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    Old 03-21-2007, 07:34 PM   #1
    terrian
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    Question Daughter's 3 level fusion, Posterior and Anterior

    My 26 yr. old daughter just had Anterior Lumbar (front, on 3 levels), her first surgery on Feb. 26, 2007 they went in on the front side... it was a 3 level (S1-L5, L5-L4,L4-L3) Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (ALIF) & bone taken from right hip to graft.
    Her second surgery was 4 days later on March 2, 2007, they went in on the back side... it was a 3 level (S1-L5, L5-L4,L4-L3) Posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) and transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) , with rods, plates and screws.

    This coming Friday will be 3 weeks since the last surgery, it has been a LONG month!

    She is wearing a brace, is still in quite a bit of pain, but says it seems to get better everyday.

    Has anyone else had this same type of 3 level fusion? Has anyone had it at such a young age? She also just found out she has rapidly progressing degenerative disc disease.
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    Old 03-21-2007, 07:56 PM   #2
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    Re: Daughter's 3 level fusion, Posterior and Anterior

    Bless her heart! That is a huge surgery. I have not had a surgery like that but at 17 I had my first back surgery. It was a laminectomy at l4/l5. I am now 24 and am 14 weeks out of TLIF fusion at l4/l5. I have DDD as well but it isn't as severe as your daughter's sounds. I know this doesn't help you but I just wanted to wish your daughter the best of luck. And bless you for researching this for her.

    Ollie

     
    Old 03-21-2007, 08:18 PM   #3
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    Re: Daughter's 3 level fusion, Posterior and Anterior

    Have they referred your daughter to a rhemutologist for a work up? I just had my second fusion and my doctor wants me to follow up with one because he said my back looks like an 80 year old and I am only 42.

    I pray that your daughter heals well and let her know that she has some cyber friends pulling for her.

     
    Old 03-22-2007, 02:27 AM   #4
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    Re: Daughter's 3 level fusion, Posterior and Anterior

    What a huge surgery, for a little young lady! She must be very brave! I had "only" a l5 S1 fusion and I just can say to be patient, not overdo and follow the Doctor's advice...in the meanwhile stay with us and you'll find big help! Send her a big hug...
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    Old 03-22-2007, 05:37 AM   #5
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    Re: Daughter's 3 level fusion, Posterior and Anterior

    Could you set your daughter up to come here? I am sure we could cheer her up, and bring her lots of good stuff..ideas to make it better etc. This place has changed my life.

     
    Old 03-22-2007, 09:56 AM   #6
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    Re: Daughter's 3 level fusion, Posterior and Anterior

    [QUOTE=olliedoll;2874199]Bless her heart! That is a huge surgery. I have not had a surgery like that but at 17 I had my first back surgery. It was a laminectomy at l4/l5. I am now 24 and am 14 weeks out of TLIF fusion at l4/l5. I have DDD as well but it isn't as severe as your daughter's sounds. I know this doesn't help you but I just wanted to wish your daughter the best of luck. And bless you for researching this for her.

    Ollie [/QUOTE]
    Olliedoll,

    Thank you so much...you also have had so much to deal with at such a young age. Bless you! How are you coming along 14 weeks after surgery? Are you wearing a brace?
    Branda says she wishes she could go to sleep and it be next month when she wakes up . But she seems to be doing quite well after only 3 weeks.
    Again...THANK YOU!
    Terri
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    Old 03-22-2007, 10:00 AM   #7
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    Re: Daughter's 3 level fusion, Posterior and Anterior

    Terri,

    Thank you for your kind words. No, I am not wearing a brace. My doctor did not think I needed a brace at all after surgery. I went for my check up yesterday and he is cautiously allowing me to go back to work as a teacher. I began my PT stretches yesterday. I am fusing and everything seems to be going as planned. The only type of pain I have is when I have been doing something for a long period of time - such as shopping/walking - when it happens I stop and sit for a minute and it goes away. I just pray that I continue to get even better.

    All the best to you and your daughter. You both have been through the ringer I'm sure. I can't even imagine having a surgery like that. I hope she continues to get better each and every day. She is lucky to have you.

    Ollie

     
    Old 03-22-2007, 10:02 AM   #8
    terrian
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    Re: Daughter's 3 level fusion, Posterior and Anterior

    [QUOTE=123dietdrpepper;2874247]Have they referred your daughter to a rhemutologist for a work up? I just had my second fusion and my doctor wants me to follow up with one because he said my back looks like an 80 year old and I am only 42.

    I pray that your daughter heals well and let her know that she has some cyber friends pulling for her.[/QUOTE]

    123dietdrpepper,
    Thank you fo you Prayers!
    She went to a rhemutologist before her surgery. He agreed with her surgeons that she must have the 3 level Anterior and posterior. No one has said yet if she should go back to him, but I'll make sure she asks. They have also told her that her back looks like that of a 80 yr. old.
    Thank you and Blessings to you!
    Terri
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    Old 03-22-2007, 10:04 AM   #9
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    Re: Daughter's 3 level fusion, Posterior and Anterior

    Greetings....

    I had the same 3 level fusion with rods, pins, screws and cages that your daughter did. Mine was done all in one fell swoop. It took almost 9 hours. It is a tremendous surgery, but the good news is that your daughter has her youth on her side and she will heal alot faster than I did at -ahem-double her age. It will get better as time goes on and as she moves about.

    Please make sure that they get her follow on help for the degerative disease. The problems with surgeons is that they operate for a living. Once they have you "cured" they tend to move on to the next challenege that they find.

    Keep us posted how she is doing...all the best.
    Jill

     
    Old 03-22-2007, 10:08 AM   #10
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    Re: Daughter's 3 level fusion, Posterior and Anterior

    [QUOTE=patrizia64;2874588]What a huge surgery, for a little young lady! She must be very brave! I had "only" a l5 S1 fusion and I just can say to be patient, not overdo and follow the Doctor's advice...in the meanwhile stay with us and you'll find big help! Send her a big hug...[/QUOTE]

    patrizia64,

    Thank you!
    She is brave, at least I think so...those last two days before her surgery's she wanted to back out, and the first week or so after the surgery's she wished she had of backed out But now she is doing much better and sees improvement with each passing day. This is the only place where her young age has been a Blessings...she should heal fairly rapidly.

    She is definetly follow the doctors orders, she is so scared that she'll mess something up. I will stay in touch and I'm sure when she is able to sit at the computer for any period of time she will get in touch with all of you also.
    Again...Thank you!
    Blessings,
    Terri
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    Old 03-22-2007, 10:15 AM   #11
    terrian
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    Re: Daughter's 3 level fusion, Posterior and Anterior

    [QUOTE=yvette777;2874785]Could you set your daughter up to come here? I am sure we could cheer her up, and bring her lots of good stuff..ideas to make it better etc. This place has changed my life.[/QUOTE]

    yvette777,

    I'm sure when she gets to the point when she can sit at the computer for any length of time she'd love to correspond with all of you. She'll definetly need the cheering up and ideas. I'm only about 150 mile south of you!
    She lives about 300 miles south of me in another state. Her Dad and I stayed with her for 3 weeks during and after the surgeries. It was so difficult for me to leave her, but her husband (in the Air Force) is very supportive, and she and I talk on the phone SEVERAL times a day
    Thank you again...Blessings,
    Terri
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    Old 03-22-2007, 10:27 AM   #12
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    Re: Daughter's 3 level fusion, Posterior and Anterior

    Hi Terri,
    Have you checked out the post surgery tips at the top of the page? There are a lot of little ideas there that make day to day living easier during recovery. There's also a thread at the top with lots of ideas different ones of us have found to do our daily activities with less stress. Your daughter might find that helpful, too.

    I had a long fusion at age 18, T4-L4. Now, 30 years later, they fused the rest of the way down (anterior and posterior), also going back up to T10. I went a long time in between! Please tell your daughter that there's much hope. She'll need to be careful and guard her back, but she'll still be able to enjoy much in life!

    I'm glad your daughter has you looking out for her!

    Blessings,
    Emily

    Last edited by BlueAtlas; 03-22-2007 at 10:28 AM.

     
    Old 03-22-2007, 10:28 AM   #13
    terrian
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    Re: Daughter's 3 level fusion, Posterior and Anterior

    [QUOTE=ibake&pray;2875424]Greetings....

    I had the same 3 level fusion with rods, pins, screws and cages that your daughter did. Mine was done all in one fell swoop. It took almost 9 hours. It is a tremendous surgery, but the good news is that your daughter has her youth on her side and she will heal alot faster than I did at -ahem-double her age. It will get better as time goes on and as she moves about.

    Please make sure that they get her follow on help for the degerative disease. The problems with surgeons is that they operate for a living. Once they have you "cured" they tend to move on to the next challenege that they find.

    Keep us posted how she is doing...all the best.
    Jill[/QUOTE]

    Jill,
    Oh, THANK YOU so much! I am so happy to have found someone that has the same surgery as my daughter! Her first surgery took 4 hours and the second 5 1/2 hours. Yes, her age is a real plus for her. Please let me know how everything has progressed for you after your surgery. When did you have your surgery?
    Yep, we'll be making she she gets follow up on her DDD. I'll continue to keep in touch until she is able to "meet" with all of you herself.
    Thank you so much!
    Blessings,
    Terri
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    Old 03-22-2007, 10:48 AM   #14
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    Re: Daughter's 3 level fusion, Posterior and Anterior

    [QUOTE=BlueAtlas;2875484]Hi Terri,
    Have you checked out the post surgery tips at the top of the page? There are a lot of little ideas there that make day to day living easier during recovery. There's also a thread at the top with lots of ideas different ones of us have found to do our daily activities with less stress. Your daughter might find that helpful, too.

    I had a long fusion at age 18, T4-L4. Now, 30 years later, they fused the rest of the way down (anterior and posterior), also going back up to T10. I went a long time in between! Please tell your daughter that there's much hope. She'll need to be careful and guard her back, but she'll still be able to enjoy much in life!

    I'm glad your daughter has you looking out for her!

    Blessings,
    Emily [/QUOTE]
    Emily,
    Thank you! It relieves me so much when I hear from someone that has had a multi-level fusion and they have done well. 30 yrs!!! That will thrill Branda hearing that...her surgeon had told her that she may have to have other surgeries within 5 yrs. (If I'd have been there I would have kicked his rear, telling her that even before she had her surgeries).

    She has always been so active, until the past 3 yrs. when all her problems started. But she knows that now after the surgeries she will have to be careful and protect her back. She is such an Angel...so creative and talented in many ways. Her main goal in life has been to help other people...she is so giving. There has never been anything that she has been afraid to "tackle".

    She met a young R.N. during her hospital stay and has already made plans with her to teach her how to crochet, knit, scrapbooking, candle and soap making etc. She loves to "share".

    Okay...How many levels all together have you been fused? I have felt so guilty that my precious daughter has had to endure all of this and I have had just minor back problems and I use to complain about them...I don't do any complaining now after I've seen what she had to go through and so many of you have had to also.
    Thank you so much...I'll keep in touch!
    BLESSINGS!
    Terri
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    Last edited by terrian; 03-22-2007 at 10:50 AM.

     
    Old 03-22-2007, 11:16 AM   #15
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    Re: Daughter's 3 level fusion, Posterior and Anterior

    If I counted right, I have 14 levels fused. This Sunday I will be 6 months post-op. I'm trying hard to get out of my brace. Rather, I should say, I got some very good encouragement and tips here and yesterday decided I needed to just bite the bullet and stop trying to wean and just ditch it. I've been in it way too long and my muscles had decided they liked it. My problem is a little different from most on here and my doctor listened to me when I told him I wasn't ready to get out of it at 3 months. He warned me that he was concerned I would become dependent on it, and I did. But I still know I wasn't ready at 3 months. I'm on day 2 of not wearing it at all. Upped my pain meds and am only doing the lightest of my exercises, being very careful but not letting myself lie down either. Those muscles have to get back on the job!

    I wish I could meet your daughter. She sounds a lot like me. I homeschool my kids, so they've had to do all sorts of crafty things with me. We learned how to make soap a few years ago. Really cool! The kids got to choose what scents they wanted to put together. Lemongrass and basil was wonderful. I forget what they put with cucumber, but that was also a favorite. And blueberries and cream! I'm a crafty/creative type, so my kids are stuck with it! Actually, what I had the fun to nurture when they were little is coming out in their own personal ways now that they're older. How blessed am I to be able to see that?!!!!

    One mom to another, it's good not to complain too much, but just because your daughter's back problems are worse than yours, don't discount your pain. No matter whose is worse, you're the one living day to day with your pain. Some of those tips at the top might help you, too. I hope you've been able to find ways of getting relief yourself.

    Your daughter has a ways to go yet, but she'll see progress week by week. For me, the three month mark was a huge milestone. I felt so much stronger and was in much less pain right at that point. Tell her to look forward to that.

    Hope she's encouraged and feeling better day by day. (Ups and downs are very normal, though.)

    Take care,
    Emily

     
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