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got home from the hospital last night from L4-L5 PLIF fusion

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:26 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Holy Toledo...as everyone who has gone through one knows, man oh man. The neurosurgeon said all went well...both upper and lower structures are strong enough to hold hardware... 8 screws with rods and cage...he released two nerves but said all should be okay...but recovery room was a b***h. On to my private (thank goodness) room after a 12:20 surgery to my room about 3:30 for 3.5 under medicated hours of 1mg of morphine per hit every six minutes. I literally watched the wall clock for the intervals...of course, with only 30ml in a cylinder per four hours, I almost ran out. They finally called the surgeon who bumped it up to 1.6mg per hit which did make a difference...but still tough as expected. Then they came in the next morning (Tuesday am) and took my pump away at 9:00 a.m. switching me over to Oxycontin 20mg every 12 hours and two Percocet 5/325 every four hours and one Robaxin 750mg every six hours...damn I all I can say...talk about a frigging conservative surgeon. I grinned and beared it, wanting to get out the next day (yesterday). So, I had my wife bring my own Oxycodone 10mg for "supplemental". They're not going to best me. Had me up walking after taking away my pump...made it through the night and began a little fever of 101 at 10:00 pm Tuesday...I'm thinking watch this keep me from getting out...but it gradually went down and I came home yesterday evening about 6:00 for a great shower...now it's pretty awakening leg muscle spasms along with the usual back muscle and incision pain..sorry this seems long and it did wear me out, so I'll break for now...thanks for everyone's support and information what to expect before I went in...I will say that it is a ballbuster, though. I hope everyone is doing well!


  • Hi,

    Just wanted to say Welcome Home and hope your pain is a little easier for you today. It always helps recoverig at home as you can get uninterupted sleep, no machines beeping away constantly, or people ringing buzzers etc.

    You had to do what I have told my husband to do. I have a couple of days supply of meds stored away for when Im in hospital. Last time I was in they didnt give me my Oxycodone and other strong meds and boy was it horrible to go cold turkey. I was screaming in pain at one point, I asked my husband to bring in my meds from home and the staff said he couldnt do that, but he said I should not be in pain - in a hospital of all places. So now we are doing that on the quiet lol.

    You have made it through the op, now focus on your recovery. We are all thinking of you and with you each step of the way, and we will give you whatever support you need.
    Take care,

    Gentle hugs
  • for the pain med struggle in the hospital, but it sounds like you are doing well. Hope that continues!!

  • Welcome home :H I'm glad you're doing well and you're home now. Yes, hospital's can be rough sometimes. I was in ICU for the first 3 days, then regular ward the next 2. My stay was a bit of a blur, and I barely remember my family coming and going. I was not made to walk at all, the pain was intense. I'm so glad I was already on Fentanyl patches during my stay, but even with that on the post op pain was out of this world. Thank goodness for the PCA <:P Get well soon :H
  • I am glad to hear you are home and wish you well on your recovery. I hope you get some pain releif soon and don't over do it. Listen to your body and doc's instructions. I will keep you and all my other spiney friends in my prayers.
  • I'm glad you're home and I hope you're having some better pain control. I would call the Dr. if you need something stronger though. 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
  • which will take you far. I had the PLIF back on 11/18. Got back to work this week - very part time - and trying to cut down on pain meds.

    It's a long road but as you can read here, there are many, many wonderful success stories. Follow docs orders, don't overdo...and keep us updated on your recovery.

    The very hardest part is behind you.
  • Glad to see you made it to the other side .....yay!!!! Hope you do well. Keep us updated!!!
  • I hope you are feeling much more comfortable now that you're home. Just remember to take it easy.
  • Good to see you made it home and the surgery went well. Here's hoping and praying for a speedy recovery. I wish i was able to go home so soon.

    Evelyn :H
    Had PLIF in 2008 and a Laminectomy. One level fusion, L4-L5.
  • I seem to be able to sleep about 2 hours at night before waking up...change positions and take Rx and I'm good for another two hours...the brutal thigh muscle spasms are quieting down somewhat...no nerve pain, though...but oddly I still get the hiccups every time I drink or eat something...brought them home from the hospital with me,,,I'm guessing it's just the anesthesia gas messing with my diaphragm. I'll take my dressing off Sunday, so then I'll be able to check out the dissolvable stitches. My nightly shower is a highlight, made possible because of the plastic coverings that I'm able to use to cover the dressing. I'm able to walk around but tire easily. Still waiting for the dreaded #2 to come around

    hope everyone is feeling okay!
  • Had mine on 12-11-08. Hang in there. You sound like what I went through, Take it easy, yeah I know everyone says it, but I overdid a bit and payed for it in increased pain. Keep spirits up and know I am thinking of ya. 8>
  • Welcome Home and wishing you smooth recovery
  • Glad you are home now, and recovering in the comfort of home. I hope each day becomes easier for you. Though realistically speaking I'm sure it will be up and down.

    Your plastic covering over the dressing sounds intriguing. I know this is one thing I have heard people are annoyed with, the inability to shower or bathe for a while. What exactly is this? How much are you able to do for yourself when you shower? Do you have to sit down, or can you stand long enough? I think just being able to have some warm water flowing over you, and to even get some vital parts clean, would make a profound impact on your feeling of well being.
  • Most people I knew were able to shower right away... I was able to shower when I got home... I was in the hospital for 4 days, and I had staples in my back and internal stitches with steri strips in the front... I was okay'd to shower right away and never had problems. Must vary by doc.
  • Okay. I wonder what I was thinking :/ :))( . I thought that I had read numerous times where people talked about how happy they were to have finally been able to take a shower. But maybe it was something else, or different circumstances or something.
  • I think I've also seen the same... You're not crazy or anything Lol. I think it just depends on the doctor.
  • they told me that I would not be able to take a shower while my dressing is still on, and they said to not take it off until 3-5 days after getting home. So I just didn't want to wait until Sunday to shower. I don't know why they didn't take the dressing off before I left. The nurse gave me some clear "coverings" to put over my dressing that was self adhesive on three sides, the bottom being open. They stick perfectly and hold during the shower but peel right off without pain. They come in a pack of eight and are well worth the $625.00 that the hospital probably billed for.

    treefrog, I have not had any problems being able to stand long enough to take a 4 minute shower. I am lucky to have the walk in type shower with a rod in it for towel hanging that I could grab if I needed to...I also have a raised commode that doubles as a shower seat that my wife puts in there just in case becasue you never know...I'd hate to fall and bust my ass
  • I was able to bathe when i returned home as well but i had to wait a month to go to the shop and get my hair washed and month for my first BM! :jawdrop: I had to make sure that the staples did not get wet and i sat on a shower chair. The bathe was the best thing ever. :)

    I had 30 staples and man did it hurt to have them removed. The doctor said it didn't hurt when he removed them and i said next time you get 30 staples in your back let me pull them out and you will see if it hurts or not! I'm so bad! ;)

    Evelyn :H
    Had PLIF in 2008 and a Laminectomy. One level fusion, L4-L5.
  • I also have a walk in shower, and it has a built in seat.

    4 minutes is a really short shower, but I guess it is better than nothing.

    My hair is definitely something I am not looking forward to dealing with after surgery. It is long and thick. It would take longer than 4 minutes just to wash my hair, not to mention conditioning. :))(
  • Boy it felt great to take a nice hot shower today. The PA told me it was fine as long as I covered the area. My wife put some of that self stick Saran wrap with some surgical tape around the edges and it work like a charm.
  • Sounds like you are doing great :) Keep up the good work. I was allowed to shower on post-op day 3 with saran wrap and tape covering incision, drain pulled out that am. Then on day 5 I was allowed to shower without covering incision. I had internal stitches and steri-strips. All docs are different. I am glad I had mine for sure. Could not have waited weeks like some require. I found my shower massage hand-held priceless. >:D< Cali-Sue
  • it is good to see that you are home and on your road to recover. As for the shower I don't think I could wait that long before I could have one.
    The Saran wrap :X you guys cover it all. I will be sure to add that to my list of things to get.
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