Here is an update about my surgery...
on Nov 10 I had a 2 level TLIF, with inserts, wedges, rods and screws for my S1-L5-L4. In addition, he peformed a lamadectomy of the same.
It started off a bit scary but turned into a success....so far....If your looking for good feedback ....read on.
I spent 6 hours on the table instead of the expected 3-4 hours. Doctor said I had significant scar tissue, attached to the area and spinal cord which is from the previous microdiscectomy a few years back. He spent much time cleaning up the scar tissue and confirming all the nerves from the area where not impeded by anything. The nerve doc worked alongside him to test as they went.
He had found more than the MRI and Cat scans showed. Because of my PARS Defect at L5, the 3 levels at S1-L5-L4 were each doing their own 3 thing. Each one was twisting, or shifted in slightly different directions. Doc said I had to be walking in extreme pain and couldn't imaging I survived day to day on Advil and an occassional Vicodin; never mind walking.
As per norm, my eyes were taped shut during the procedure, and from the dryness, puffy ness from the anesthesia, and being suspended face/head down for the procedure....Something, (perhaps an eyelash) dried up inside the eyelid and scratched me slightly upon waking. I woke up with extreme sensitivity to light and had to have an eye doc visit my bedside for eye suave, antibiotic drops and artificial tears.
Suggestion, ask your surgeon to put some eye suave into your eyes before your procedure.
I woke up pretty comfortable in the back, but flailing around because of the eye thing. Dam hoses, tubes, and difficult to reach bed controls!!! I caught/broke 4 IV's during this episode....I made good use/timing of the morphine pump because I wanted to stay comfortable. The back pain was very different...but seems to be a good thing.12 hours later, I did a test run with the PT staff, standing and moving from the bed to a wheelchair =D> 24 hrs later I was freed from the catheter and drain. I was walking the halls, using the walls/rail for stability! My legs are now waking up with tons of sensory input of which they were starved for at least 2 years. One leg/foot has much numbness...but improving...the other thigh lights up like the 4th of July with fireworks of pins and needles like you never felt before. This sensory input is normal and sometimes pleasant or very uncomfortable. Doc prescribed Lyrica to control it some. Most of my previous pain seems to be gone....yes gone! Now I have surgical/wound pain and can feel some of the soreness around my hardware/screws. Vicodins every 4 hours are my friend to say the least...but I've tappered off progressively so far. The BED MATRESS QUALITY IS MOST IMPORTANT...INSIST ON A NEW/LIKE NEW MATRESS. (a heated air matress is very good as well) I've sampled 5 matress'es while in the hospital and rehab center. The bed was my enemy. Standing the sitting felt great. The surgical soreness, made it very uncomfortable to spend any time on my side or back...thus I could only cat nap so far. but my naps and nights are getting more comforable day by day. After a brutal 1 hour ride on a gurney (on my back) , in a medical transport, I arrived at the rehab facility on my 4th day. I strongly suggest you DON'T go home, humble yourself and get some rehab. It was the best investment I've made.This facility had (2) 1.5 hr sessions a day, where most provide only one. I was pumped up. Just don't sit in the wheelchair do exactly what your told, do a bit more each time and while your back at your room. I watched many of those who complained the PT was not working....they were the same ones who sat and did little. It is hard work...but I figured it was my full time job for the next 6 weeks. By Day 3 at the rehab, I was walking un-assisted laps around the place. I was working the stairs, and parallel bars in no time for strenthening and balance. The numbness is tingling away but bearable. Standing, sitting, and walking FEELS GREAT. Other patients and the facility staff are telling me I'm thier inspiration. Considering how far I've improved...I'm inspiring my own self. I landed home at day 10. I set up my outpatient rehab, and started my routines at home. I had one day where I set back...perhaps from pushing too hard. You do need to seek your level and listen to your body. I AM FEELING FANTASTICALLY GREAT I am so so glad I finally did this! Today I asked my wife to take me to the mall to do some walking, and go puppy shopping; I need a walking buddy! 8} I have to learn not to BLT (Bend Lift Twist) which takes a serious conscious effort, but I'm coming along. There doesn't seem to be too serious of a limitation and will get along great. Be Strong, Feel Great, Push On;Tom