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Old 09-30-2005, 06:20 AM   #1
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Backinthesaddle HB User
Length of hospital stay after fusion

It has been 9 months since I have been on this site, I was off having my darling little boy. Now it is time to think again about having my surgery. I have spinal stenosis at C4-5 (severe cord compression to 6.5 mm) and had a posterior laminectomy in 8/02 for C6-7 and still having all the tricep pain and forearm spasms and cramping. C1-2 rotate and sometimes take awhile to rotate back causing major headaches (can they do anything about that). I also showed a bone spur C7-T1. I need to have a new MRI soon as that one was last October and I am doubting much has changed. I have been feeling better since I had the baby in August and lost 27 of the pounds I gained as I was in complete pain for months. Now since I have been off on FML I have not done anything besides play with my baby and the pain is much less. I do know as soon as I go back to work, try to work out or even think of riding my horses the pain is back as well as the fear of the cord compression. That said here is my question: How long do you stay in the hospital after a single or double fusion? I am breadfeeding and do not want to be away from my baby. This will decide if I put it off until he is 4 mo or I dry up. I stayed only one night after my C6-7 operation because I had to leave and the doc let me. Also how much will I be able to lift? I hate for my boy to be 4 mo and so big I can't lift him for ????? I have a lot of hand and finger pain and arm pain. My neck along the sides of it and to my rotator cuff and then around my shoulder blade hurt. My neck hurts from the top to the big knotted bone of T1. Decisions decisions....If I get it done soon I can stay home with my wee one longer.............Thanks....Kelly

 
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Old 09-30-2005, 08:46 AM   #2
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dennisgb HB User
Re: Length of hospital stay after fusion

Hi Back,

I remember you from back before you had the baby. Congratulations!

And you made it without having the surgery.

If you do have surgery, it is like everything else, they kick you out as fast as they can.

I was in for 22 hours for 2 level ACDF.

I think you may want to wait for a while tho, as this will put you down for 2-4 weeks, plus you have to take some heavy duty pain killers for a while...can you breast feed if your on drugs?

Dennis

 
Old 10-01-2005, 06:17 AM   #3
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Re: Length of hospital stay after fusion

Hi Dennis and thanks for responding...yes I can breadfeed on pain meds. I had a c-section and was on a fentanal (sp) pain pump and percocet both OK. I can use a form of Opiate just not a synthetic. I didn't use much pain meds after my laminectomy so I figure I won't here either. I did take hydrocode and flexiril my entire pregnancy due to the pain all approved by doc of course and the baby is perfect.

I hate to wait for two reasons, when he gets heavier I won't be able to lift him and now he is 10 lbs and could lift him after the surgery. Also I can stay off work longer during the early months on injury leave since this is work related. Also I have two years after the injury until they will want some sort of impairment rating. That would be July. And I want more time to find out how I will feel. I was to quick the first time around and now have to dispute the rating from the first surgery with an attorney.

I am thinking since C6-7 still cause me tons of issues that the laminectomy didn't solve the problem and he may need to fuse it too. What do you think? I am also afraid of another car accident and I can't ride my horses since if I get tossed and it has been a year since I rode them last and that may happen I could get permanent damage due to the severe bone spur stenosis.

Strange though I go through days when I think it doesn't hurt bad and I can go longer and then it rears its ugly head again. I still have post pg hormones and figure when they are all gone I am going to really hurt like I did pre pg and during the pg. I hate to have another cervical headache.

kelly

 
Old 10-01-2005, 07:19 AM   #4
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wimpette HB User
Re: Length of hospital stay after fusion

Congratulations! I remember your earlier posts, amazing how quickly the time has passed.

A couple of things you might want to consider if you have a new born. To my way of thinking the hospital stay is a minor consideration - it's usually no more than a day unless you're having a multilevel fusion from the posterior side. However anesthesia medications do affect breast feeding - they can use meds which have less of an effect but the longer the procedure the more is likely to get into the breast milk. Many of the newer and better agents cannot be used if you want to breast feed. Also you might need meds other than simple pain meds post op which could cause a problem.

The other consideration is that for a period of time depending on what you have done, number of levels, fusion or not, you have a definite weight restriction which varies from 5-10lbs initially up to 25lbs for a longer period of time (some of us up to a year). So you'll need to have plenty of help around post operatively.

Good luck in your decision,
W

 
Old 10-01-2005, 08:10 PM   #5
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Re: Length of hospital stay after fusion

Thanks W...I will have to look into the anesthetic part. I didn't even think of that. I wonder how long it stays in your system. This surgery is supposed to be anterior. I am not sure if it will be a single or double fusion until another MRI and my doc gets in to see what is going on with the old surgical area. If I wait then my baby will be bigger and heavier so harder to hold. If I do not sooner he will be under 12 lbs and I can handle that. I know that after my posterior surgery I had to take dh to his drill center two days after as he was deploying overseas for a year. I did all I wasn't supposed to since I was alone like drive, mow, weedeat etc....I felt OK. I figure this one supposedly hurts less and dh is home so I don't need to do anything besides spend my time with the wee one. My MIL is planning on coming to help me out during that time as well as dh taking some time off of work.

I noticed tonight while I was pushing the stroller to church my arms,back and neck really hurt. I just am caught in the middle of pain now or later. I guess I will get the MRI and find out what it looks like a year later.

 
Old 10-02-2005, 07:37 AM   #6
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Re: Length of hospital stay after fusion

Sounds like you need to have this done as soon as possible while you have help and can just relax and enjoy the wee one. I found that I didn't need any pain meds after the anterior fusion except the occasional tylenol, my posterior fusion was a bigger deal. From an anesthetic aspect I've been told that the safest is to pump for 24hrs and not use that milk, but after 24hours there should be no problem. I know women who have done that and had no problem resuming breast feeding afterwards.

All the best,
W

 
Old 10-02-2005, 01:17 PM   #7
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sunshine221 HB User
Re: Length of hospital stay after fusion

Kelly:

I had a laminectomy C4-C7 and I was feeling great for the first 3.5 weeks, now I've been getting intermittant cramping in my triceps - never had this before surgery and the pain is worse than any pain immediately after surgery - I think your post confirms to me that the spinal cord must still not be sitting right -- the doctor told me to just give it more time at this point. I've started PT and other exercise and I assume I'm doing something that I shouldn't be.

In your case, I even at this point you will need lots of help with the baby for at least a few weeks. The other day I couldn't lift a 9 pound roast and I hear the the lifting restrictions are even more critical with fusion.

As long as you have help and the meds don't affect the baby, I agree with the other postings about pumping, etc.

-Gloria

 
Old 10-03-2005, 07:10 AM   #8
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dennisgb HB User
Re: Length of hospital stay after fusion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Backinthesaddle
I am thinking since C6-7 still cause me tons of issues that the laminectomy didn't solve the problem and he may need to fuse it too. What do you think? I am also afraid of another car accident and I can't ride my horses since if I get tossed and it has been a year since I rode them last and that may happen I could get permanent damage due to the severe bone spur stenosis.

kelly
Hi Kelly,

I know about the not being able to do stuff that you love. I am a fisherman, and before surgery, I couldn't take a wave in my boat, without it putting me down from pain.

I think you should get the MRI and see what things look like. I know that some of the meds during and after surgery could be a problem for breast feeding.

The thing I hadn't thought about was weight lifting restrictions. I was on a 5 pound restriction for at least a month. They don't want you to lift anything at first, because of the pressure it puts on your neck. This could be a big problem with the baby.

Dennis

 
Old 10-03-2005, 07:45 AM   #9
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Re: Length of hospital stay after fusion

Gloria after my laminectomy my triceps felt great. I still had right forearm cramping as that is a permanent affect from waiting to long to have the surgery and the nerve being compressed. However, last year after my second injury (rear ended at work) my triceps (both this time not just right) started hurting along with everythig else. I was amazed since it was such a minor accident but I happened to be yelling at the bonehead next to me who thought he would cut in front of me without a lane. ( I am a PO so not smart) then the guy behind me hit me. I had physical therapy for about 4 months took the meds and nothing helped. By that time I was pregnant and to late for surgery. I was told that it is the C6/7 that causes the tricep pain. Do you also have pain in your elbows and forearms? The nerve to my elbow is always swollen and there is no funny bone there OUCH! Try the PT for a bit and then ask for another MRI.

I remember that the first PT I went to kept telling me I had shoulder issues and the pain in my jaw was TMJ. NOPE I changed PT and she told me I had issues remaining with the first injury and treated me according. The first guy had me doing ball rolls on the wall, pushups and weights all the things that aggravate the injury more. My nerves in my arms hurt so bad I couldn't straighten my arms. My fingers ache and are always swollen.

W you are right I am calling to day to get a MRI scheduled. It will take a week or so for workman's comp to approve it. I may as well get
it done while the wee one is not 20 lbs and he is moving that way. He was a chunker 8lb9oz at 38 weeks and I am only (was) 110 5'0. So he is up to 11 now. Good about the pump and dump for the first 24 hours. I am going to contact a anesthesiologist and ask him if there is a safe for bf anesthesia. I read online that there are some but unless asked they don't use it. Otherwise I will pump and dump.

Dennis I know I did think of the weight but figure I would have my MIL and dh home for a bit. I think I will be good since like you I had pain with the posterior surgery and still could do most things. Can you fish OK now?

Yesterday was heck...I took the baby out and all the carrier lifting and baby pack carrying I hurt from my neck to my fingers and my back. I broke down and took 10mg flexiril and it helped a bit.

 
Old 10-03-2005, 08:53 AM   #10
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dennisgb HB User
Re: Length of hospital stay after fusion

Kelly,

I have been very lucky with my fusion surgery. I now am able to do things I couldn't do for many years...fishing included.

I had pain in left arm, numbness in fingers and chest/shoulder pain. Prior to the surgery it was close to unbearable. I have no pain at all now, and am stronger and healthier than I have been in years, since I am now able to excercise and be active. I do not take any pain meds. A Tylenol occasionally.

It's quite a difficult recovery tho. I know, that I did not feel "normal" for at least 6 weeks.

Once you get an MRI and consult with docs you will have a better understanding of how this might effect taking care of your little one.

Dennis

 
Old 10-03-2005, 03:40 PM   #11
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Backinthesaddle HB User
Re: Length of hospital stay after fusion

Sucks, my treating doctor said that I may need another mylegram before surgery. I will find out when my surgeon is back at work. I swear the one I had for the first surgery hurt so bad I thought I would pass out. This time will hurt worse with more injured areas. Hmmmmmmmmmm what is a good drug to take I wonder to live through the pain.
Dennis that is great, maybe I will not have all the arm, shoulder,neck and back pain too afterwards........good about fishing. I can't wait to ride again. Kelly

 
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