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    Old 10-12-2017, 06:59 PM   #1
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    dustin76 HB User
    Post 3 level lumbar fusion questions

    I am 10 days post surgery from a 3 level fusion from my l3-s1. They had to post cages thru the front entry, and the rods and screws thru the back. One thing I was wondering if anyone else had a anterior/posterior fusion where they had one long incision in the front but 2 - 8 inch incisions in the back on either side of the spine. All I know is that recovery so far has been really rough.

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    Old 10-13-2017, 09:12 AM   #2
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    teteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB User
    Re: Post 3 level lumbar fusion questions

    I am fused from L3-S1 but mine was first a L4-5 PLIF where the cage was inserted from the back. Then two years later, I had a revision surgery where the rods and screws from the previous surgery were removed, and the discs were left in place. Then new longer rods were used to tie the three levels together. The bone graft was laid in the "gutter" so it eventually all grew together to create the fusion from L3 to S1.

    On Sept. 22nd I had another procedure as L2-3 had degenerated and was causing severe stenosis in the central canal. This time, my surgeon was able to go in with micro instruments and clean out all the stenosis to free up the nerve. It was an interesting surgery in that I was not in pain prior to the surgery, but I came out with nerve pain in the front of my thighs from him tugging on the nerve to free it up. So I am currently dealing with that.

    I haven't heard of a posterior incision such as yours, but I'm sure your surgeon had a reason why he did it that way. It may be that he could avoid cutting through the major back muscle -- it would make sense that by going through two incisions, he could position the rods without having to pull back everything from one central incision, as is more commonly done.

    What are the major issues you are having in recovery? Maybe I will have a couple tips to help.

    The best advice I can give you is to take small frequent walks. Your biggest danger now will be the development of scar tissue. Walking often is the best way to prevent scar tissue from attaching to a nerve as it forms and fills in, primarily in the first twelve weeks post surgery.

    If you wake up to take media during the night, take a little walk around your house. Even if it is back and forth in a hallway, it will help! Do not sit for longer than about 15 minutes at a time...then get up and walk a little.

    Can you walk without using a walker?

    Second, be patient. Try just to deal with one day at a time. Don't look ahead and worry about how long it may take until you are back to something resembling "normal." Just concentrate on what you are asked to do by your surgeon...nothing more.

    Do you have a back brace?

    Last edited by teteri66; 10-13-2017 at 09:20 AM.

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