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Surgery one week away


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Old 03-07-2018, 03:03 PM   #1
martinb3152
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Surgery one week away

Hello, it's getting close to my surgery date. It is set for 03/14. My surgeon is going through the front and the back. Will be having L3-S1 done. My back is worse than I thought. I have to say that I am scared out of my wits. There are times I want to back out. But there really is no other alternative. If I wait any longer I could end up in a wheel chair. I am having severe pain and my feet have been numb since 2010 and getting worse. Anyone else had this particular surgery? Would like to hear from you.
Thanks, Martin

 
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Old 03-07-2018, 08:42 PM   #2
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Re: Surgery one week away

I am fused from L3 to S1. I was first fused at L4-5 and then 18 months later the rest was added. I probably should have had all three levels done the first go round, but we were trying to do the minimal amount that would resolve my issues...and guessed wrong.

It is a big surgery. It took me 18 months to really feel back to normal...but we took rehab very slowly so as not to cause any sciatic flares.

Mine was done for the posterior side only and it has been enough. It is really the preference of the surgeon more than anything.

I imagine you have been cautioned that surgery will most likely NOT resolve all your pain or numbness. I would advise you to go into surgery with few pre-conceived expectations and just expect to develop a great deal of patience and learn to live it one day at a time.

Have you laid in a supply of items for post surgery? High fiber fruits and juices, a stool softener, lots of fluids you enjoy, etc? General anesthetic and pain medications tend to cause constipation and with incisions both front and aft, that is the last thing you will want to deal with. You will not feel like wearing anything but loose pants with a stretchy waistband...like sweatpants. Some people find a raised toilet seat and chair for the shower helpful.

Did you read through the "stickie" note near the top of the page? There is a permanent post entitled something like "Post surgery must haves...." that includes suggestions from many patients on what they found helpful during recovery. It gives you some idea what recovery is like and some of the ideas will be helpful to you.

I'm happy to try to answer any questions you have....and, good luck!

 
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Old 03-07-2018, 10:35 PM   #3
martinb3152
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Re: Surgery one week away

Thank you for sharing this. Wow, 18 months. Well there doing both the front and back in one shot. I am going to be sore I imagine. Whatever it takes.

I did take a look at the list. Picked up a toilet riser, long back brushes, picker upper, ect.. I wish I had more time to prepare, but I'm sure there is something I am forgetting. Man this is going to be a life changing experience. I just pray everything is going to be successful with the surgery. Although the surgeon mentioned that I might need more surgery in the future due to my spine being so bad.
Martin

Last edited by martinb3152; 03-08-2018 at 04:28 PM.

 
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Old 03-08-2018, 05:33 PM   #4
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Re: Surgery one week away

Most people, regardless of age, do not take 18months for rehab. This was my third lumbar surgery and we were trying very hard to maximize all our possibilities that I would get through it without aggravating the sciatic nerves. My surgeon was very conservative and I was only allowed to see the PT he employed and had worked with for twenty years for my rehab. That guy was very conservative as he followed the surgeon's wishes.

Most people have a tough first week and then you begin to get a sens you will survive the surgery! I was so terrified of my first fusion that the experience itself wasn't nearly as bad as I had expected it to be.

Regarding more surgery...frankly I personally don't know anyone who just had one spine surgery!

 
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Old 03-09-2018, 07:57 AM   #5
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Re: Surgery one week away

Teteri66, just found out today the surgery is going to be delayed due to one of the surgeons (Vascular surgeon) having a family matter to attend back east. You stated that they just went through your back side. Was there just one surgeon doing your surgery or a team? Now that I know this, I want to know the medical history of anyone operating on me.

To say the least with all the stress of having the surgery and this delay I am considering going to another surgeon. I am in a lot of pain. I really want to get this done sooner than later. Does that make sense? Martin

Last edited by martinb3152; 03-09-2018 at 04:45 PM.

 
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Old 03-09-2018, 09:00 PM   #6
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Re: Surgery one week away

That's the worst when you are all prepared to have the surgery and then it is postponed. I had that happen when, at the last minute, the insurance carrier denied the need for surgery. I had to appeal, which took forever.

You would not be able to get into any surgeon of quality any sooner.

My surgeon did my surgery by himself, with the aid of his personal surgical nurse that he trained. He doesn't do the anterior/posterior surgical procedure, at least not that I am aware of.

 
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Old 04-03-2018, 03:52 PM   #7
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Re: Surgery one week away

Judt got home to from my surgrery. Glad to be home and about 95% mobile. Thank god fora my wife. She works 16 hour shifts and now she has to help me out. Getting a little stronger each day. Have to force myself up to walk which actually feels good. Will probably stay in may apartment the next few weks.

Last edited by martinb3152; 04-03-2018 at 06:19 PM.

 
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Old 04-04-2018, 09:01 AM   #8
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Re: Surgery one week away

OK--most important advice you will receive! Walking is the most important thing you can do beginning this minute! Sometimes doctors don't explain what it is all about. All the patient hears is that walking is good...but they don't know why.

Walking is the best way to give the spinal nerves a gentle stretch. This is especially important during the first twelve weeks as this is the period when scar tissue is forming. The key is to keep it from attaching to a nerve as it is forming and filling in post surgery. So...you take short, frequent walks around where you live. You don't need to go far...just walk up and down a hall several times...but try to do it every hour or two. If you wake up in the night, get up and take that small walk! Never sit for more than 15 minutes at one time...get up or change position....even if you get to the point where you are walking a mile or two once per day, still take small, frequent walks all during the day. I cannot emphasize enough how important this is! Even if you don't feel like it, make yourself get up and walk for a few minutes!!

Just take it one day at a time. You will hit plateaus where you don't notice improvement...but learn to listen to your body and do not push yourself -- try to avoid creating nerve flare. As you get stronger, you will be able to naturally do more and more.

 
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