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Old 02-22-2011, 02:57 PM   #1
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Spinal Fusion and Laminectomy TOMORROW

Hi Y'all,

I found this message board in a last ditch effort to find out what to expect tomorrow and the following day and days after surgery from people who have been through it.

To say I'm nervous is an understatement.

I've had severe to moderate lower back pain, constant pain & JOLTS since August. Surprisingly enough, I've not had one jolt since Sunday, but by now I know that when I'm not hurting is the "episode" now, because the back pain and sciatic jolts are a constant.

But then since I've only had to take 3 vicidan in the last 3 days, i'm wondering if I'm possibly better enough to cancel surgery? . No stupid Karen, you aren't. You see, I've got a broken vertebra, not sure which one, and my L4 fell down on top of my L5. They are fusing L3, L4 and L5.

help...kind words and guidance would be most welcome. 9 am is coming quickly...

Karen

 
Old 02-22-2011, 05:39 PM   #2
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Re: Spinal Fusion and Laminectomy TOMORROW

Hello Karen,

I've had multi-level laminectomies done, though I did not get fusion, so I can only speak to what I've had done. Of course you're nervous about it and I think anyone that has any kind of surgery gets nervous. I waited some time before deciding on my surgery, but I came to the point that I hardly had any quality of life left, I couldn't really even walk anymore and the constant pain was unbearable. At first I was nervous, but believe it or not, the evening before and morning of my surgery, I wasn't nervous at all. I think it was because I was in such bad shape and couldnt' take it anymore, I was so looking forward to surgery and thought to myself that I can't possibly get worse than I already was. I just wanted it done and over with.

My surgery wasn't as involved as yours will be, but it took about 3 hours or so if I remember correctly. Well, going by what my family told me how long it took. Yes, there is a lot of post-surgical pain, but of course that is to be expected since it's a major surgery. Even on the pain meds, I had a lot of pain, though I when they wore off (like one time while still in the hospital, I had waited too long to take my next pill), it was awful. It'll be very hard to move afterwards, but gets easier & easier every day over the weeks. For me, they got me up and walking the day after surgery, with a walker of course. For me, the first two weeks were the hardest. I had found, though, that I wasn't able to walk up and down my stairs to my bedroom, so I actually slept on my couch most of the first couple weeks. It's amazing how many things one tried to do as far as moving involve the back muscles. While you're still in the hospital, they will show how to properly get up out of bed, they should get you into some PT in the hospital to show you how to do house hold things. My hospital had me walk up & down a few stairs (ouch!!), sit on a chair, they had a fake car set up, kitchen, etc.. You'll definitely need someone around for you at least the first two weeks or so. YOu will need lots of help doing things.

I made sure to buy a grabber, a raised toilet seat (believe me, this will make a huge difference...) and a mattress genie to raise the top part of my mattress up some, so that it was easier to get out of bed. Oh, you should probably get some slip-on shoes if you don't already have some and bring those to the hospital with you. You should also have plenty of sweat pants/jogging pants, clothes of that nature and ones that are not tight. Your pants are probably going to land around the area of your incision. It might also be easier to have some button down shirts to wear at first. They might be easier to put on right after surgery than something you try to put on over your head. Gosh, I know I'm missing a bunch of stuff, but my surgery was in '06, so I jsut can't remember everything now.

Anyway, I'm sure you'll do fine during your surgery and I'll certainly wish you my best wishes for a speedy recovery.

 
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Old 02-22-2011, 05:46 PM   #3
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Re: Spinal Fusion and Laminectomy TOMORROW

[QUOTE=KarenLynnn;4691032]Hi Y'all,

I found this message board in a last ditch effort to find out what to expect tomorrow and the following day and days after surgery from people who have been through it.

To say I'm nervous is an understatement.

I've had severe to moderate lower back pain, constant pain & JOLTS since August. Surprisingly enough, I've not had one jolt since Sunday, but by now I know that when I'm not hurting is the "episode" now, because the back pain and sciatic jolts are a constant.

But then since I've only had to take 3 vicidan in the last 3 days, i'm wondering if I'm possibly better enough to cancel surgery? . No stupid Karen, you aren't. You see, I've got a broken vertebra, not sure which one, and my L4 fell down on top of my L5. They are fusing L3, L4 and L5.

help...kind words and guidance would be most welcome. 9 am is coming quickly...

Karen[/QUOTE]



Welcome to the board. I just had a 2-level fusion done in dec. I also had a 1-level fusion done in 2004. The 1st week with both were about the same. The 1st day is painful.My surgeon explained it the best. He said my back will feel like there is a axe in it. He was right. They will probably have you on a morphine pump along with some oral pain meds. If they don't get you out of bed the 1st day, they will the next morning. They want you to start walking 2 to 3 times a day. Probably in hospital for 3 days. When you are able to relieve yourself (both ways) they will let you go home. Then you will need help at home. Recovery is a long and slow process. A 3-level fusion is a major surgery. It could take up to 12-18 months for the fusions to actually fuse.
Follow doctors orders to a tee.
You should not sit for more than 15 min. at a time. No BLT!
I wish you the best with your surgery. Take care and come back here and give all of us an update on your recovery. Once again, best wishes.

Keith

 
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Old 02-22-2011, 05:53 PM   #4
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Re: Spinal Fusion and Laminectomy TOMORROW

what is BLT?

 
Old 02-22-2011, 06:49 PM   #5
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Re: Spinal Fusion and Laminectomy TOMORROW

[QUOTE=KarenLynnn;4691178]what is BLT?[/QUOTE]

bending, lifting, twisting

 
Old 02-22-2011, 07:08 PM   #6
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Re: Spinal Fusion and Laminectomy TOMORROW

I completely concur...Follow doctors orders to a tee.

I had a 2 levels done in 2003, no fusion though. Don't try to recover to quickly, but do walk often when you can. Don't rush, it will take time to recover. What helped me so much is warm water therapy. Once my staples came out, my doctor sent me to warm water physical therapy, it helps a ton!

If you are in pain, take your pain meds. Don't try to tough it out it will slow down your recovery.

Having had several surgeries, the most nervous time is just waiting in your bed waiting for them to take you back. Once your back there, it will feel like a split second and then your waking up in the recovery room. Will be sending up a prayer for ya...

 
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Old 02-22-2011, 07:39 PM   #7
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Re: Spinal Fusion and Laminectomy TOMORROW

Hi KarenLynnn,
I feel your pain! And I'm sorry you feel it. I am scheduled for a fusion L4-L5-S1 March 03 and it is like looking at my doom. I know it is for the best, and I need it. Just like you, I am outta options.
Anyways, I can't add much as I haven't yet experienced my fusion, other than one tip I haven;t seen in this thread, but helps me already. When you go to get in the car put a garbage bag under you so that you can easily swivel around in the car seat. It removes that awkward friction on the seat car getting into thing...
Let me know how you are doing. We could almost be recovery buddies as I go in in nine days!!

All the best for a great procedure and I;m sure you will be smiling on the other side of this.
sorry if this is a bit incoherent, I have taken my meds for the night but wanted to post before you went in.
"It will go well and I will have no pain." - This should be your mantra for the next little while. How are you dealing with it? Any suggestions for someone coming up to that eve before 'it'?? I already have anxiety through the roof!!

I'll be thinking of you!
xoox S.

 
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Old 02-23-2011, 05:32 AM   #8
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Re: Spinal Fusion and Laminectomy TOMORROW

thanks for the explanation, and i'm glad i don't have to give up my favorite sandwich

this is going to be quite a change in my lifestyle.. but then i have no life now with this pain.

 
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Old 02-24-2011, 07:55 AM   #9
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Re: Spinal Fusion and Laminectomy TOMORROW

Ss, try not to be too nervous. Sure the surgery site hurts, but the pain before the surgery is gone. Doc said my sciatic nerve was crushed. and remember, you will be on the mend after surgery. And sorry if I sound wonky, it's the pain meds

 
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Old 02-24-2011, 08:52 AM   #10
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Re: Spinal Fusion and Laminectomy TOMORROW

wow your on here glad to hear surgery went well!...your doing way better than i did i was out for first 24 hrs glad it all went well!...meber to walk walk walk! it will get blood flowing and will help you recover faster! and it will hurt but do a lil than a lil more each time! keep us posted on how your doing! will keep ya in my prayers!
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This Is My Life NOT MY PAINS!! I Will Not Let You Take It!!

 
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Old 02-24-2011, 05:47 PM   #11
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Re: Spinal Fusion and Laminectomy TOMORROW

Thanks Karenlynn! I ahve been thinking about you and sincerely hope that all is going well. Im sending all my good vibes and a hug your way!

 
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Old 02-25-2011, 05:29 AM   #12
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Re: Spinal Fusion and Laminectomy TOMORROW

KarenLynnn, Thank you for posting this and I am glad your surgery went well, I have been lurking on this website to gather more information on this surgery, I will be having a fusion on L3-4 on March 15th and have been wondering what the post op pain was going to be like, I know it is differnet for everyone, I had a microdiscectomy and partial laminectomy last year for a severely herniated disc at that level, I am having the fusion because it has reherniated and squishing the nerve again, my micro surgery was painful but not horendous, My sugeon says the fusion would feel like a two level microdiscectomy surgery. SSOFALVI, that is a great suggestion on the garbage bag in the car, I will try that . Thanks again for posting it is very helpful to read other experiences a hope your feeling better soon.

 
Old 03-01-2011, 06:49 PM   #13
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Re: Spinal Fusion and Laminectomy TOMORROW

tomorrow is one week...still not strong enough to walk a Lot, but walking some, moving around lots, trying not to sit too long. i can shower and dress all by myself, i'm getting there. i keep thinking it's time to start weaning from the pain meeds, but then my back reminds me it's not quite time yet

 
Old 03-01-2011, 06:56 PM   #14
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Re: Spinal Fusion and Laminectomy TOMORROW

yes i did have pain after surgery, and the fear that it could possibly be worse than what i was experiencing prior to surgery would make me burst in tears, but it wasn't that way at all. yes, this hurts. but they are giving me meds to control the pain. the first day after, i was getting iv dilladid, as often as i needed. dilladid is stronger than morphine... so i was not in hideous pain as expected. all the extremely horrible pain was before surgery.

if you are having pain now, enough pain to make you consider surgery, you know it's time to do it. i have no regrets, one week post op tomorrow. they gave me time release morphine, and oxycodone. between those 2 and advil, i'm not hurting.

 
Old 03-01-2011, 06:57 PM   #15
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Re: Spinal Fusion and Laminectomy TOMORROW

thanks so much, i'm doing well. i'm a good patient and a good healer.

 
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