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looking for 2 level spinal fusion surgery info

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Old 10-04-2006, 10:58 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: British Columbia Canada
Posts: 1
diizzzy HB User
looking for 2 level spinal fusion surgery info

Hello All1 I am new to the boards and have never "blogged" before. I am intresed in hearing about 2 level spinal fusion t the L4-S1. How long does surgery last? How long is the hospital stay? What can or can't you do post op? Is there physio after? Do you notice pain releif soon after sugery? Thanks for any info you can give, diizzzy

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Old 10-04-2006, 11:25 PM   #2
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Medical Lake, WA
Posts: 120
wout HB User
Re: looking for 2 level spinal fusion surgery info

Well I can tell you about a three level 360, if that helps. My surgery was about 9 1/2 hours. I was in the hospital for 9 days, only because of complications. They had trouble with my blood pressure and found a blood clot in my lung, so I had to go into emergency surgery to stop the clot from going to my heart/brain. Also, because of the med's I was taking before the surgery(oxycontin) they had trouble medicating me after surgery. I had surgery on Friday AM and came out out ICU on Wednesday. Don't remember anything of it. Anyway, The trip home, according to my wife was terrible. Took about 1 1/2 hours to get home. I guess I was in alot of pain. Even though they gave me a shot before I left. Good news is that about 3 weeks later, my pain level was down alot. Went off of med's by 6 weeks. I did though get very depressed. So my Primary dr. put me on antidepression med's. Started walking around 3 weeks post op.
Sorry to say 19 months later, I'm getting ready for another 3 level 360 fusion again. Non fusion. Pretty depressing. Been in pain now for about 12 months.
Anyway, hope that helps. Let me know how it goes.


Old 10-05-2006, 05:19 AM   #3
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 308
mkf HB User
Re: looking for 2 level spinal fusion surgery info

Hi. I had two level l4 - s1 in late june and started back to work on Monday this week - 2 hrs / day. I was in the hospital 5 days - the surgery took 5 or 6 hours and was posterior vs anterior. I have rods / screws / spacers and my own bone graft from hip. The 1st 24 hrs I don't remember much, they kept me pain free. I was up and walking after that with walker. It's slow going for a month or so, after that you set the pace according to your surgeon. I can say I'm glad I had it done. I kicked the walker to the curb quickly. I've been fortunate. There are many success stories - and there are some who still struggle. It's an irreversible decision. In my case, I really had no option but to go with it. I think a lot of it is in the care you receive, and mine has been very good.

Old 10-05-2006, 08:04 AM   #4
Coast Guard Dad
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Re: looking for 2 level spinal fusion surgery info

I had the L4 through S1 done eight weeks ago. I am glad I had it done. About 5 hours in surgery, up the next day for a few minutes, I felt the difference that minute I stood up, even though the surgery pain was new, my legs and feet were so much better. I have about 90% success in pain relief. The recovery is very slow, I wear a lumbar brace for three to four months, PT for me, is five months after surgery. I can do most everything but put my socks on, and tie my shoes. I use the grabber tool to pick up anything I drop. I know after Phy Therapy, I will be able to do socks and shoes; itís just tight on my spine now to do them. I had fear before the surgery, but the more I did the research, and talked to my Doctor, it was more of going in for a tune up. This surgery is done everyday, and if you have not been in an auto accident were your spine is crunched, it will be a cut and dry operation. The recovery will be painful and slow, but the pain will go away a little each day, and then one day, it will all be behind you.

Old 11-09-2006, 01:13 AM   #5
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Re: looking for 2 level spinal fusion surgery info

I just had that same surgery Sept. 12th. I also had the herniated disc surgery. My surgery was 5 1/2 hours. I was in the hospital 5 days. Just started PT at week 7. Suppose to be out of work 3 months but doubt it. Will probably be after the new year. Still have some pain mostly in tailbone area.

Old 11-09-2006, 04:23 AM   #6
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Re: looking for 2 level spinal fusion surgery info

I beleive I am a success story here! I had two level alif/plif L4/L5/S1 on July 19th of this year. I had discs replaced with my own bone mixed with BMP in cages and screws. They call me Titanium girl at work! I still have some residual foot pain on the right side and if I overdue my back will hurt till I rest it. I take maybe one or two Lortab a day. I am working full time now. It is a desk job mostly and I have to get up and stretch and walk around. I also have a 30 minute commute each way and usually have to stop at a store somewhere for something from the house.
I started very gentle rehab PT at 5 weeks. I had gone for 5 weeks before the surgery so my core muscles were strong. We just worked on building strength and gently stretching the nerves back out.
For coming up on 4 months out I think I am doing great. Walking is so important!
My hospital stay was 6 days because I ended up needing a blood transfusion. The surgery was 5 hours. I was up and sitting in a chair the next day for thirty minutes and walked around my room holding my IV thing. My catherter stayed in the whole time for some reason so I did end up with a bladder infection but I hear thats kinda normal. My mom was here for three weeks-unbelievable woman! The church supported me with meals for a month although it took a few weeks to get an appetite back.
Stay in touch withus and ask anything you want. We have discussed some "delicate" thing here before and can again!

Old 11-09-2006, 07:01 AM   #7
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zeroman HB User
Re: looking for 2 level spinal fusion surgery info

I had a 2 level (L3-4-5) with cages (spacers) and BMP on late July and am starting to fuse now. I was 5 days in the hospital, 2 hours under the knife. at this point Im very happy - no more leg pain (that was gone immediatly after the surgery), and just a bit of residual back pain. my incision (front) is pretty much all set, I think it was between month 2 and 3 that that it healed up fully. I start water theapy next week. I still take 5 mg oxycodone as needed (a few a day) but am weaning myself off them.

things pretty much sucked for the 1st few weeks, then there was a big reduction with a slow decline after that. month 3 seems to be a turning point, it seemed right about then I was able to do most anything I wanted as long as it wasnt major bending, listing or twisting. the doc still wants me to limit that for the time being. at this point, 4 months out, Im very happy with my recovery. a few months more of PT and Ill be ready for retraining - I think anyway. doc will let me know for sure (I cant go back to my previous job, thats been made clear).
back surgery in JUN 06 - two level ALIF (L3-4-5) with cages and BMP - SUCCESSFUL!

Old 11-09-2006, 10:17 AM   #8
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: AZ Usa
Posts: 84
luvmybeagle HB User
Re: looking for 2 level spinal fusion surgery info

Hi, I too had a 2 level fusion l4-s1 with 6 screws, rod and cages. I had my first surgery on July 19th. The surgery was 5 hours.. I did not have to have bone from hip he was able to get enough of my own to fill in the discs. That is a good thing as I have heard the hip is very painful afterward. I was in the hospital for 4 days. I was taken off of my pain pump the morning after and was up walking right after the cathiter and pump were gone. I did not have a walker or a brace. I have not returned to work and have not seen any difference than before my surgery. I had a second surgery 2 weeks ago because I had developed an abnormal amout of scar tissue. Just saw my dr. and he told me that the neves were being compressed by the tissue and it will take a very long time for thiem to return to normal. What ever normal may be.
Most of the time this surgery is a success. Somtimes it is not. I am in the not catergory. If you decide to have the surgery when it gets closer this board will cotinue to help you with any questions you may have. I read it every day if for nothing else but to know that there are people out there who understand what you are going thru and do not judge you. I am grateful everyday to be able to read all of these posts.

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