16-2010, 08:21 AM
I have a question

I am 50 years scheduled for surgery on 3/11

What does that mean that extra 6 months in terms of doing things?

What will I not be able to do until 18 months?


01-16-2010, 08:55 AM
Thats really good news. I was also told by my surgeon pre-op, that I wouldn't feel 'normal' until about the 18 month stage. My last appt was at 5 months and all looked good (evidence of fusion). My next appt is on my one year anniversary, too far for my liking, but i hope that i can report good news such as yours.

01-16-2010, 09:59 AM
Melissa, everyone is different and you may be able to do things at 12 months that others may not do until 18 months, and vice versa. It also depends on what levels are fused and whether or not you have anterior/posterior surgery or just posterior surgery. The A/P approach (from what I've seen and experienced) takes a bit longer to recover from.

01-17-2010, 07:02 PM
Wow- 18 months is kind of depressing to someone facing surgery in 2 weeks. My Dr. told me it would be reasonable for me to go back to teaching in Sept. if I have this all posterior surgery in early Feb. I know there's no way I can be off my job for 18 mo's. and still keep it!!?? I know I have no choice but to do this and I was thinking I would be in pretty good shape by the next holiday concert season. Is what it is I guess, still scary.

01-18-2010, 01:00 PM
Thanks to one and all for the responses and encouragement.

Anne- don't be scared. It doesn't take 18 months before you can be up and around. The doc just said that recent information shows that it takes around 18 months for people in their 50s and up to fully recover.

I started back to work part-time after 3 months and increased my hours steadily until I was full time by 4 months post-op. My biggest problem with working was exhaustion. That has gotten better, slowly. I used to get home and go straight to be for a rest. Now, at 6 months post op, I don't always lie down after work. Everyone is different and it also depends on what kind of work you do. I have an office job -- sitting most of the time. The best thing to do is discuss it with your doctor. Good luck with everything. Be sure to keep us posted !