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3 weeks Pre Surgery L5- S1 anterior fusion w hardware

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,731
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:25 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi Ya'll

I'm 26 and 3 weeks prior to surgery to fuse L5-S1 do any of you have tips pointers tricks that might be helpful for my wife and I while we get rdy for this?
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Comments

  • post op must haves under the back surgery and neck surgery forum. I didn't do this because I didn't know this site existed until a week ago.

    Good luck with your surgery and recovery. Recovery is a long process but be sure to follow your doctor's advice and don't do anymore than what you are allowed by your doctor.

    This is the time to let those that want to help you out do so. You will appreciate it.
  • I've learned a lot from what I found in this forum. One new thing I found out today at my Pre-Op surgeon visit is he said he would write a scrip out for whatever I want (drugs, handicap sticker, health club membership). Now if my insurance approves all of those things, thats another question. Also, get a couple of grabber tools for each level of your house, they are great!
  • Hi Rich,
    There is a good check list in the forum.
    Must have items: Grabbers, cane, toliet booster seat, and shower seat.


    I just had the same surgery.
    See my ...success thread
    http://www.spine-health.com/forum/back-surgery-and-neck-surgery/lumbar-tlif-fusion-post-13-days-feeling-great

    Tom
  • I had S1 to L4 Spinal Fusion with hardware and gar. bone. I had two surgeries one in May and one in June 2008. I think grabbers are great too and a lot of pillows to sit on and put behind your back. Also, I was able to go back to work in a few months after the first surgery.

    I have had a few problems, but not too much. Mostly, foot pain in only one foot.

    Good luck to you. I sure wish I had known about this site before my surgery.

    MPhill
  • I had S1 to L4 Spinal Fusion with hardware and gar. bone. I had two surgeries one in May and one in June 2008. I think grabbers are great too and a lot of pillows to sit on and put behind your back. Also, I was able to go back to work in a few months after the first surgery.

    I have had a few problems, but not too much. Mostly, foot pain in only one foot.

    Good luck to you. I sure wish I had known about this site before my surgery.

    MPhill
  • I had S1 to L4 Spinal Fusion with hardware and gar. bone. I had two surgeries one in May and one in June 2008. I think grabbers are great too and a lot of pillows to sit on and put behind your back. Also, I was able to go back to work in a few months after the first surgery.

    I have had a few problems, but not too much. Mostly, foot pain in only one foot.

    Good luck to you. I sure wish I had known about this site before my surgery.

    MPhill
  • I had S1 to L4 Spinal Fusion with hardware and gar. bone. I had two surgeries one in May and one in June 2008. I think grabbers are great too and a lot of pillows to sit on and put behind your back. Also, I was able to go back to work in a few months after the first surgery.

    I have had a few problems, but not too much. Mostly, foot pain in only one foot.

    Good luck to you. I sure wish I had known about this site before my surgery.

    MPhill
  • Welcome to SH! You will find a lot of good information and loads of support from the good people here. You must remember, though, that we are not medically trained and what we share is only our experience and opinions. I am sorry that you have to be here! Have you gotten a second opinion? Lots of folks here advise that you get one. I didn't...I trust my surgeon and he has been great! I'm about 5 months post-op from L4-L5 fusion. Do you know what type of fusion you will be having? There are many variations, PLIF, TLIF, 360 fusion, to name a few.

    The most important thing to remember is that this is a looong road to recovery for some of us. A lot depends on your age and physical shape to start with.

    I don't want to barrage you with too much information, so spend some time reading the posts and then ask anything you like!
  • that you may get really cranky at times (and you will probably take it out on her). Arrange in advance to have flowers sent to her regularly so she knows she is apprecieated.

    Also warn her that you probably wont be able to share a bed as to turn over etc with all those pillows is not so easy.
    Get some satin PJs so you can move easier in bed.

    Also arrange to get some mates around when you get home just to give your wife some time off to go shopping etc without worrying about you.
    You will be fine I am sure

    Blessings Sara O:)
  • On Sept 25th, L4/5 L5/S1. I have a 9 inch incision on my stomach, but it didn't hurt much at all. I don't know if that's because I had previous surgery on my stomach for gall bladder removal so the nerves are numb.
    All I can say is that I used a grabber. Had my daughter help me dress, was able to shower alone with someone in bathroom with me. I got a hospital bed and a trapeze which I think helped me out a lot. I still sleep in it, even though I could probably sleep upstairs. I just am not too sure of the stairs at night by myself. (I moved in a spare computer room)
    I took all my meds consistantly even if I thought I didn't need them. It get "ontop" of the pain for a while. I'm now only taking them at night. I also used gel ice packs whenever I could. I would get up and walk as much as I could throughout the house, but never "over did" anything. Well if you ask others, they might disagree!

    I think everyone is different and we all heal at different rates. For me, I really thought this was a piece of cake considering what I was told. I didn't think I would be this well off after just 9 weeks or so out.
    Just have faith in yourself and have your wife understand that you are going to hurt. You must try to help yourself at times, and let her take a break. Meaning, if you need things like water, or something to snack on, try and do it yourself. Not only do you give her a break, but you also get up and move around. Oh yea, moving around is the most important thing after this surgery! You don't want to tighten up at all! I will make it much harder to "come back"

    Good luck and keep in touch!

    Kim
  • I am sorry you have to have the surgery but this site is certainly the right place for helpful info. The post-op must have's list is excellent.

    Another really important suggestion is to make a schedule of which meds you are to take when and check them off as you take them. This was especially helpful at night when I would wake up to take a pill then go right back to sleep. And because it is so critical to stay on schedule and ahead of the pain, I set the alarm at night for the times I needed to take meds so I would not sleep through the scheduled time and then wake up in pain.

    Keep us posted on what surgery you will be having and how you are doing!
  • My wife unfortunately already has been dealing with me getting crankier and crankier by the day since the last failed epidural. I have gotten 4 opinions thus far 2 from WC 2 on my own. All I remember from the last meeting with the surgeon was a plate with screws on the front of the vertebrae and a cage. I'm set to verify everything with the surgeon tomorrow before i go for PreOp Clearance on friday.
  • From what I remember today from the Pre-Op testing we're definitely doing an ALIF with pedicle screws and cage.
  • just got back from the last consult before the big day. the surgeon confirmed that we're going to do an ALIF with a plastic cage, a couple donor bone fragments, bone protein, with a titanuim plate and pedicel screws. Looks like a day and a half (if all goes well) stay in the hospital then home.
  • Rich, im 9 days post-op with L4 & L5 Fusion. with your experience can you (quickly as i dont want to take a lot of your time up) give me some ideas, tips and overview as im waling in your footsteps. thanks as i know you understand as youve been where im at.

    Terry
  • Hello,
    I am 33 and planning on spinal fusion in June. I have slippage of L5 Grade III. I am having urinary incontinence related to nerve damage from my spondy. I have had for years but other sx's have been managable, and so surgery has always been postponed. I am wondering if anyone else ever had this consequence of their spondylolisthesis and if the surgery helped at all. In addition, there is something called stabilimax that I am eligible for- it is a clinical trial- it would be an alternative to fusion. I think 2/3's of those in the trial get stabilimax, supposed to offer flexibility of the joint versus the "fusion" etc. Please let me know- thanks in advance.
    Jane
  • RGerrish said:
    My wife unfortunately already has been dealing with me getting crankier and crankier by the day since the last failed epidural. I have gotten 4 opinions thus far 2 from WC 2 on my own. All I remember from the last meeting with the surgeon was a plate with screws on the front of the vertebrae and a cage. I'm set to verify everything with the surgeon tomorrow before i go for PreOp Clearance on friday.

    Do you have a lawyer for WC? I didn't for the 1st year but when my work started to harrased me I got a laywer and he's a great one. I go for my surgeron thoughts next month for my back. I've got 3 heriated disc, annular tears, and severe DDD on top of that and the other three surgerons told me that surgery won't fix my problems so I found another one.

    I'm tired of being in pain and noone listen to me cry out! Had one surgeron tell me that I was overweight and drug user because I am on Fentanyl and he doesn't give his patience it. Said its addictive drug, but I told him that I wasn't here to have him tell me that I am overweight and need to stop taking my meds!

    I told him I'm in pain with my lower back that's why I'm here.

    I walked out and told him to mind his own business and I'll find someone else to help me!

  • Hi,
    I am 35 and have been living with Spondylolysthesis Grade III (L5-S1) since diagnosed when I was 17 years old. i am an ex-national athlete in rythmic gymnastics and badminton. I wore corsets until I was 22. I tried different physiotherapy programs throughout the years, have always remained active with tolerable pain in my lower back. However, since over a year ago, I have pain in my right hip, my big right toe is numb and upper sacrum is protruding. I can't stay in the same position (standing or sitting) for very long. I spent the year going to appointments (sports medicine specialist, physio, osteo, acupuncturist, GP, physiatrist). Went for an MRI, which shows no disc left between L5-S1, and the spinal canal is narrowed at that area. I saw 3 different orthopedists, 2 of which said "wow, it's a miracle you're still walking!" - Not what I want to hear(!). Recently, I saw a neuro-surgeon who told me "you have a back of a 75 year old, it's as though you don't have a back at all therefore you can't do anything, your sphincters might not work either in 1 week, 6 months or a year from now, your L5 might disconnect from your spine, you might be paralysed" and then he opened the door and said "next!". I was absolutely traumatized.

    My pain is chronic but it is still tolerable. I do exercices every second day, and do "aqua-jogging". But it certainly does affect my quality of life since I have become more and more limited in my activities and it is sometimes very frustrating. Sometimes I feel like my upper body will disconnect from my lower body, like my legs might not respond when walking, and the thought of surgery really scares me. I was told by some people in the surgical field that it is best to wait until undergoing surgery and to do it only if you can't walk anymore.

    Back pain is such a common problem in our society and so many people just don't seem to understand that some of us really do have chronic back pain and it's not psychological!! I have lots more to say, but this post is long enough! ;) Good luck to all of you!

  • Check out under the spondylolesthesis section. Interesting read from an OS from Isreal. Basically - all the conservative treatment won't do anything - your spine must be stabilized by a fusion. I am in the same boat - have grade II spondy and my symptoms are not that bad. I have surgery scheduled for 3 Aug and was considering canceling until I read his article and saw the result of a patient that put off surgery and the spondy just got worse. I headed in for a TLIF and am still freaked out about it, but I think it must be done. Atb, Mike
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