I had spinal fusion of L3/L4 and decompression surgery as well to relieve a compressed nerve root.  It has been 8 weeks since my surgery.  I am interested if anyone else has had this surgery and how your recovery has been.  I have been told that it takes 3 months for recovery, am still wearing a brace, and taking long walks outside daily.  There is still pain in my right buttock and down my leg as before the surgery, with the difference being that it is more of an ache at this point.  I'm just curious what others' experiences have been.  My surgeon is one of the top in the area and I feel I have been in good hands.

I had my 2nd lumbar fusion the end of january of this year. i think it was at l3/l4. i had compressed discs on my nerves as well as weakness in my legs. i only had to wear a soft brace for up to 6 weeks. all of my symptoms and pain were gone after surgery. i was back at work after 2 weeks and driving. This time my dr had to do the fusion in 2 phases. i have spinal stenosis and i am hoping that it doesn't travel to the other 2 levels he hasn't fused yet. our spine dr is a fantastic dr. i still have some numbness in my butt area. what your feeling is normal. it will take a good year for all to heal.


Thanks for your response.  I have so much pain in the groin area and still down my leg.  My doc says it is from the scraping away of bone to free up the nerves during the decompression.  I am 65 years old and otherwise in pretty good health.  I'm just wondering if this pain will every go away, or if the surgery was not a success.


i still have some groin pain but they aren't sure if it is a hip issue. so i want to wait and see if that goes away once i am through with therapy. all my pain down the leg is gone. i would ask your dr. what he thinks. also when do you get out of the hard brace and start therapy?

My surgeon and his nurse keep telling me that the pain is the result of nerve endings that were irritated from all of the scraping to open up the space where they were compressed.  I was told that it takes one month for a nerve to regenerate 1/4 of a mm.  I am at two months post surgery, and am hoping that at my next appointment on June 6 that I will be weaned off the brace and begin therapy.   That was what I understood the plan to be when I had my last appointment a month ago.  I am amazed that you were able to drive after just two weeks.  I was allowed to drive again at 6 weeks, and I do drive short distances.  The days I drive though seem to be the ones where the pain gets worse.  It's the getting in the car that is difficult.  My mother, who is 87, has this same condition, and they did a decompression on her a few years ago.  She got no relief, then ended up having hip replacement surgery last summer.  She still has discs that are out of line and suffers terribly.  They cannot do surgery on her because of her age. I think that is what scares me that I will end up like her.  Thanks for listening.  This has been a painful day, but some days are worse than others.  Did you also have spinal decompression or just fusion?

I keep a daily log, and was just reading how one month ago I walked 0.1 of a mile for the first time since my surgery.  Now I am walk close to one mile, so I know I'm making progress.  Just want the pain and aching to go away and not have to rely on medication so much.


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