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Old 02-19-2009, 11:23 AM   #1
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Post Fusion Feb 9th Update L4/L5

I know prior to my surgery I had so many questions about the fusion surgery. With this in mind, I will try to keep my posts through to the very end so that there will be a positive outcome to refer to. I believe I am going to be 100% okay in the end and I can't wait for the summer. Okay let's start at the beginning.

Diagnosis L4/L5 Annular tear - only option is a fusion.

I had a fusion done on Feb 9th early afternoon. I woke up in a lot of pain. My hips hurt the most (at the time as the doc numbed my wound with a novacaine type material). Anyway, I was in my room at 5:00 pm and at 7:00 pm, me, my IV Pole, the Nurse and my husband got up and walked to the nurses station which was probably not very far but it felt like 10 miles that night...then they had me sit in a chair for 15 minutes get up and walk again. I was required by my doctor (no way would he take no for an answer) to walk four times each day I was at the hospital. So the second time I walked a little further but not much further. Turned around and layed down and pressed my button. I did manage to get up four times each day. On the second day (Tuesday) I woke up in a lot more pain. Let me tell you all...you won't believe it but walking really does suck to get up but feels sooooo much better afterwards. I was still using the self administered pain meds on Wed AM. My doc came in and I asked him if I was going home. He said "well your still on that so it might be a problem, plus you have to do stairs". If you can get everything done and have your pain controlled without the self administered thing then you can go home. Well let me tell you. What ever they had in that thing didn't work near as good as one Norco. So getting off the machine was no problem. Boom took the IV out. Next stairs...piece of cake. No problem. I was out of the hospital literally 48 hours after my surgery.

At home: I am feeling pretty good.

Thursday-Sunday: Walked a little. Most important thing I can recommend is if you start to feel a little sore or tight, you should walk.

Monday: Walked a mile today!!! I am so happy I never thought one week out of surgery I would be walking a mile...so crazy!!!

Tuesday: Hurt a tons but ended up walking close to a mile. Just ended up using a lot more muscle relaxers. I am trying not to use any extra pain killers than what I already use.

Wednesday: Walked another mile. Feel better than yesterday but I think that had to do with the weather than anything else.

Thursday: Today I feel great and will try to push myself to walk more than a mile...Maybe a mile and a half...now that would be awesome.

I will continue to keep you all posted on how my recovery is proceeding.
Take care all!!!

 
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Old 02-19-2009, 11:46 AM   #2
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Re: Post Fusion Feb 9th Update L4/L5

Way to go....keep up the walking. As you said, it hurts horribly to get up, but once you are up and feel stable on your feet the pain subsides. Very true.

Anyway, just wanted to say good job. Take care and take it easy, don't over do it. Likely you were sore after the first mile because your body needs time to heal slowly and walking that distance could have caused the soreness, but seems like you are doing better. That's awesome and encouraging.
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Old 02-19-2009, 12:52 PM   #3
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Re: Post Fusion Feb 9th Update L4/L5

wow that's so great to read about I'm glad that you posted. I can't imagine walking 40 feet let alone a mile. If someone brings me to a store from the parking lot to the front door of the store I'm shot in pain wouldn't it be nice to be able to go for a walk and see the birds now that it's getting better out too.

Did you have screwed and plates put in too for your fusion? How big was your incision?
are you wearing a brace?

 
Old 02-20-2009, 08:07 AM   #4
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Re: Post Fusion Feb 9th Update L4/L5

I should provide info on my brace wear... In the hospital anytime you are up, you are in your brace. Now my roommate who had c-level fusion done had to have her brace on 24/7 (even when she was in bed). I didn't while in bed.

Once released from the hospital it was suggested to me that unless I was doing house work (yeah that's not happening yet) or if I was walking, I was to wear my brace. The first few days, I did wear my brace when I was sitting up but on Monday I stopped that because I don't want my abs to get weak. The more you rely on the brace, the more therapy you will need (per my doc). Now he is more progressive when it comes to all of this but he also has a tremendous success rate. So when I am walking, yes I wear my brace and I love it. Yesterday, I almost walked two miles and I feel pretty good today. I am even starting to cut down on the pain pills. The one thing I am unable to cut down on is the muscle relaxers but I only take 3-4 of those a day. Once I get up to two miles I won't push as much and let my body rest and keep at the two miles a day mark. My goal is to get off of all of the extra stuff in the next two weeks. I have been in pain mgmt for three years so I am also on the Fent Patch and will want to start weening myself down and be off of it completely before returning back to work.

They are stating that should be mid April. My return date is a little longer due to the fact that I have an hour commute each way. The good thing is that I only do that two times a week.

Take care all.

 
Old 02-20-2009, 09:15 AM   #5
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Re: Post Fusion Feb 9th Update L4/L5

Onyx, I hereby proclaim you our new poster child! How awesome! You're doing wonderfully! Keep up the walking; that's the best thing you can do for yourself to promote bone growth!

Don't be alarmed if you have some bad days. It's normal to have some ups and downs for no apparent reason. It's happened to all of us. Also, the numbing agents they pack in during surgery wear off between 3 and 6 weeks, so you may experience in increase in pain around that time, but it will pass quickly.

You go, girl! I'm so proud of you!

Keep us informed,
Emily

 
Old 02-22-2009, 12:40 PM   #6
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Re: Post Fusion Feb 9th Update L4/L5

Thanks Emily!!! You made me smile!!! You all keep me motivated as well!!! I want to good for myself and for everybody else so that there can be a good story out there for everyone to refer to.

I walked two miles today and am down to five norco's a day. The witching hour has moved from 5 to 6 pm. I just get real stiff and sore. The one thing that I am unsure of is why I am requiring so much sleep. I slept 11 hours last night and the only reason I woke up was because my husband woke me up. I was out cold. Did you all sleep a lot? I have an appointment to get my staples out on Tuesday with my surgeon so I will ask him about that but was wondering.

Thanks to you all and I will continue to post all of my updates. Oh and the best news...my four year old son is coming home today from visiting him grandparents. I have missed him so much. I am ready for some hugs and kisses.

 
Old 02-23-2009, 10:27 AM   #7
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Re: Post Fusion Feb 9th Update L4/L5

You're doing so well! That's amazing! I can't believe you were out of that hospital 48 hours after surgery - well done!

Keep up that walking, it sounds like you're doing a beautiful job, and you're in great spirits. At this rate you're bound to have an amazing summer!

Take care,

XOXO!
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Old 02-23-2009, 11:08 AM   #8
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Re: Post Fusion Feb 9th Update L4/L5

The pain meds can make you drowsy, so you'll sleep more. Also, your body needs time and rest to heal from the major trauma of surgery. I slept a lot, too. I think that's very normal. But add it to your list of questions for your doctor, anyway. It's good for him to know how it's going, and it will give you peace of mind to hear it straight from him.

Emily

 
Old 02-25-2009, 10:18 AM   #9
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Re: Post Fusion Feb 9th Update L4/L5

My appointment went well with the doctor. He was happy with my walking and told me to keep up the good work. My next appointment isn't until April 8th and I will then find out how I am fusing. I will start weaning off of my patch in two weeks which I am nervous about because by no means do we want the weaning to affect my progress. My husband went with me to my PM doctor because he is so flaky and I believe I am his first case of weaning. So I guess we will see how it goes. Anyway, I will be positive and continue to walk as I can. My staples came out yesterday and today I am in a little extra pain. I just feel very stiff and sore. It's definitely different than before which makes me happy.

I plan on keeping a journal of activities noting how many pills, miles of walking, new pain or no pain. Give myself a pain scale daily. I am going to get a notebook today so that I can accurate provide my doctor an account of my progress. The appointments are so short and we end up missing so much because we are rushed so a lot might get forgotten. I even forgot to mention about the sleep. Although it has eased up a little. I am down to 10 hours

Have a good day and congrats to everyone who is also receiving good news (mommyof2).

 
Old 02-27-2009, 01:20 PM   #10
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Re: Post Fusion Feb 9th Update L4/L5

I have no idea why note-book is a bad word!!! It got *** out on my last post. Kind of wild!! Well you all called it. The last two days have not been fun. Just a lot more pain. I continue to walk through it. I feel better today but continue to have to energy. I have to force myself to get out and walk. I hate that, I just wish it was easier and came naturally.

We all have those days/I will get through this and triumph. I need to go so that I can start walking.

Take care all and I pray you all find peace somehow.

Last edited by onyxgates; 02-27-2009 at 01:20 PM.

 
Old 03-02-2009, 09:32 AM   #11
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Re: Post Fusion Feb 9th Update L4/L5

Saturday: I walked 2 1/2 miles, came home and was in tons of pain. Very sore I just pushed myself too hard.

Sunday: I didn't go to the gym but ended up going to Kohls and Grocery store. I was up for 3 hours straight. When I got home again I was extremely sore and was in bed.

Today I am already sore but was happy that I was at least able to cut back yesterday to only 3 pain pills. However, I did have to take one already today. Just feel like I did too much. I am going to walk (I did get new walking shoes) at the gym but only two miles and nothing extra. I plan to go home and rest.

I find showering very tiring as well. Anyone else? When will I start to get my energy back? I will try to be more positive in my next post. Sorry folks!

 
Old 03-02-2009, 02:59 PM   #12
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Re: Post Fusion Feb 9th Update L4/L5

You don't sound like you're being negative. Just honest. And I think you're doing great!!! I sure couldn't walk that far so soon after my surgery! And I'm definitely not a slacker!

You'll probably feel more energetic around the 3 month mark. Maybe it will be even sooner for you, as you're able to walk so far already. Keep it up, sweetie! (Just don't overdo it.)

Emily

 
Old 03-03-2009, 09:31 AM   #13
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Re: Post Fusion Feb 9th Update L4/L5

Thanks Emily, I guess I feel a little bit cooped up with the winter blues. Even though I am getting out and walking, it's not like I am actually talking to people. Yesterday and today continue to be bad so I am back up to six pills. Dang it, I thought I was really making progress. I only walked a mile yesterday. I really couldn't do much more.

Thanks again for the encouragment!!!

 
Old 03-16-2009, 11:26 AM   #14
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Re: Post Fusion Feb 9th Update L4/L5

Well I feel like I am in a holding pattern right now. Still ache, still have bad days and some good ones. I am really glad that the weather is getting nicer. It's nice to walk outside vs the gym. Walking in a big circle tends to get a little boring Especially when it takes 12 times to make the two miles. Hope everyone is feeling good and I wish the best of luck for those who are getting ready for surgery.

 
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