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Old 03-06-2001, 09:33 AM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Lake Wales, Fl USA
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magicwmn HB User
Having Back Fusion.....please help

I am having back fusion sometime this month. I have been suffering with back pain for over a year now, had epidurals, therapy, etc, and now have seen a neurologist and this surgery is recommended. Would anyone who has had this done, please let me know what to expect as far as the recovery process is concerned. I am no stranger to pain, but I do want to know what to expect. I have had to take Family Leave from work for 3 months until this is over with, and am worried that I may not be able to return to work by that time. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

------------------
Ned

 
Old 03-07-2001, 08:14 AM   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: lancaster CA. USA
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derhard HB User
Re: Having Back Fusion.....please help

Ned,
I understan 100% where youare comming from. I too have been in a holding pattern for a 3 level lumbar fusion. I have also had the MRI's,DISCOGRAMS,CT'S,THERAPY<MEDS.....
I would strongly suggest you search these message boards for more information prior to having surgery. At least for me I have found more cases of people having the same/similiar if not worse pain and problems after surgery. I am in a bad situation myself but am looking at this fusion in a much different way now. Another board I received allot of information from was spinaldisorders.org. Good Luck to you!!!

 
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Old 03-07-2001, 09:17 AM   #3
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Laurel Md USA
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Scottk HB User
Re: Having Back Fusion.....please help

Hi I just went through a one level back fusion. It was done anterior or from the front and at the L4 L5 level. This was done along with a cage and an autograph from my hip bone. First two weeks are is the time an extra hand is good. I was taking a good amount of pain killers for about two months. I am down a great deal on them now at three months. Started walking at two months and am doing about three miles a day now. What I see is that it really takes about six months for the bone too completly adhere. Now of course this is for me and I don't know what type and how many levels you need. As long as you beleive on what your Doc thinks and are in enough pain to think about surgery I would do what he or she thinks do it.If not definetly get other opinions. Hope everything goes great for you...

 
Old 03-07-2001, 11:23 AM   #4
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Lake Wales, Fl USA
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magicwmn HB User
Re: Having Back Fusion.....please help

thank you Laurel and Derhard. I see my surgeon this next Weds. It will be the first time, since the hospital, and I wasn't at my best then, so I will find out all the info I can. All I do know, is that they will be fusing 2 vertebra together, using my bone, or donor bone, but that's all I know now, and this is my last option available to me. What worries me is the recupe time at home, since I will have no help...no support from hubby, but that's his loss. I think the dr will send me to rehab at the hospital to stay for a few days because of this situation, a couple days after my surgery. Any tips on what do do before hand? Someone suggested I get one of those grabbers, and I hadn't even thought of that, nor the fact that I won't be able to bend over at all for a couple months. Hope to hear from you both soon. Thank you again......Nedra

 
Old 03-09-2001, 07:57 AM   #5
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Location: Lake Wales, Fl USA
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magicwmn HB User
Re: Having Back Fusion.....please help

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Scottk:
<B>Hi I just went through a one level back fusion. It was done anterior or from the front and at the L4 L5 level. This was done along with a cage and an autograph from my hip bone. First two weeks are is the time an extra hand is good. I was taking a good amount of pain killers for about two months. I am down a great deal on them now at three months. Started walking at two months and am doing about three miles a day now. What I see is that it really takes about six months for the bone too completly adhere. Now of course this is for me and I don't know what type and how many levels you need. As long as you beleive on what your Doc thinks and are in enough pain to think about surgery I would do what he or she thinks do it.If not definetly get other opinions. Hope everything goes great for you...</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Dear Scott,

I am having a laminectomy with single spinal fusion with screws and rods. Only two vertebra are being fused. I am scared to death, to say the least. I will have no help at home, so that worries me even more. I am going through this alone, with no support from husband. Any hints you can give me to help get through this?

 
Old 03-09-2001, 09:14 AM   #6
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Carpentersville, IL USA
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jennifer151 HB User
Re: Having Back Fusion.....please help

I am planning on going through the same procedure as you are. From what I have read and heard from people, this can be very difficult to do alone. Does your husband live with you? If not, do you have any relatives that can stay for the first month or so? What about close friends that don't work? Is there anyone that would like to come visit and help out, like a parent who doesn't work? Or, have you looked into the option of hiring in-home help? Some insurances cover this...

Just some suggestions,
Jennifer

 
Old 03-10-2001, 09:08 PM   #7
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Ohio
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Tessina HB User
Re: Having Back Fusion.....please help

Hi! Had a fusion done 7 months ago, and here are a few tips that I can think of off the top of my head:
-If you don't have someone staying with you, definately go to the Rehab. place if that is an option. You will feel better knowing someone is nearby to help you in the beginning.
- Pack an extra suitcase for when you get home. You will want to have important things all in one easy to reach place: baggy clothes, things to read etc...Move essential food items to the top shelf of the refrig. and to the counter tops where you won't have to bend to get to them. Buy some paperplates and plastic cups: lighter and no clean-up!
-DO get a grabber. I got mine at the hospital and I think it cost about $15. It was a lifesaver!
-Set out shoes that you can just step into - you won't be able to tie them for a while.
-Get a long handled shower brush at your local department store. Helps with showering.
-They also have a sock helper that helps you put on your socks, if you want to get one.
-Ask your friends to check on you, bring food etc... This isn't a time to be proud, if you overdo it, you could hurt yourself! You will have to accept that you will have to rest a lot in the beginning - even when you don't want to.
Hope this helped! Good luck to you!

 
Old 03-11-2001, 08:02 PM   #8
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Lake Wales, Fl USA
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magicwmn HB User
Re: Having Back Fusion.....please help

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by jennifer151:
<B>I am planning on going through the same procedure as you are. From what I have read and heard from people, this can be very difficult to do alone. Does your husband live with you? If not, do you have any relatives that can stay for the first month or so? What about close friends that don't work? Is there anyone that would like to come visit and help out, like a parent who doesn't work? Or, have you looked into the option of hiring in-home help? Some insurances cover this...

Just some suggestions,
Jennifer</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well, I hope this one gets through. It keeps saying my password is incorrect, which it is. Thanks much for your reply. Yes, my husband lives here, but that's all he does as far as emotional support goes. I'm sure my daughter will help out when she can, but she has a new baby, plus a job, so for the most part, I will be going it alone. When are you having your surgery? Mine is on the 21st. I will make it though, cause I am a tough cookie......LOL

 
Old 03-11-2001, 08:04 PM   #9
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Lake Wales, Fl USA
Posts: 1
magicwmn HB User
Re: Having Back Fusion.....please help

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Tessina:
<B>Hi! Had a fusion done 7 months ago, and here are a few tips that I can think of off the top of my head:
-If you don't have someone staying with you, definately go to the Rehab. place if that is an option. You will feel better knowing someone is nearby to help you in the beginning.
- Pack an extra suitcase for when you get home. You will want to have important things all in one easy to reach place: baggy clothes, things to read etc...Move essential food items to the top shelf of the refrig. and to the counter tops where you won't have to bend to get to them. Buy some paperplates and plastic cups: lighter and no clean-up!
-DO get a grabber. I got mine at the hospital and I think it cost about $15. It was a lifesaver!
-Set out shoes that you can just step into - you won't be able to tie them for a while.
-Get a long handled shower brush at your local department store. Helps with showering.
-They also have a sock helper that helps you put on your socks, if you want to get one.
-Ask your friends to check on you, bring food etc... This isn't a time to be proud, if you overdo it, you could hurt yourself! You will have to accept that you will have to rest a lot in the beginning - even when you don't want to.
Hope this helped! Good luck to you! </B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

well, I hope this one gets through, cause it said the last one didn't...LOL. Thanks much for your help. Yes, I am hoping to be able to go to rehab for a couple of days before I have to come home and go it alone. So at least I will have an idea of what I am in for. It's going to be hard I know, but I can make it. How are you doing from your surgery now? Much improved I hope?

 
Old 03-12-2001, 11:18 AM   #10
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Carpentersville, IL USA
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jennifer151 HB User
Re: Having Back Fusion.....please help

I read your response and was disappointed to hear your husband doesn't support you emotionally. I happened to have cancer 4 years ago and I was married to a man that didn't support me at all through everything...I left him. It was the best thing I ever did for myself. I'm not telling you to do the same, I don't know your situation. I just wanted to tell you that I understand what that's like.

Good luck on your surgery! I find out about mine when I go to the doctor on the 22nd. I am being considered for a minimally invasive procedure for the fusion. I hope I am a good candidate, as this shortens the recovery time and pain!

Let us know how you are doing after surgery,
Jennifer

 
Old 03-13-2001, 07:56 AM   #11
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: binghamton,ny,usa
Posts: 11
pleesr HB User
Re: Having Back Fusion.....please help

Good luck with your operation. I had fusion done 7 moths ago. All i want is my old self back. Doc. Says , in time, keep up on the therapy. Take meds., he said, it'll get better. We will see.
Again, good luck, i will keep you in prayers.
A friend in pain,
paul

p.s. Thanks for response to my post on oxy.

 
Old 03-13-2001, 11:32 AM   #12
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Lake Wales, Fl USA
Posts: 1
magicwmn HB User
Re: Having Back Fusion.....please help

Wow Paul...and I'm hoping to go back to work by June 4th? After reading all these responses, I'm wondering if I'm going to be able to. If not, I will lose my job. To anyone else out there.....what all meds do they put you on when you leave the hospital. I know that the first day or so, I will be on morphine drip, but I am curious as to what they'll give me when I go home. I sure hope it's something that will help, as I am on percs, oxy and flexeral now. I don't want my body to become immune so that after surgery, these drugs won't help. Any responses, please, will be greatly appreciated. Thanks all, Ned

 
Old 03-14-2001, 10:25 AM   #13
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Lake Wales, Fl USA
Posts: 1
magicwmn HB User
Re: Having Back Fusion.....please help

Thank you very much Yvonne. I went to that site, and it was very interesting. I also added a post there. How are you doing now? I am scared to death, to say the least. If you wish, email me at any time.

 
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