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Old 08-16-2010, 08:38 PM   #1
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backpaingirl HB User
what kind of back brace after lumbar fusion?

Hi everyone,

For those of you here who have had lumbar spinal fusion, what kind of brace did you have? Did it go all the way up to your chest, etc? Also, was it uncomfortable?

On a side note, do people sleep on their backs after a posterior (TLIF) spinal fusion? I usally sleep on my side to relieve pain, but I don't think that will be possible while recovering from the fusion.
__________________
31 years old
Grade 2 Spodylolisthesis L5/S1
PLIF for L4/L5, L5/S1 scheduled for Sept. 2010
pulmonary embolism history (vena cava filter needed)

 
Old 08-16-2010, 09:02 PM   #2
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Re: what kind of back brace after lumbar fusion?

I just had a lumbar fusion for grade 2 spondy from S1 to L5 on June 30. I'm recovering pretty well. < edited > goes from chest to hips w/ 3 velcro strips on each side. That's the one i have. I couldn't find a model number for you. It's not too uncomfortable. Actually, i get scared when i don't wear it because it makes me feel like i'll move wrong. and believe me, when you move wrong, you know it!! If you are getting fitted for your brace before your surgery, make sure you wear it some prior to your surgery. I had to take mine backk and get them to trim some areas down for a better fit...better to do that before hand. They fitted me 2 weeks before.

I can sleep on my back and both sides. You aren't supposed to sleep on your stomach at all. I sleep pretty well too.

Good luck to you. It ain't an easy ordeal, but it's better than sciatica anyday!

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Old 08-17-2010, 12:46 PM   #3
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ibake&pray HB Useribake&pray HB Useribake&pray HB Useribake&pray HB Useribake&pray HB Useribake&pray HB Useribake&pray HB Useribake&pray HB Useribake&pray HB Useribake&pray HB Useribake&pray HB User
Re: what kind of back brace after lumbar fusion?

[COLOR="Navy"]I had the clam shell as well. you sure do have good posture when you are wearing it! It is hot, even with the holes for ventilation. I didn't get mine until after the surgeries. They had fitted me with a stretch support band,and with the swelling they ordered it 4 sizes too large!

Because of my fusion, I can sleep on my back. If I sleep on my side, I need to be perfectly vertical as I can't twist. They may tell you to sleep on your back until you are healed/fused.[/COLOR]

 
Old 08-17-2010, 01:11 PM   #4
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backpaingirl HB User
Re: what kind of back brace after lumbar fusion?

[QUOTE=jcrowder;4308866]I just had a lumbar fusion for grade 2 spondy from S1 to L5 on June 30. I'm recovering pretty well. < edited > goes from chest to hips w/ 3 velcro strips on each side. That's the one i have. I couldn't find a model number for you. It's not too uncomfortable. Actually, i get scared when i don't wear it because it makes me feel like i'll move wrong. and believe me, when you move wrong, you know it!! If you are getting fitted for your brace before your surgery, make sure you wear it some prior to your surgery. I had to take mine backk and get them to trim some areas down for a better fit...better to do that before hand. They fitted me 2 weeks before.

I can sleep on my back and both sides. You aren't supposed to sleep on your stomach at all. I sleep pretty well too.

Good luck to you. It ain't an easy ordeal, but it's better than sciatica anyday![/QUOTE]

Thanks so much for this info. I have been thinking that I will probably want it on most of the time. What is the pain like, exactly? I'm used to grinding aches (sometimes it feels like hot pokers) and spasms in my lower back. Is this more of a shooting pain? I have light twitchy pains in my legs, but nothing major--evidently i have lost quite a bit of sensation in my left leg.

I'm so glad to hear from a recent "survivor." I am beyond scared about this surgery, mainly because I do not react well to anesthesia and narcotic pain medication. I'm hoping that things will be better after the first three weeks.

Any ideas on how to cobat the boredom of 6 weeks w/o driving or work?
__________________
31 years old
Grade 2 Spodylolisthesis L5/S1
PLIF for L4/L5, L5/S1 scheduled for Sept. 2010
pulmonary embolism history (vena cava filter needed)

 
Old 08-17-2010, 01:19 PM   #5
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backpaingirl HB User
Re: what kind of back brace after lumbar fusion?

[QUOTE=ibake&pray;4309306][COLOR="Navy"]I had the clam shell as well. you sure do have good posture when you are wearing it! It is hot, even with the holes for ventilation. I didn't get mine until after the surgeries. They had fitted me with a stretch support band,and with the swelling they ordered it 4 sizes too large!

Because of my fusion, I can sleep on my back. If I sleep on my side, I need to be perfectly vertical as I can't twist. They may tell you to sleep on your back until you are healed/fused.[/COLOR][/QUOTE]

Thanks for the info! I live in Texas and get hot easily anyway, so that's good to know about the brace. I don't know if they will fit me for mine pre or post-op. If this isn't too personal, could you tell me about the swelling? I have not really experienced that with other surgeries I have had. When I had abdominal surgery (not back related), I retained 14 lbs of water, but that was evenly distributed all over me! I had not thought that there would be back-specific swelling.

I like sleeping on my back, but with my current problems, I can barely move when I wake up if I sleep on my back. If this surgery lets me sleep on my back without pain when I wake up, I will forever leave the side-sleeping position!

It's been a week now since I found out that I definitely have to have th fusion--which I have been trying to avoid since I was 25. I'm just now getting past the shock and horror about it and beginning to think that my life might be better once i have healed from the surgery.

I've lived with my pain for so many years that it's hard for me to even fathom not having it if the surgery works. Also, I think my pessimistic outlook was formed a great deal when the first specialist I saw said that the most pain reduction I can hope for is 70%--that was discouraging.
__________________
31 years old
Grade 2 Spodylolisthesis L5/S1
PLIF for L4/L5, L5/S1 scheduled for Sept. 2010
pulmonary embolism history (vena cava filter needed)

 
Old 08-17-2010, 04:46 PM   #6
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Texas
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backpaingirl HB User
Re: what kind of back brace after lumbar fusion?

Here's a question for the women out there. Do you wear a bra under the clam shell brace?
__________________
31 years old
Grade 2 Spodylolisthesis L5/S1
PLIF for L4/L5, L5/S1 scheduled for Sept. 2010
pulmonary embolism history (vena cava filter needed)

 
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