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    Old 03-30-2004, 12:03 PM   #31
    onthemendnow
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    Re: Good fusion outcomes wanted!

    Good Luck Tony!! Try to maintain a positive attitude (I'm convinced it helps) and follow the doctor's instructions to the letter!

     
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    Old 03-30-2004, 02:48 PM   #32
    jettsmom
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    Re: Good fusion outcomes wanted!

    Tony..I'm nervous for you! I'm sure that everything is gonna go great, make sure you let your self heal and not over do with the kids- I know all about that, my daughter keeps me on my feet (so to speak!) and my son is my calm one! Well good luck and hope to hear from you as soon as your up to it.

     
    Old 03-30-2004, 03:32 PM   #33
    Brooke79
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    Re: Good fusion outcomes wanted!

    Dear Gail,

    I have lordosis but my sirgeon had always said that it was not anything to be concerned about. The anatomical structures he commented on this time were:

    a) The angle of the L5 - he said he has never seen the L5 on the angle that mine is on. I originally had a spondylolisthesis so the L5 had slipped forward anyway but he said even once it was brought back into alignment the angle of it was too steep for the screws to comfortably sit in. He said that angle lends itself to allow the effect of gravity to have quite a pull on the vertebrae - possibly beginning to pull the vertebrae off the screws.

    b) The angle of the S1 - i had always thought my butt looked like it stuck out, but now i know that that is the angle of my sacrum. He said the same about my S1 as he did about my L5. He said he had not seen these two vertebrae on the angle that they are on before.

    c) The graft - Because the graft has been placed between two vertebrae that are already on an abnormal angle he said it is not having a normal chance to solidify. He said that because there is movement between the two vertebrae the graft is not getting much of a chance to solidify.

    d) The density of my bones - Which you would think is good but he has said that because i am young my ones are so dense, in fact too dense to allow the screws to grip into them properly and so another reason why they are shifting and slipping.

    e) The growth of connective tissue - The surgeon said that connective tissue has grown through the graft which is inhibiting its growth. When they remove the disc between the two vertebrae if they have taken a posterior approach they leave the very front 'wall' of the disc in place and fill the space from behind with the bone graft. I assume that when he says connective tissue has grown through the graft i can only assume he means that the connective tissue has grown from where the remainder of that disc wall was, from the same material as the disc is made from.

    So as you can see, i think its a combination of factors and i will admit that i over did things when i came out of hospital, too much too fast and all the above plus the overdoing of things has contributed to the failure.

    Brooke

     
    Old 03-30-2004, 03:58 PM   #34
    Brooke79
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    Re: Good fusion outcomes wanted!

    Dear Tony,

    You'll do just fine
    Remember, (and as silly as this sounds it'll do wonders) simply relax. The best thing you can do after surgery - like from when you wake up - is relax. Think relaxing thoughts. Have peaceful music playing in headphones in ICU if you're permitted. The more relaxed you are, the easier on your body when they attempt to move you.

    I was rigid and scared when they turned me and boy it hurt but if i had of relaxed it would have been ok.

    Good luck and be strong!!!

    Brooke

     
    Old 03-31-2004, 06:23 AM   #35
    tonyroma
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    Re: Good fusion outcomes wanted!

    Brooke,
    Thanks so much for your good advice. It is especially kind of you to think of others while you still have quite a lot going on with your health. I will be praying for you during my recovery. Having done your research, you will be at peace with the decision to reoperate if thats what it takes. You are young, intelligent and motivated.....you will get through this.
    To all wishing me well (jettsmom, onthemendnow....oh how I love the sound of that name!)....THANK YOU!!!

    My attitude is this...I am having the surgery to stop ongoing nerve damage and possibly alleviate the injury that has occurred (foot drop etc..). It is a surgery that may not show its dividends for quite a while (nerves are notoriously slow to recover). My goals may be lofty (to run again and be very active) BUT they are obtainable and indeed have been obtained by others after similiar surgeries. I am encouraged by many who have used this forum (ACME etc...).
    So.... What I know:
    1. The first weeks will suck (pardon my vernacular), accept it at relax
    2. Listen to my body
    3. Recovery is often compromised by doing too much too soon
    4. Measure gains in months not days
    5. Pray...and then pray some more

    I had my preop testing and the Doc said I was healthier than 99% of folks having this surgery so we shall see if it pays off.

    Anyhow, I will be in touch.
    Take care and God bless.

     
    Old 04-08-2004, 06:34 PM   #36
    magnetlady45
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    Re: Good fusion outcomes wanted!

    Hi tonyrama:

    Sorry I didn't get to wish you good luck for your surgery. As I looked back on this post I realized that you should have already had it by now. Are you home yet? How are you feeling? Please let us know how you are doing as soon as possible. May God bless you and may you have a speedy recovery.

    Christi

     
    Old 04-12-2004, 06:05 PM   #37
    tonyroma
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    Thumbs up Re: Good fusion outcomes wanted!

    Hello all!!

    Post-op day 7 PLIF and hanging in there!
    At this point no regrets but I know its a long road ahead. My neurosurgeon said there was severe instability and serious nerve root irritation at L5-S1 and feels 100% certain I needed the operation and NOW. That was good to hear as I was still conflicted the morning of the surgery. I must be brief but here is a rundown:
    Day 1 - OK, no morphine drip but every 2-4 hours. Walked that night. It hurt much more getting out of bed than walking.
    Day 2 - Miserable due to severe muscle spasms in my back. Better with a muscle relaxant. That night horrific due to more spasms and hallucinations due to demerol. Do not let anyone give you this evil drug. Stick with morphine or better yet dilaudid.
    Day 3 - better
    Day 4 - better yet, except urinary retention which threatened to keep me in the hospital.That worked itself out and home I went.
    Currently home weaning meds and taking 5 short walks a day. My foot drop is improving and I am hopeful with time I will return to a very active lifestyle.


    Gotta go, sitting=stiffening

    Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers-God bless
    Tony

     
    Old 04-12-2004, 06:20 PM   #38
    onthemendnow
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    Re: Good fusion outcomes wanted!

    YESSSS!!! I've been watching for you everyday! Very happy to hear all's going well. Are you supposed to be weaning off the meds already? I now find myself going about 8-12 hours between pills but I'm in week # 7, I know for sure I wasn't thinking about it in week # 2. Just curious ...

    So glad you checked in with us!

    Edit: I'm almost 7 weeks post op after a TLIF (posterior incision) and I'm feeling great. Sciatica's gone. Discomfort at incision sites (back and buttock for the hip bone harvest) is decreasing and getting to be very slight. I'm walking about 2 miles per day (except for this darn rain) and being [U]very [/U] careful and taking it easy. <crossing fingers>

    Last edited by onthemendnow; 04-12-2004 at 06:33 PM. Reason: adding my own good fusion outcome

     
    Old 04-12-2004, 08:01 PM   #39
    Karmon1974
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    Re: Good fusion outcomes wanted!

    I am having fusion surgery next week, 4-20-04, and am so glad you all seemed to have a good outcome. It is just now starting to get a little nerve racking. Thanks for the outcomes!!!

    KARMON

     
    Old 04-12-2004, 09:18 PM   #40
    tonyroma
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    Re: Good fusion outcomes wanted!

    Onthemendnow,
    Thanks for such a positive welcome back! Your postings gave me great hope as I went into my surgery. Thank you...really.
    I am currently on oxycontin twice a day and vicodin every 4 -6 hours. I am trying to go once a day on the oxycontin and see how it goes. I feel good enough to be up 5 times a day for brief walks. I am going to ask my doc how far I can go. What do you think as I start week 2? I know the tendency to over do it will be the thing i need to keep in check most. Also did your doc let you sleep in any position or did he/she limit you to your back?

    Karmon,
    I have not been around of late so forgive me for not knowing the reason for your fusion. I have been told that docs are highly selective in choosing who is a good candidate for this surgery. I am sure your doc has done this. If so, think positive starting NOW. The surgery is big true..but it can ultimately provide you a relatively pain free and active existance.
    Please let me know if you have any specific questions.
    God bless,
    Tony

     
    Old 04-13-2004, 06:19 AM   #41
    jettsmom
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    Re: Good fusion outcomes wanted!

    Hey! Great to hear from you! Sounds like your doing well and glad to hear your staying positive! Now, I know you had foot drop but did you have siatic pain too?, if so is it gone now? Take it easy and when you feel up to it keep us posted on recovery Glad you got through it.

     
    Old 04-13-2004, 07:14 AM   #42
    onthemendnow
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    Re: Good fusion outcomes wanted!

    Aw, thanks Tony ... what a nice thing to say. I feel the same way about others who gave [I]me [/I] hope.

    About the meds, you just had me thinking "Hmm, maybe I should've weaned off too?" I take different meds, and honestly don't know anything about others.

    Week 2 I was also outside a few times per day; I'd take a walk around one block (suburban development, I say that only because I have no estimate of the distance!). Took about 20 minutes maybe?

    I never asked about sleeping (I was on my side in the hospital sometimes) but I like to sleep on my side. I would move a gazillion times a night from back to left to right. They just say to just remember to log roll to switch positions, don't twist. A pillow propped against my back when I was on my side felt great.

    And yes, don't do what you're not supposed to do ... BLT, bend, lift, twist. Force yourself to take it easy. Keep up the good work!
    -Karen

     
    Old 04-13-2004, 07:38 AM   #43
    tonyroma
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    Re: Good fusion outcomes wanted!

    Jetsmom,
    Thanksfor the encouragement!
    I had sciatic pain initially and with flares. I sometimes wished I had more pain so I could see the pre and post surgery difference sooner. I had mainly weakness and positional back pain. With a motor deficit like mine you may need up to a year for the nerve root to heal and thus appreciate a difference. I already feel a bit stronger but I realize it will be a long process. I look forward to competetive running again and keeping up with all my kids! In time of course

    Stay well,
    Tony

     
    Old 04-14-2004, 06:58 AM   #44
    magnetlady45
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    Re: Good fusion outcomes wanted!

    Hi Tony:

    So glad to hear how well you are doing after surgery. Do be careful not to overdo things, even if you feel you can. The pain medication can be deceiving and make you feel better than what you really are therefore it encourages you to do more. Ask your doctor how long and how far you can walk. My doctor told me to walk 4 times a day but to take it easy because the muscles in your back are still recovering. I would walk this huge block which was probably close to a half a mile. If I found myself going to fast I really paid for it after. I didn't start that kind of walking till weeks after surgery.

    It is ok to switch positions while sleeping in bed. I couldn't sleep in same position more than one hour at a time. I would start hurting and would have to move. I started weaning off my meds at 6 weeks postop. I was on Vicodin ES only.

    Keep up the positve attitude and remember Rome wasn't built in a day. It takes time to heal. I am now 9 months post op and still have some nerve pain, but it is better than what it was. I have found that weather greatly affects how I feel.

    Have a great day!

    Christi

     
    Old 04-14-2004, 07:01 AM   #45
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    Re: Good fusion outcomes wanted!

    Hi Karmon:

    Welcome to this post. Don't get too anxious about the surgery. I know that is easier said than done especially since I was so stressed about mine. Stress will definitely affect how you react and feel after surgery so try to stay calm. Continue to visit this post. I am sure you will get a lot of pointers and know what to expect instead of some of us who didn't even know about this site till after surgery (me). What specifically are you having done and what area of your back.

    Christi

     
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