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Old 03-28-2010, 10:42 PM   #1
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Inpatient rehab after L4-S1 fusion??

Hello -- I'm a 55 year old male with MS and a broke back... I'm scheduled for 360 two level fusion (L4-S1) in a month and my neurosurgeon wants me to stay on in the hospital's inpatient rehab program for an additional 3-4 weeks following surgery. After reading about the post-op pain many have experienced, I'm wondering just how much "rehab" can be accomplished directly following surgery.

Has anyone been through inpatient rehab directly following their spinal fusion? If so, can you share your experiences with me? Thank you!

 
Old 03-29-2010, 08:22 AM   #2
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Re: Inpatient rehab after L4-S1 fusion??

[COLOR="Navy"]I had a three level fusion that turned into a broken back that led to being fused from T9 to my sacrum. After I had the second surgery, my surgeon wanted me in inpatient rehab because I needed too much therapy to be at home. And I wasn't stable enough to be at home.

So off I went. Right here in northern VA there is no in patient therapy that you can stay at. So where you go is a "nusring home that does therapy." I was the youngest one there by -oh- 30 years. Everyone would be in bed by 8pm. I would be out in the halls roaming all by myself going "helloooo? anyone here?" It was just me and the staf-and the lady across the hall from me who beat on the wall with her artifical leg when she needed something.

I had therapy twice a day with a therapist. Then I would work on my own on the exercises during other times. My hubby was with me most of the time, so he was a good spotter for me. Up and down the halls...dodwn and up the halls...trying to regain strength in my left leg. ARGH....

I was in the home for a month...and I was ready to leave when my time was up.

We had had to fight to get the fourth week, but the head therapist wrote such a compelling letter that the insurance company let me stay that last week.

You asked about the pain. The staff will make sure that you have your meds before you do your workouts. I wasn't ever in alot of pain as they were good to dispense meds on time and would give me the breakthrough ones if I had need of them. It's better that you ar ewith trained staff that can push you the way needed than to be at home with only someone who stops in for an hour once or twice a week. That really slows down the process. I had that after I got home..and it doesn't begin to compare to inhouse care.

If you have questions, feel free to ask...[/COLOR]

 
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Old 03-29-2010, 07:58 PM   #3
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Re: Inpatient rehab after L4-S1 fusion??

Most insurance plans pay for a certain period of inpatient hospital care. If someone is not capable of functioning fully yet doesn't meet the criteria to go home they often transfer the patient to a rehabilitation floor or facility. Experiences differ - some find themselves in more of a nursing home atmosphere and some in more of a real rehab atmosphere. The cost per day is less as there is less "acute" care required. With MS they may want to see that you are more stable and able to function before releasing you from all care thus adding some time to your post-op care via rehabilitation.
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Fusions: L5-S1 (87), L4-S1 (93), C5-C7 ('06), L3-S1 ('10)
C5-C7 foraminotomy 08

 
Old 03-30-2010, 12:15 PM   #4
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Re: Inpatient rehab after L4-S1 fusion??

[QUOTE=ibake&pray;4214497][COLOR="Navy"]I had a three level fusion that turned into a broken back that led to being fused from T9 to my sacrum. After I had the second surgery, my surgeon wanted me in inpatient rehab because I needed too much therapy to be at home. And I wasn't stable enough to be at home.

So off I went. Right here in northern VA there is no in patient therapy that you can stay at. So where you go is a "nusring home that does therapy." I was the youngest one there by -oh- 30 years. Everyone would be in bed by 8pm. I would be out in the halls roaming all by myself going "helloooo? anyone here?" It was just me and the staf-and the lady across the hall from me who beat on the wall with her artifical leg when she needed something.

I had therapy twice a day with a therapist. Then I would work on my own on the exercises during other times. My hubby was with me most of the time, so he was a good spotter for me. Up and down the halls...dodwn and up the halls...trying to regain strength in my left leg. ARGH....

I was in the home for a month...and I was ready to leave when my time was up.

We had had to fight to get the fourth week, but the head therapist wrote such a compelling letter that the insurance company let me stay that last week.

You asked about the pain. The staff will make sure that you have your meds before you do your workouts. I wasn't ever in alot of pain as they were good to dispense meds on time and would give me the breakthrough ones if I had need of them. It's better that you ar ewith trained staff that can push you the way needed than to be at home with only someone who stops in for an hour once or twice a week. That really slows down the process. I had that after I got home..and it doesn't begin to compare to inhouse care.

If you have questions, feel free to ask...[/COLOR][/QUOTE]

Thanks IBAKE&PRAY -- your name sounds like something my wife would choose for a screenname. I know from reading these boards that walking is very important because it promotes bone growth. Other than walking, what kind of therapy did you have? Specifically, can you describe the different things you had to do? And you said you had therapy twice a day -- how long were the sessions? My fear is that I'm not physically capable because of my MS. But I'm sure SpineAZ is right that my doctors want to make sure I'm stable and able to take care of myself before I go home. I have a wonderful wife of 20 years that will be by my side throughout this journey, but I don't want to be too dependent on her. I guess what I'm saying is that I'm all for the inpatient rehab but just have reservations about my abilities to do what I need to do to get what I need to get out of it. If that makes any kind of sense!

 
Old 03-30-2010, 12:38 PM   #5
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Re: Inpatient rehab after L4-S1 fusion??

After my 3 Level (L3 to S1) Fusion i stayed in the hosp for a week first.. then went to Inpatient Rehab for 2 weeks. This was in a larger hospital so it offered the inpt rehab. During my stay in rehab, it was a lot of walking, stairs, exercises and group therapies. Physical and Occupational therapy. Yes, i was the youngest there also. (was 30 at the time).

The RN's make sure you are medicated before and after the sessions.

Personally, i think that the inpt rehab helped me out a LOT!!! Sure there will be a lot of pain, but if you can get it approved by insurances and Drs.. i HIGHLY recommend it.

p.s. the hardest thing for me in my recovery was laying flat on my back on the floor with my knees bent and lifting my hips in the air.. still use that move if i am having a "bad back day".

Also use the sticky that is on this forum about things to do when you get home.. that did help me alot!!!

 
Old 03-31-2010, 06:53 AM   #6
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Re: Inpatient rehab after L4-S1 fusion??

[COLOR="Navy"]Don't borrow trouble! The Physical Therapists will be aware of your limitations and what you can and can't do. Theya re trained to HELP people, not damage them. You might find that they can offer you help with your MS also. Think of that....2 birds with one visit.

The therapy sessions were about 1.5 hours long. They had me doing exercises to improve my leg muscles and to teah me how to walk again. I worked with a therapist the entire time. We walked with handrails, she taught me how to go up and down stairs, all the things you need for normal life. They work on rebuilding your strength and muscle strength. It's the quickest way to get back on your feet at a surgery if you have limitations or if your doctor sees need of your going.

My hubby of 36 yrs. was with me all the time also. But the therapists will teach her the exercises, but you are the patient and that is where their focus will be.

I would really consider this a rational step for healing after surgery.[/COLOR]

 
Old 04-06-2010, 04:41 AM   #7
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Re: Inpatient rehab after L4-S1 fusion??

[QUOTE=BiddyMtn;4214286]Hello -- I'm a 55 year old male with MS and a broke back... I'm scheduled for 360 two level fusion (L4-S1) in a month and my neurosurgeon wants me to stay on in the hospital's inpatient rehab program for an additional 3-4 weeks following surgery. After reading about the post-op pain many have experienced, I'm wondering just how much "rehab" can be accomplished directly following surgery.

Has anyone been through inpatient rehab directly following their spinal fusion? If so, can you share your experiences with me? Thank you![/QUOTE]
hi im 20yr i had a 2level spinal fusion on l45-l5s1 i stayed in hospital for 12days and then taken to a rehab hospital and stayed their 4weeks it really helps they get you moving so much beter things like climbing stairs and core excercises and the occupational therapist lets you no how to things beter around the house when you get home. it really helped me i recomend it to everyone after a spinal fusion i also went to rehab after my first back surgery which was a microdisctomy which the surgery made things alot wores so thats why i had the fusion.

 
Old 04-15-2010, 09:00 PM   #8
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Re: Inpatient rehab after L4-S1 fusion??

"Don't borrow trouble..." Thanks for those words of wisdom! I go tomorrow for my pre-op visit and to register at the hospital, with surgery scheduled for 4/26. I'll keep reading the boards and will post with my experiences and status as soon as I can. Thanks to all who have shared their experiences and words of encouragement.

 
Old 04-16-2010, 07:11 AM   #9
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Re: Inpatient rehab after L4-S1 fusion??

[COLOR="Navy"]Good for you. Just remember to tell them everything that they nned to know. You will be better off and so will they.[/COLOR]

 
Old 04-16-2010, 09:56 PM   #10
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Re: Inpatient rehab after L4-S1 fusion??

Wow, I have never had in patient rehab. I usually go in the hospital on Thursday for surgery and go home on Sunday. I know that sounds quick, but I want out of there. They do not do any physical therapy for almost 6 months after fusion. Now, when I get out, I definitely walk every day with a walker and gradually get off of it. I make sure that one of their doctors is on duty on Sunday to sign me out and talk about this beforehand.

The one thing I tell everyone after surgery is get up and walk as soon as possible. My doctor lets me get up that night. Sometimes, just standing up is it or usually, I just walk a little. I think getting up and walking gets your internal organs back to normal quicker.
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