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    Old 11-22-2016, 08:45 AM   #1
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    Post anterior cervical fusion recovery

    I'm 8 weeks post-fusion, C-3 through C-7, with lumbar surgery coming up first of the year. I'm 62 and a long-time "back pain' patient from previous accidents and a few "whiplash-like" injuries too. I kept myself up physically, the best I could, but when I turned 58, a lifetime of spinal mishaps caught up with me. After a few years of trying Physical Therapy, steroidal injections, stretching, and Tai-Chi, I saw the surgeon. MRI revealed 5-6 things in the neck, 5-6 in lumbar, the neck came first. We have a grown son who is severely retarded almost like a baby and when my wife's at work, I am his caretaker. He has to be bathed, dressed, undressed, wiped, fed, cooked and cleaned for, groomed, etc. so full compliance to post-surgical do's and don't's is simply impossible and no where is there any respite for me, wife still works 8 hours daily and I'm now on Disability. I don't care for pain meds unless I get past a 5 on the scale, which I know all too well, and since the surgery, I've been on Oxycodone 10mg every 4 hours and 10mg Valium every 8 hours. I'm still in need of them, I can think of 3 times shortly post-op where I've strained it trying to get my son out of the tub, once when he jerked my arm, and aother time. This has got to be one of the main factors affecting recovery and pain levels, wouldn't anyone familiar with this surgery agree? Is there anyone else in a similar situation that's dealt with this? What can you do when there is nothing you know to do? Am I stuck in a situation where I'll probably end up on pain meds all the time? What is there? Hurt or not, he has to be done all this for and there is no one else to do it, wife has to work, wondering if I'm ever going to heal, thanks for listening and for any advice.

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    Old 11-25-2016, 10:08 PM   #2
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    Re: Post anterior cervical fusion recovery

    This is really going to be a problem when you have your lumbar surgery. Is your surgeon aware of your obligations at home? Frankly, I don't see how you will ever heal. I am fused from L3 to S1 (3 levels) and while completely healed and successfully fused, I have a 30 pound weight limit. When I occasionally cheat and lift a 40 pound bag of dog food or soil, I always regret it and feel the effects quickly. If I did it repeatedly I don't know what would happen with my spine.

    And this was after an 18 month recovery/rehab post surgery where I did very little. When one does much too quickly it can ruin everything the surgeon was attempting to accomplish. I don't know what you are having done in the lumbar area, but if it is a fusion, realistically you will need at least six weeks to get back on your feet. Few people return to work at that point. Have you explored all your options through social services, etc. to find some help while you are laid up?

    Perhaps someone in your surgeon's office or a social worker at the hospital could offer some options or provide some suggestions.

    Do you need to have the lumbar surgery so soon? Your body will not have recovered from the first surgery and the fusion most likely will not be complete, and you will be calling upon your body to do even more. This is a good deal of stress on the body even under normal circumstances where the patient doesn't have to face the demands of caring for an adult son....

    It isn't really a matter of dealing with pain but an issue of trying to get the spine to heal and maintain or regain stability.

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