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5 days post PLIF L2-L5-How am I doing?

JakotsuJJakotsu Posts: 212
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Had my PLIF on Thursday Jan 29th. Surgery lasted around 3.5 hours. This was due to my size (380 pounds, 6ft tall). I am 25 years old and other then being 380pounds with hypertension, I'm in good health (minus my back). He had to order a special "big boy" drill and big boy table for the surgery.

First night was rough, lot of pain, unable to move at all, lost two IV sites due to sweating perfusely as they had the heat on for the elderly in the hospital I think. Was getting 2-6mgs of Morphine every 2-3 hours and lortab inbetween which seemed to last longer then the morphine. Basically in and out of continuous. The morning of the next day I had not urinated for 15 hours, had over 3 litres of fluids put in ontop of whatever I drank. Had to be straight cathed as I could not urinate, got 1500ML out ouch!! Only complain is I lost my IV site a few times and the nurse was to busy/lazy to replace it to give me my morpohine, so she gave lortab to me when I was in extreme pain just after being moved. This happend a few times during my stay.

Next day very rough getting up for the first time. My surgeon did not give me a brace, he stated my bone was good enough as to not need one, as the titanium rods/screws are the inner brace. PT came in, I could not roll on my side for the life of me, I couldnt move an inch, took a while but finally PT (two ofem) grabbed my shoulder, my legs and my elbow and brought me up on bed sitting on the side. Pain was awful, so stiff but it letup after 10 minutes or so. They walked me two laps around the floor and I was estatic that my right leg sciatica is gone! After the walk they wanted me in a chair but I went back to bed, was traumatic and to be honest I did not understand I needed to be up. Still not able to urinate on my own but fluids were DC'ed and still got straight cathed, 450ml out. Indewlling catheter placed. Quite a bit of pain off and on, can't move on my own nor get up.

Third day (Saturday), was helped up by the techs, sat on the side of the bed all day with legs/feet dangling. Walked about the room off and on on my own. No bowel movement but lots of gas, hard to expel.

That evening surgeon came in and discharged me. First night home was rough got stuck in my bed (queen sized), was awful and in a ton of pain. Had to call my mom and aunt to help me situp on the side, so now I am sitting in a couch chair with pillows proping me up, seems to be working out good.

I am having incision pain mostly, back spasms. My surgeon prescribed me:

Oxycodone 5mg take I-II every 4-6 hours as needed
Valium 5mg take I-II every 6 hours as needed
Flexeril 10mg every 6 hours as needed
Cephalexin 250mg 4 times daily

I can get up on my own, walking very well, could go without my rolling walker but I feel better with the extra support, and I use it to get up. Still having drainage at the bottom of my incision, light-moderate. Able to sleep through the night but I think thats due to the valium and oxycodone, trying not to take valium too much. Had my first bowel movement since before my surgery today, so feeling better from that.

Other then getting tired after taking oxy and valium I feel rather good for 4 days postop. Can't bend or anything tho.


  • No its not a sandwhich ;) No brnding lifting or twisting. Sounds like you are doing well. Keep walking, make sure you use a laxitive if you havnt had pain meds, or you will have problems. Just keep walking and keep us posted. Hope you get along good.
  • Hello Jakotsu,

    You are only 5 days after surgery, and you seem to be doing quite well. It must be difficult staying home alone, with only your relatives visiting. I am surprised that they did not put in a catheter after surgery, I had it for the first two days and it helped. Do you have any visiting nurses to come by?

    Just continue on recovering like you have so far. When you are up to it, try to walk, several times a day, that will help a lot.

    Wishing you a speedy and complete recovery,

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