Pain after spinal arthrodesis: Is it normal?

back pain

The pain after lumbar arthrodesis is a common complaint, but is it normal? This is a question that many people ask themselves after an operation.

In this article, we will discuss the different types of pain you may experience after a lumbar arthrodesis and we will see if they are normal or not. We will also give you tips for managing pain after the operation.

Lumbar Spine Anatomy

La lumbar spine is located in the lower back and consists of five vertebrae (L1-L5). Together, these vertebrae form a strong and stable structure. However, the lumbar spine is also flexible, which allows for a wide range of motion.

This flexibility is possible thanks to the multiple bone elements that are connected by joint capsules, ligaments and tendons. The large muscles in the lumbar region also contribute to this flexibility.

La lumbar spine is a remarkable structure that provides both strength and flexibility. It is protected by the vertebrae, multiple bony elements, connective tissues and large muscles. This complex anatomy allows us to move freely while protecting our spinal cord injuries.

Lumbar arthrodesis: what is it?

THElumbar arthrodesis is a type of surgery used to fuse (join) certain bones of the spine. This procedure is usually performed to relieve pain caused by conditions such as degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis or spondylolisthesis.

THElumbar arthrodesis can be made using different types of implants, such as metal rods, screws and plates. In some cases, a bone graft may also be used to promote fusion. There are several surgical approaches, such asanterior lumbar arthrodesis.

The objective oflumbar arthrodesis is to stabilize the spine and reduce pain. This surgery is usually reserved for patients who have already tried other conservative treatments, such as physical therapy and pain medications, without success.

recovery after a lumbar arthrodesis can take several months. During this time, it is important to follow your surgeon's instructions regarding activities and exercises.

With proper care and rehabilitation, most people are able to return to normal daily activities within a few months.

Pain following lumbar arthrodesis

He's common to feel some pain and some discomfort after surgerylumbar arthrodesis. This is normal and to be expected.

The intensity of pain depends on a number of factors, such as the type of procedure, your pain threshold, and compliance with postoperative instructions. In most cases, the pain gradually subsides as you heal.

There are different types of pain that can be felt after an operation.lumbar arthrodesis:

  • Postoperative pain : This is the most common type of pain after a lumbar arthrodesis. It is usually caused by the operation itself and is usually well controlled with painkillers. This type of pain is usually more pronounced in the first days after the operation, but it gradually improves as healing progresses.
  • Neuropathic pain : This type of pain is caused by damage to the nerves, and may manifest as leg pain. It can be brisk, hot or searing in nature. Neuropathic pain is often difficult to treat and can persist long after surgery.
  • Compensators (at the hip): This type of pain is caused by the body compensating for the loss of motion in the fused spine. It is often felt in the hips and buttocks. The hip pain usually improves over time as the body adjusts to the new spinal fusion.
  • muscle tension : This type of pain is caused by the muscles around the spine compensating for the loss of movement of the fused spine. Pain from muscle tension is often treated with physical therapy and exercises.

How long does the pain last after a lumbar fusion?

The pain due to lumbar arthrodesis can last several weeks or even months. The exact duration depends on the individual and the type of surgery that was performed. In most cases, the pain gradually subsides as healing progresses.

When to worry

Although the pain after a lumbar arthrodesis is common and predictable. However, if some degree of pain is normal after a lumbar arthrodesis, severe or persistent pain may be a sign of a complication. The possible complications of a lumbar arthrodesis include:

  • The infection is a rare but serious complication oflumbar arthrodesis. Symptoms of an infection include fever, chills, redness or swelling at the surgical site. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately.
  • The material used for merge the spine can sometimes break or loosen over time. This can lead to additional pain and require revision surgery to fix it.
  • In rare cases, lumbar fusion surgery may cause spinal cord or nerve damage. This can lead to paralysis, loss of sensation, or other neurological problems.
  • In some cases, the lumbar fusion may not heal properly and the bones may not fuse together. This is called a non-union. The non-union can cause additional pain and may require revision surgery to correct it.
  • If the movement is too great at the site oflumbar arthrodesis, this can lead to instability and additional pain. This problem is often treated with revision surgery

If you have any concerns about surgerylumbar arthrodesis, you should discuss this with your doctor beforehand so that you can make an informed decision on whether or not to proceed with the procedure.


There are a number of things you can do to help ease your pain after surgery.lumbar arthrodesis:


It is normal to feel some pain and discomfort after surgery.lumbar arthrodesis. However, it is important to rest and allow your body to heal after lumbar fusion surgery.

Avoid strenuous activities, such as lifting heavy objects or exercising, until your doctor gives you the all clear.

Medicines to control symptoms

Your doctor may prescribe pain medication to help control your pain. Be sure to take the medicine as directed and only for as long as needed.

Respect the postoperative protocol

Following your post-operative instructions is essential for a successful recovery. These instructions vary depending on the type of operation you had, but may include wearing a back brace and not bending, twisting or lifting. It is also preferable toavoid driving for the first post-operative times.

In extreme cases, it is necessary to operate again (complications)

In some cases, surgerylumbar arthrodesis  may require a second operation. This is usually only necessary if there are complications, such as infection or hardware failure.

Consult if in doubt

After a lumbar fusion operation, it is normal to feel some pain. However, the pain should gradually subside over time.

If you have any concerns or questions regarding your recovery, please do not hesitate to consult your doctor. They can help reassure you and give you advice on what to expect during your recovery.

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