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    Old 04-21-2004, 07:06 PM   #46
    Jellybeans
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    Re: Good fusion outcomes wanted!

    Hi Brooke:

    I really enjoy reading your posts. I am having 2 level fusion, laminectomy and bilateral decompression on the 5th. I also have Spondylolisthesis.
    I am getting close to the date and starting to get nervous. I look forward to not having the extreme leg and foot pain. I just dread the recovery time and "Down time".
    Any advice you could offer would be great. Thanks again for your informative postings.
    Shelley



    I am 24 and had a PLIF at L5S1 on October 29 of 2003 for a grade 1 spondylolisthesis. I am coming up to the 5 month post op mark and will find out on Friday of this week exactly how the fusion is coming along.

    Often the main purpose for fusing a spondylolisthesis regardless of the slippage is the degree to which the slip is impinging on the sciatic nerve. Whilst i did not have nearly as bad symptoms as others have experienced, mine was on its way. Usually beginning with a dull ache in the buttocks, leg or foot it progresses to a burning sensation, i likened it to a very fast but intense electric shock (and yes i have electrocuted myself in the past unfortunately) hehe. It is at this point the surgeons say surgery will need to be done sooner rather than later. Because of this my nerve totally healed up within a month. Sometimes depending on how sever or advanced the nerve damage is, the nerve may not recover. Hence sooner rather than later for the surgery.

    Now with a fully recovered sciatic nerve i simply wait for the fusion to solidify. This is also an uncertainty and one of the many risks we face when addressing whether or not to go ahead with surgery.

    I am in minimal pain now (i believe it is only post op pain), my surgeon believes once my back has fully recovered it will be as if there was never anything wrong with my back.

    I am hoping on Friday i can give you all some great news.

    If any of this sounds familiar to you and you are considering surgery all i have to say is that you'll never know whether or not you too can live without back issues unless you try and make your life better, it's better than wondering what might have been!!

    Brooke[/QUOTE]

     
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    Old 04-27-2004, 12:58 PM   #47
    tonyroma
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    Re: Good fusion outcomes wanted!

    Hey folks,

    Has anyone heard from Karmon (Fusion date 4/20/04) ? He should be 7 days out and God-willing on the mend.
    Hope to hear good news Karmon we are thinking of you. Good luck!!!!!

     
    Old 04-27-2004, 01:05 PM   #48
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    Re: Good fusion outcomes wanted!

    Hi Tony.........Yeah, I wander how he is doing! And how are you doing? I hope you are continuing to recuperate well. I will be having my anterior fusion in August or Sept. unless I just can't stand to wait that long. I am trying to get all the info I can and encouragement. I had a disectomy last July. Take care!

    Gail

     
    Old 04-27-2004, 03:23 PM   #49
    MARY G
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    Re: Good fusion outcomes wanted!

    I had a 2 level plif fusion Jan, 2004...l4 l5 l5 s1.I have 4 titanium cages, hardware, and a self bone graft. Fusion is doing well. I had had two previous back surgeries to free entrapped nerve. The nerve pain was terrible. I had a foot drop, and had to wear a brace because I kept falling. I have no more nerve pain!!!!! I am off narcotic pain meds, and take Tylenol or Ultram at bedtime. that is when I am uncomfortable. I did not want fusion surgery.I tried chiropractic, massage therapy, nerve sheath injections, accupuncture. It helped to read all the posts about everyone else and their challenges. It was a difficult recovery period, post operative pain, and weakness were tough. The doctor said recovery is slow from this surgery, results could take a year, and I see from another post, maybe two years. A positive attitude helps. I am in pool therapy 3 times a week. My ankles and hip muscles are very weak, but the terrible nerve pain is gone. I had to use a rolling walker for about 2 months. I am now using a cane to assist in wallking. All in all, not too bad!!!!!

     
    Old 04-27-2004, 07:35 PM   #50
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    Re: Good fusion outcomes wanted!

    Thank you everyone for the input. I will be having l4-s1 fusion with cages in aug. (unless the pain just get's too bad before that.) This is the 1st surgery for me and I am really calm about it...because of the posts here. I understand the first couple of mo. of recovery will be very painful, but the thought of one day being able to live a more normal life is exciting to me. My only worry is that I am a single parent. My kids are 16 and 18 so they can pretty much take care of themselves but I am nervous about not having someone to really care for me. I will ask people from my church to stop by and help...how much help should I need and for how long? Any info appreciated.
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    Old 04-28-2004, 05:15 AM   #51
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    Re: Good fusion outcomes wanted!

    Hi lfoster21 - Since you're a single parent it's a godsend that your kids are older (almost same ages as mine) so at least there's no worry in taking care of them. In fact, I called both my kids into service for me during the early weeks. Hey, payback, ya know?

    Of course everyone's experience is different but here's mine as far as estimating your assistance needs. The first week home I'd say it's advisable to have someone around for you if not at all times, then at least to get you "situated" each day where you'll be spending most of your time - upstairs, downstairs, have food and necessities where you can reach them, etc. (all those "tips" in that top post) Honestly, daily company for the first week is helpful though, if you can arrange it. After that, I was ok by myself (daughter was home from college that week but slept the whole day, big help!) but I was very careful, moved very slowly, didn't do anything I wasn't supposed to, ignored the household tasks, etc. Just concentrated on me, me, me.

    The possibility of a "normal" life is what made me go for surgery too and I already am seeing benefits from it (post op 9 weeks). I'm sore now, no more burning constant pain like before surgery.

    Also, it won't necessarily be months of painful recovery. For me (so far) it's more like a coupla rough weeks, then improvement most of the time. Keep being calm, I'm convinced a positive attitude can help! Good Luck to you.

     
    Old 04-28-2004, 09:32 AM   #52
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    Re: Good fusion outcomes wanted!

    Hi all! I would like to hear from someone who has had the anterior approach fusion only and if you had a good results from it.

    One post mentioned how it might be more risky since the organs have to be set aside and the arteries disturbed. That does sound risky. The anterior approach (only) is what my dr. wants to do for me. I am wandering if the recovering is better with the anterior or less back pain from the surgery.

    I would love to hear about anyone's experience with it and the outcome.
    These posts have been really helpful to me.

    God bless you all!

    Gail

     
    Old 04-28-2004, 04:34 PM   #53
    acme
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    Re: Good fusion outcomes wanted!

    I was very lucky. I had kept my weight down for yrs. I always figured that if I watched what I'd eat (since I couldn't execise)My back wouldn't hurt as much. Well when I finally got to the Neruo that was going to do my Fusion......They had a cancellation & I had surgery 3 weeks later. I didn't worry.......I got excited......I knew it was going to work! The Doc was confident.....So I got mentally ready to get fixed!!
    It worked !!2-yrs 7 mos. later & I'm still doing GREAT!
    Today: Got up at 5:15am.....drove my kid to school......then me to work. Walked the length of the shop a dozen times(20,000 sq ft.) checking on product. Drove the fork lift & loaded 2 trucks. Made a delivery 1 hr. away....did office work..... then home. My home is being re-roofed .......so I climbed up & had a look see how it was going.......Walked around the yard picking up old roofing(helping out)....had dinner.......and now going for a walk!
    It's Wonderful being normal again........WHO's Next!!!
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    Old 04-28-2004, 06:11 PM   #54
    Jellybeans
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    Cool Re: Good fusion outcomes wanted!

    Acme and Onthemend:

    So glad to hear your good outcomes. I am now six days away from two level fusion, laminectomy and bilateral decompression. I am definately more than ready to get rid of the pain, numbness, foot drop (just recent) and leg pain. I look forward to being able to say "4 weeks post op and doing great."
    Thanks for all the tips and great reports from everyone on this site.
    Will write again after surgery.
    Thanks again
    Shelley

     
    Old 06-07-2004, 06:50 PM   #55
    jettsmom
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    Re: Good fusion outcomes wanted!

    I'm getting ready..next thursday! I needed to bring this back for support anyone else?

     
    Old 06-07-2004, 08:13 PM   #56
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    Wink Re: Good fusion outcomes wanted!

    Jettsmom, I will add you to my prayers. I know that you must have a bunch of different emotions kicking in. If you post the exact time of your operation and the area where you live ( so that I can figure out the time difference) I will deffinatly pray throughout the hours prior and during the surgery. How long do they expect the surgery to take?

    Good luck and let us know your updates,

    Lorie
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    Old 06-07-2004, 10:09 PM   #57
    jamienangie
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    Re: Good fusion outcomes wanted!

    Hello to everyone..

    I just wanted to say THANK YOU to all that have taken the time to share their experiences. I am having my third surgery on June 16th which will be a fusion. I am having my physical tomorrow. I am 28 and I get really excited to think that I have a good chance of getting my life back. I had my first surgery July 10th of last year and my second Nov 20th. I have only worked 1 month in the last year. I just received my seperation due to unavailability from my employer today and I have been real down. But this board has been a godsent for me. I love reading the post and knowing that people have gone through the same thing I am going through and have come out on top!!! Please keep me in your prayers on June 16th.
    And again THANK YOU!!!!
    Angie

     
    Old 06-07-2004, 10:37 PM   #58
    Brooke79
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    Re: Good fusion outcomes wanted!

    Hi All

    3 weeks post op from 2nd PLIF for L5S1. I am not really leaving the house unless absolutely necessary. That is i leave the house to go for my 2 15 minute walks each day, i leave the house for rehab (hydrotherapy) and i leave the house if i have to go to the shops to get some food for dinner.

    I do my exercises inside in front of the tv. That takes 30 minutes each session and i aim to do that 3 times a day. At first we had planned that both my mother and father would be home most of the time but we recently found out that my grandmother has stage 5 liver cancer and so my mother has had to go to Queensland for a few weeks. My dad doesnt get home from work till late and as he is not well i like to have dinner ready. I am having difficulty standing long enough to prepare dinner. This is when i get sore.

    Other than that i am doing very well. I am taking only paracetamol a few times a day and am sleeping through the nights fine. So...so far so good. At times the outer aspect of my calves hurt..ache actually. The muscles responsible for this are the soleus and the gastrocnemius, i hope they are only sore from me being out of bed etc, and them feeling a little tired.

    Brooke
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    Old 06-13-2004, 03:24 PM   #59
    onthemendnow
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    Re: Good fusion outcomes wanted!

    Here ya go .... BUMP

     
    Old 06-13-2004, 04:01 PM   #60
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    Re: Good fusion outcomes wanted!

    I'm at about the same stage as Brooke. Three weeks post-op and doing pretty well. My level of pain is manageable. I only take two Norcos a day at the most. I also have lupus, so ironically I have found my joint pain from the lupus has flared up more than the post surgical pain. Last Monday I got the go-ahead to take walks; so like Brooke I'm taking short walks around my neighborhood. When I was in the hospital I actully found it to be a relief when they got me up the Thursday after surgery; I had my surgery on a Tuesday. It hurt a bit; but it was so nice to stand and walk. Initially, in the hospital they had me use a walker and ordered one for home; but I haven't had to use it. I just where my back brace that I got on day 2 post-surgery. I did have an instance where my back brace opened my incision; so I had to go on high doses of antibiotics because I started running a fever. But, I'm fine now. My Doctor had initially wanted me to wear my back brace all the time -- even when sleeping; but since the instance of my incision opening a bit; I only wear it when I'm up and around. I will try and keep updating this thread with my progress.

    Jo
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