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AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,731
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:24 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi you fellow travelers! Had L2 to L5 fused with laminectomy last September 4th,and they sent me straight home after 5 days. Because I am a Medical Professional I had the house ready with everything and friends helped with food. Pain was the only problem.

I now have total "FAILED BACK SYNDROME WITH PSEUDO ARTHROSIS L2-L5. The screws that they put in L2 to L5 came out and are pushing through my skin. All of he T vertebrae are fused with my clacium due to carrying a very heavey pack off and on for 30 years. New screws will be put into L2-L5 and screws will be placed in T12 throuh T11 or higher... he will reevaluate after he has my back open and they can see it all. Then Two very long rods will be placed on the screws. He told me I will have no pain when I go home since he will place an Intrathecal pump. I know this man for many years in the Army and I trust him.
I don't mind a private Nurse or Private PHYSICAL THERAPIST.
But I refuse to go to a rehabilitation clinic where you sleep over.
My home is my "only place where I feel safe", some of you will understand and some of you won't. PM me if you want to know.

I need help and support here.
Have any of you gone strait home after "big" spinal surgery. There is a list on this site of what to have at home after spinal surgery and I have all of it and then some due to my experience with my first operation.

Love you all! Eric
P.S. The surgery is on Monday


  • that you're having to go through this.
    Believe me I understand why you would want to go home.I have been a CNA for 15 years which some of that time spent caring for people at a nursing home. It doesn't matter how many wonderful CNA's are help caring for you there is never enough staff on hand.
    I too maybe having another big surgery, waiting for my Ortho Doc to get back from vacation. (Not nearly as big of surgery that awaits you though) I have been fused from C3--C7, I starting having alot of pain and other symptoms so my pc had an MRI done.It shows disc extrusion c3-4 and C5-6 with fattening of the cord so Iam not sure what the next step will be but I do know Iam scared to death.
    It is a very good idea to have a private nurse for awhile with the surgery you are going through. I really wish the best and feel for you to have to go through such a tough surgery. But, it sounds like your well prepared and have trust in the surgeon, I think that's the most important part right there....
    Please keep us posted as you can and my thoughts and prayers are with you,
  • How many days will they keep you in the primary hospital? I understand your desire to be home and not stay anywhere else, but is that really the rational or logical thing to do? There's only so much that you can prepare your own home with and the kicker is not having anyone there to help you until you are able to take care of yourself.

    Since I had to travel 7667 miles to the hospital, turning around and coming home afterward wasn't possible. So I wound up living in a small hotel like facility right across from the hospital for one to two months each time. This gave me access to the doctors, physical therapy, etc... The telephone and Internet gave me access to my husband and friends. It allowed me to focus on my rehab without the common distractions of being at home.

    I have a friend who's father at 53 had a massive stroke and wound up in a rehab center. It wasn't a place he wanted to be, so he made great progress in a short amount of time so that he would be released to go home. So in his case, it worked out well for his rehab and for him.

    Just don't let ego, pride and the desire to be alone drive you to make a potentially foolish decision.

    Since you trust your surgeon, why not ask what his advice is and what would make him feel better.

  • If you have help at home and you are comfortable with your pain levels and you have the title Doctor in front of your name is seems to me that they would be more accomodating to you than most other people. Will your son spend some time with you after you're home or only the hospital? I never rest at hospitals. I came home within hours of giving birth twice. I wanted bonding time with my newborns not my newborns and the nurses. And many years ago there were no hospitals in which to give birth. So I can completely relate to your request to be released. I know how strong willed you are. But please be the patient. I don't know what the rehabilitation hospital is like there but if it is good and they will offer genuine help for you then please at least give it a try. If however they are not then I hope you assert yourself until your doctors agree with you and allow you to go home. I am hoping that the new meds and hardware will make you ambulatory once again only minus the pain. Of course as always you will be in my thoughts today.
  • About the 53 year old stroke patient and not liking his surroundings. I hadn't thought about it like that. Perhaps the Rehab hospital should you really not like it may just become the impetus for a quicker recovery than if you were at home in your comfortable place.
  • Exactly. He couldn't stand the staff and the place, so he worked harder to get to the point they would release him to go home sooner than scheduled. He still can't speak or walk without assistance, but he's home.
  • That is quite a surgery. I TOTALLY understand where you are coming from. I wouldn't want to go, either. Home is where we feel most comfortable, and psychological aspects are just as important as the physical aspects when it comes to healing. I don't blame you.

    I can't imagine how rough it's going to be, though. I'm sorry you have to go through all of that! :(

    I wish you the best. Good luck with your surgery!
  • After my surgeries in 2006 and 2007, I spent a few weeks each time in a Rehab hospital. I was lucky, it was a real Rehab hospital, not a nursing home with a few rooms they call a rehab center. I understand you not wanting to go to a place like that. In my case, my life was saved being sent to The Spaulding Rehab Hospital in Boston, affliated with Mass General Hospital. This was especially true after my 2006 surgery. Due to my spinal infection, I hadn't been able to walk for almost a month. They got me from a wheelchair to a walker to a cane all in two weeks, something I know wouldn't have happened if I was sent straight home.

    Emergency surgery in March of 2006 for spinal infection of L 2 and L 3. During surgery, discovered I had Cauda Equina Syndrome. Spine became unstable after surgery and had 360 fusion with 10 pedicle screws, plates and rods in April of 2007.
  • HELLO C,
    Well I have organized one friend per day so I never will be alone during the day. A door to door neighbor will do anything day or night. The Lady 2 flights up offered to help and she did last time when I was in my worst pain. I just asked her to talk bout anything, and she was thrown by that, so I suggested her childhood and I got some amazing history of a little red headed Jewish Girl fighting to live in a Polish anti sametic environment. And then came the Germans. She shook as she told her story. But the entire time she talked I felt no Pain ( for me. Just Heart Break for her!)!
    I will ask the surgeon what he thinks and since he was my commanding officer for a long time and he knows my capabilities, I would trust him with my life as I have done many time before.
    so that's about it except for my ex-wife , son, and daughter who want me in rehab, "just like everybody else". I am NOT LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE and this was the crux of the divorce in 1992. If my family wants to complain about how God made me they should speak to the manufacturer when they pray!
    The last thing I need now is pressure from my children instigated and orchestrated by my ex wife.

    I might have to send all of them packing, but I will survive this, God willing, using any method that will take pressure of of me.

    As you and anybody else who has had back surgery knows: dealing with the new sensations, limitations, and pain during the first days after you wake up is a full time job, an the inevitable pain that fills your whole world leaves no room for three adults trying to enforce their agenda on you.

    The Surgeon picked up on this when Daniella asked him some things which were way off topic. He politeley answered her, and gave me a wink.
    So Thank you so much for the quick advise. I admire your incredible courage and fortitude that you have shown in dealing with your numerous spine problems. There should be a Medal for people like you, really.

    Thanks from the bottom of my heart (also) for telling me your story, and giving me your WELL THOUGHT OUT ADVISE.

    NO PAIN PLEASE, Love, Eric
  • How are you today? I'm sorry to hear about your complication and I can understand wanting to be home in your bed, and not having people in and out and listening to all the hospital noise. I turned down the offer to go to the rehab wing post discectomy last year. I was in the hospital 3 days.
    It was hard at home, but you are with your family and I think it makes a difference. This time with my fusion, I was in ICU 5 days and it was mostly a blur. I did have a PCA of course, and developed a spinal headache. Man, I did not know what I got myself into :O But it was a success. I'm still waiting to reap the reward, it's been 5 months and I still struggle with back and nerve pain. Cymbalta was added to my long list of meds, and my surgeon gave me the pump or stim option if necessary if I don't improve.
    I hope the best for you and your family, and heartfelt wishes of success in your recuperation. :H
  • I had lower back surgery in late 2004...I entered the hospital with a really positive attitude...I simply knew I was going to die on the table. When I awakened eight hours later...I thought they'd decided not to do the surgery...but my nurse told me I'd been "up there" for the last seven and a half hours. I have two rods, four screws and clamps on my lower two, three and four. My surgery was in the Spine Center at St. Francis in San Francisco and I was blessed with very successful surgery...I went home in 7 days to a house totally renovated for me by my family. My doctor told me I could stand up or lie down...but no sitting of more than three minutes for a month. Our living room contained my desk, lifted on upside down buckets, to standing height, my bed was right in front of it. I had two phones, my computer on the desk and the love and care of my spouse...and recouperated at home for a month. My problem became my BLT rule of no bending, lifting and twisting...and that's still a situation I deal with constantly four years later. If you don't bend, lift, and twist, there's very little you can actually do in life...try straightening the bed, taking the dog out for a walk, or simply working in a kitchen without doing any of those things. Well, I've adjusted and have devices that help me. My problem however has become the arthritis in my knees, which prevents stooping, my right elbow and shoulder, which makes the alternate things I do to BLT even more difficult. I have been very lucky in that pain has been minimal, but I do use Hydrocodone (generic Vicodin), 50 mg Tramadol and even over the counter Aleve more for my arthritis than my back.
    My advice...go home...heal at home...and be at home. I think if I had been anywhere else, I would not be in the place I am today. Bless you and the best on your coming visit to the hospital. I will be thinking of you and hold the best thoughts for your speedy recovery.
  • Back in June I had surgery for scoliosis. It involved from S1 to T10. Like you I had rods put in, and a whole bunch of screws. The only difference is that I had a second surgery a week later to reinforce the L5-S1 area and a plate connecting L5-L1.

    If I hadn't had the second surgery, I believe I would have been let go in 6 days. As it was, I went home in 12 days, 3 of which were spent in the rehabilitation unit.

    I think the key to getting home soon is to pass the physical therapy and the occupational therapy tests. All that "how to step into a shower" and "can you scramble an egg". It pays to be very polite to these folk. I also had a husband who was very obviously involved with my recovery - he came with me to several physical and occupational therapy sessions. And it was obvious he was going to take over most activities at home. We also have a one level house so no stairs were involved. That's a really big thing. I bet it cut rehabilitation by 6 days.

    Anyway - I hope this helps. My recovery process was said to be 6 months, and that seems right. I am just now, in the fifth month, getting my stamina back.

    Good luck.

  • I had to laugh, I am one of those people who makes you "scramble the eggs",lol. I like to have people make PB&J and coffee, but thats my preference. Its funny for patients, they think we are crazy, but watching someone prepare a meal can really show a therapist how well they will do at home.

    I told my surgeon that as long as I could safely get up and down from a chair, bed and toilet, independentley, I was going home. For these spine surgeries, which require restrictions, PT will most likely be focusing on transfers and ambulation during a stay in acute rehab. But when you are in the hospital recovering you should have PT every day working on these things.

    Of course everyone is different, you may find at 5 days you still need 2 people to help you up out of bed yet, thats when you may want to reconsider if a friend at home can give you enough physical support.

    This is in no way a medical opinion, just my experience!

  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,728
    I hope you have gotten all of my P.M.'s I have read all of your posts and all the wonderful replies.
    I've had 5 surgeries and could not Wait to get out of that hospital into my own home each time. I even told a few white lies once.
    So I know exactly how you feel!
    Good luck,
    Your buddy,Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • I hope things go well for you in recovering from surgery. Make sure you talk to homecare Nurse while at hospital and she'll arrange everything. Before I became an RN, I was a visiting homemaker and I used to go 4 hours a day at someone's house and clean, shop or sponge bath the patient. I'm not sure if there's all that where you live but hope you can get some help at home. We'll all be thinking of you while you're in for surgery and wish you all the best. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • was to go to Rehab for 2 weeks after 10 days in hospital. That was simply because I live on my own and i can be so independant. If I had come home earlier I would have been doing things that I shouldn't have yet.
    The extra bonus was that I got PT and hydrotherapy twice a day instead of twice a week and didn't have to ask someone to take me there.
    Also most of my friends do not live close and have their own families to bring up and chase after so i would rather not bother them unless I really needed to.
    The Rehab hospital I went to was great, they encouraged independance and the average age was about 50 and not the 70+ that I half expected.

    Either way where ever you end I I wish you the best for your surgery and recovery.
    Blessings Sara O:)
  • My prayers and best wishes are with you.

    I do understand your wanting to be home,that is a personal choice and yours to make.If you are fortunate enough to have the help that you will need as you mentioned that is great!

    A lot of times I worry that if something happens to me,and I needed help with things that would require lifting,that I would be a burden to someone.I'm not a blimp *lol*,but I am overweight and I think my biggest fear is that someone would hurt themselves trying to help me.I think that would be my only reason to go somewhere other than home.

    I wish for you a speedy recovery :)))
  • All we can do now is wait and see how things are after Eric is out of surgery. He seems to have set up quite a network for himself and I don't think the doc will let him leave the hospital too soon!

  • We miss you dearly. I will continue to find out his situation but if my estimate is right he should be home on Nov. 24th. I'm only guessing here that they didn't let him go home and instead sent him to the Rehab hospital that he was so opposed to. Please everyone keep him in your thoughts as he recovers.
  • Or maybe the rehab hospital won't be so bad...
    Tonya thank you for trying to get more info on his situation and keeping us posted, much appreciated!!

    Dr Eric - hang in there! We miss you and wish you a speedy recovery. And as you say - no pain to you all :)))
  • would be to move to England! No-one goes to rehab hospitals here - just as soon as you're well enough you're kicked out of hospital and back home - like it or not!
  • I'm just happy to hear that he has pulled through the surgery and is doing well!

  • I am afraid I have never experienced this kind of problems in my life. I have been caught up in a project with a EDITED
    and I didn't have time for anything else.

    Standards agreement and posting rules
    Please note that Spine-Health reserves the right to edit any messages posted or submitted or e-mailed to the Company and use them for content on the website or in other company materials. No e-mail solicitation or advertising of other companies, products, services, or web sites is permitted in the Spine-Health.com forums.

    Edited by moderator paulgla
  • What in the world do you mean? I think you should just stick to your rehab and not post the link because it does not apply here.
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