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Home After L4-5 Fusion

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,900
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:22 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi Everyone! Home after 5 nights in the hospital. I will say it has been tough, but I think I expected that. The worst was the muscle spasms(still is) and constipation. I did see many people I have known from work over the years in the coarse of my stay, so that was nice. I knew my pre-op nurse and my PACU nurse was a girl I have know since 2nd grade. My care was decent, although I have a few complaints I won't go into now(meds gonna kick in soon). I am having pain from my low-back down to my knees, although it is different than pre-op. My SI joints and hips are very tender. Have you seen that contraption of an OR table they strap you on? Still not sure how that accomplished that, I was lying on a gurney beside it and I felt my IV burn, and that is all I remember before PACU and pain, and nausea on awakening to a familiar face lying in a regular bed. I am taking 2 Norco-10 every 4 hours and Skelaxin every 6 hours for pain/spasms. I thought that was enough to anesthetize a horse, or at least a pig, but I actually need that much and can still wake up :) My mom and sis were over to help me out. Sis whips my kids into shape(not literally) to clean things up. My mom insistd to spend the night, which I appreciate, but she uses a quad cane herself and has a hard time getting around. There was no telling her no. She wouldn't even let me carry this computer to my bed (it is very light). I had those SCD's (leg squeezers) on at the hospital and I totally forgot to ask if I should be wearing TED hose at home. I am wondering if many of you went home with them to wear? I have varicose veins and have been worred about DVT and PE. I have been doing my ankle exercises, walking,limiting sitting, etc. Let me know your experience with them. Well time to turn over and take a nap I) . Glad to be on the other side now with many of you! Sue
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Comments

  • Good to hear youre home and resting. As far as the TED hose goes, my doctor wanted me to wear them for 6 weeks post-op to prevent bloodclots espeically when up and around. He said I could take them off when I go to bed at night.
    Let us hear more about your adventure when you get rested up.

    Best Wishes on your recovery,
    CHristina :)
  • I stayed 4 nights in the hospital with them on my Doctor said i shouldnt need them at home because i should be moving around at leat 3, 15 minute walks everyday.Dats wat realy keeps your blood flowing and you will also have a faster recovery,but take your time,the day i went home i slept all day I) hope you feel better soon t/k O:)
  • Thanks Girls, I can only sleep for about 1-2 hours then I am up walking the house for 10 minutes or more, so hoping this is controlling clots as well as my ankle exercises in bed. Today is 1 week and hoping to feel better soon.
  • Welcome home! You sound good, even if a little hung over.

    I had the TEDS on in hospital but the O/S saw them and they were so tight aroung the knees that he took them off me himself as he said it was worse then having none.
    Just keep moving as you are and you will be fine.

    I really liked those leg squeezers air inflated things. They felt really comforting to me. Bit like someone hugging my legs :))

    I saw a picture of the table they used for PLIF and wish I hadn't. This is one case of no knowing is better. Thankfully i didn't see it till after my surgery but that was bad enough. It did explain why my knees and breasts were so very sore.
    Sounds like the same table you saw!

    NIce that you Mum stayed, just to have her there must have been nice. When you want her to go you know you will be getting better LOL

    Blessings Sara
  • NOW I am curious!!!

    What is this table thing?? I HAVE to find a picture -

    Cali- I am so glad you are on the other side of it now.

    I found that each week so far has been so much better. Not daily progress, but looking back weekly makes me feel like I really am progressing and doing better.

    I felt that pain in the IV too, burning - then nothing.

    I had the leg squeezers too, as my grandmother died of a bloodclot in the hospital. They did not say anything about doing anything at home though, just walking and the right leg exercises they gave me.

    Welcome home and keep walking :)




  • Hey Sue!

    Glad to see that you are home and on the road to recovery. As soon as you are walking, as you are, I was told that should be enough to ward off the DVT. At the two week follow-up I did have pain in a calf which turned out to be a pulled muscle after a Doppler Ultrasound. As for the meds I took the Norco TID for the first two weeks then weaned to one at bed time. I weaned because I was getting euphoric which I took as meaning too high a dose.
  • Thanks Angel, Saltzy, and Steely for your replies. It is good to be back on here, and still so much to learn from the other side.

    Angel, I liked the SCD's too the first three days, the last two they started to kinda hurt, and seemed to always be twisting around the wrong way. I have seen the wadded up tight TED hose on patients too, and wondered if that was worse than not wearing any. I think I will be okay as I am walking every 2 hours about. I went outside and walked the sidewalk today, only went about 3 houses down, but it is a start. Boy my hips are complaining tonight.

    Saltzy, the table in my OR looked old and more like it belonged in a mechanic shop or something. I had asked my surgeon how they turn the anesthetized patients over and he said with man power, 4-5 people flip them over, wow. I see now there are newer versions of a similar OR table available where the table actually flips the patient over. We need this at my hospital!
    http://www.erothitan.com/radiolucent_surgery_tables/jackson_en.html

    My surgeon did use something called an O-arm which is an advanced intra-operative imaging system to check screw placement etc. It was very expensive and a big deal when we got it. http://www.dmc-modesto.com/CWSContent/dmc-modesto/aboutUs/hospitalNews/OARMMedia.htm

    Steely, I am trying to wean my Norco to 1 every 3 hours from 2 every 4 hrs. It is going okay. Pain 4-5. I thought I had a high pain tolerance after having an all natural childbirth, but I am not sure anymore. I was taking 2-3 Tylenol w/codeine a day pre-op. Things are looking up though, I totally tolerated my shower much better today, although I was tired afterwards.

    Take care everyone! Sue
  • Sue, I saw the table just before they put the IV in also, my thought was you got to be kidding me. Good thing I was out I could never have gotten myself into that thing. I also had the leg squeezers and they were great. Did not go home with any TED hose and if you are getting up regularly you will be fine. Walk as you much as you feel you can it helps. I had same levels 9weeks today and am feeling really good. I have been off pain meds since 3 1/2 wks I take only tramadol at night. I am doing water PT 2x a week and land 1x a week and only sign of previous problems is still get numbness in leg when overdo, no pain. Take it easy and know it does get better and soon!
  • Isn't it just great to be home in your own bed???? I was in the hospital for 5 days also, boy did that first shower feel great. I did ask the nurse about the stockings, she said I didn't need them so I tossed them in the trash. :)

    Good luck to you.

    Yvonne
  • Thanks Seeking and Yvonne, I just slept 4 hours straight! I couldn't believe it. That sure felt good, and I was still pretty comfy when I woke up. Last night I was feeling kinda down, hurting a lot, wondering if all this pain is normal, then I have a really good night. God is Good! Seeking-Sounds like you are doing well, that is sooo encouraging! And yes it feels so good to be in my own bed and my own shower! Cheers to pain free days and sleep filled nights!
  • Hi again Cali. I also had lots of trouble sleeping. I would fall asleep for 45 minutes to 1 hour at a time. Then up for 6 or more. I was recovering at my sisters and she gave me melatonine to use. It did help me a lot. I'm not advising you to take anything, just letting you know what helped me.

    :)
  • My nurse told me to take Melatonin to help return my seratonin levels to normal. Chronic pain sufferers almost always have low seratonin levels. I checked it out with my Dr. and he was okay with it. I take 5mg a night.

    On the OR table, I do remember my OR team telling me they would sandwich me and flip me over after I was out.

    My Dr. also told me that he physio-tested my screws. I wondered what he meant. I took it to mean that he sent a pulse or something through the screws to verify that they were not touching any nerves. This was before the second surgery when we were discussing the spreading numbness and what to do about it and what could possibly be causing it.

    I wonder if that is the same thing as the O-arm thing. It's funny what you remember once I start reading here :)

    edit:

    That OR table looks VERY familiar. But not that O-arm, I'm pretty sure I would have remembered that! LOL!
  • Saltzy, I think you are right about the physiotesting. I think it sends a current through to check for nerve impingement. Not sure if i had that done. I don't have any numbness/tingling anywhere so think my nerves are good. I have had pain down my thighs to my knees, but feel that it is originating in my spasming back. Also very sore hips especially after walking. I do feel better today for certain. Things are looking up.
    Yvonne, I have taken melatonin before to help sleep when I used to work night shift (took on days off). It did seem to help. I'll have to check with my MD/pharmacist. Don't worry, I know everything on this site is personal experience and not meant to be taken as medical advice ;)
  • does it really work to help ppl have a full nights sleep. I'm on ambien and have been on them so long that they hardly work anymore.WHat strength of melatonin would you take at bedtime?

    Christina :)
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