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Thread: Is it normal to get really stiff in the evening?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2014

    Is it normal to get really stiff in the evening?

    My back feels pretty good when I wake up. Of course the kids aren't in school yet and we are all rolling out of bed at 8am. I don't seem to function before 8, which is going to be a real problem come August 25. It's not even a pain issue, I just feel kinda yucky. My daily afternoon nap does seem to interfere with night sleep because I usually don't sleep until 11-12 am. I can't imagine giving up the nap!

    Anyway, I notice that as evening hits, I walk very rigid and stiff. Getting up from laying down also is pretty painful. I can't even imagine a time when I will get up and not feel my back screaming. When do you think this gets better?

    Also, I am still suffering from early morning gas pains in my stomach. Geez, these can be soooo painful. Basically I just lay there and wait for them to pass. I am off the constipation meds and have been pretty regular on my own. I still take Dilaudid 2x a day which I am guessing is still wrecking my stomach.

    Next week will be 9 weeks post-op. I certainly can see a big difference even from 2 weeks ago. I do rest a lot at home so I am not really back at a normal life. I still get winded when I stand up too long. I stopped by DMV with my mom to get my temporary handicap placard but we left when the lady told us it was a 1.5 hour wait! All they have is hard chairs. I will be making an appointment, which I highly recommend! That is only a 15 minute wait. All you need is to request a firm from your surgeon- they have them at their office.

    Kathy, how are you feeling?
    Diagnosed with idiopathic scoliosis at age 11
    Dr. Edgar Dawson of UCLA
    Braced and "stopped" below 50 degrees
    Age 25: 47 degrees, 48 degrees
    Age 38 (3 babies later): 60 degrees, 63 degrees and 2.5 inches shorter
    Age 41: 64 degrees, 70 degrees
    Dr. Gregory Mundis Jr. of Scripps Hospital, La Jolla CA
    June 2015-ALIF on L5-S1 for a slipped and degenerated disk
    June 14, 2016-T4-L4 spinal fusion with instrumentation
    Post-surgery: 16 degrees, 12 degrees and 2 inches taller

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Everything you mentioned seems normal at this point. At around 6 months some of the tiredness gets better. You body works real hard to heal this and just makes you tired. The digestion issues get better but remember they too have been changed.
    Stiffness in the evening may be from the muscles getting tired.
    I actually can't believe that I went back to work at 7 weeks. I don't recommend it though. I thought I would collapse after a half day. I think it just slowed the healing down.
    It keeps getting better.
    T10-pelvis fusion 12/08
    C5,6,7 fusion 9/10
    T2--T10 fusion 2/11
    C 4-5 fusion 11/14
    Right scapulectomy 6/15
    Right pectoralis major muscle transfer to scapula
    To replace the action of Serratus Anterior muscle 3/16
    Broken neck 9/28/2018
    Emergency surgery posterior fusion C4- T3
    Repeated 11/2018 because rods pulled apart added T2 fusion
    Removal of partial right thoracic hardware 1/2020
    Removal and replacement of C4-T10 hardware with C7 and T 1

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Sioux City, Iowa
    Hi, Jana. I feel about the same as you. I only sleep 4 hours a night, at the most. Sometimes it's less. I lay down a lot during the day but I don't actually sleep. I am tired all the time. I have been walking 3 times a day, 20-minutes each time. The last 2 days I have gone out to run errands for about 3 hours and I was exhausted when I got home, and also very achey in my low back. So today I stayed home all day, just did my walks.

    I have been off all meds for 1-week. I thought getting off narcotics would help with my insomnia but it didn't help. I guess the insomnia is just part of surgery recovery. I sometimes take Tylenol PM and melatonin to sleep, but it doesn't really help much.

    Sometimes if my back is really hurting, I skip walking. I try not to irritate my back as much as possible. But, I can tell the more I'm up & around doing things the more sore my low back gets.

    I still have sore legs. I believe its primary due to the fact that my hips were moved quite a bit in surgery. My thighs are super tender when touched.

    I am getting tired of laying around!! But, when I hurt that's the best thing for me. I'm trying to remain patient but some days it's hard.

    I don't seem to have stomach problems any more. That was one plus in getting off all meds! I do periodically take Tylenol when I hurt.

    I guess we need to hang in there! You & I seem to be feeling the same. Tired and achey. Yuk! I can't wait to feel somewhat normal!
    Decompression surgery L4/L5
    April 3, 2015
    Twin Cities Spine Center - Dr. Joseph Perra
    Fused from T11 - Sacrum anterior/posterior
    June 24, 2016 - 55 years old at surgery
    Twin Cities Spine Center - Dr. Joseph Perra
    Before Surgery: 42 degrees lumbar, 28 degrees thoracic
    After Surgery: 10 degrees lumbar, ?? Thoracic
    2 inches taller

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    I would say a good formula for full fusion recovery is approx 10% per month.....

    At 3 months, I was only 30% recovered and so forth.

    I didn’t walk a mile until 10 months post, which was not easy, and that was at the Northern California Redwoods where the trails have soft pine needles to walk on. (It’s a great place for walking!) There is an old thread of mine here with photos. Thanksgiving 2008.

    At 12 months, I was 90% healed, then it took another year for that last 10%. I call the second year the “fine tuning” year. That’s when I started pushing harder. I resumed skiing at 14 months. Full recovery took 2 years.

    The afternoon naps went on for around 2 years. The fatigue took a LONG LONG time. And I do miss the naps....

    The stiffness and the “nailed plank” lumbar feeling also took at least a year. I still get stiff some times....I simply lay down when this happens. I take no meds.

    I tried to get a handicapped placard and my surgeon refused. He told me that he wanted me to park in the back of every parking lot and walk in. Not only is the walking important, but I think this had to do with the mental aspect of recovery, not giving in, and pushing on until it was done. He warned me about a sedentary lifestyle, staying in bed wasn’t good. I wondered about that since sleeping is so hard for us, I wasn’t sleeping well at all, cat naps for around a year isn’t easy and I was also tired all the time. It took around a year until I finally slept 7 hours, but I had a few surgeries and did a shoulder rebuild. The shoulder rebuild was a walk in the park compared to scoliosis surgery. I rated it a 1.

    I quit all meds because of my bowel’s. That gets really tiring, and I figured that the spine pain was easier. Hot water helped quite a bit. Showers and hot soaks.

    Alarming spine pain is no good. 10 level spikes, soldering iron, flame thrower type pains. These kinds of nerve related pains need to be reported to your surgeon. These are signals to stop all activity.

    I started posting here when I was around 4 months post. That’s when I started feeling better....(good enough to post)

    Kathy and Jana, you guys hang in there

    49 yr old male, now 62, the new 63...
    Pre surgery curves T70,L70
    ALIF/PSA T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion

    My x-rays

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