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Back Surgery Scheduled this Tuesday 600 am

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:31 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
HI,HELP WANTED REGARDING PLIF. I am having surgery on Tues and I was very calm until yesterday, now sort of panicking today. I have previously in 96 had a L4-5/ L5S1 Laminectomy/Microdiskectomy and it was pretty rough for a month, but after reading about all of your Fusions this sounds horrifying. QUESTIONS; Will my pain be controlled?, how long will I suffer?, does it ever get better? what is the mortality for a 50 year old? I walk often and will I be able to walk with this brace on? it is very heavy now, I can't even imagine this brace on the incision. I will have a hospital bed delivered to my home,I have too many stairs to climb. Is this worth all the added pain? I have enough pain now! SOMEONE HELP ME CALM DOWN< BUT TELL ME THE TRUTH PLEASE!


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    Hi nene

    I wish you a speedy recovery after your surgery, I can't help you with any advice or information, as I have not had fusion surgery. I am sure you will get replies here and if you wish to join us in the chatroom you will meet people who have.
    I will all be thinking of you


    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • We all get through it and some of us are older than 50. My mother-in-law had the very same surgery I had, a PLIF at L4-5 and she was 87 years old. She came through it beautiflly and she never had pain meds afterward. She took one pill, didn't like the way it made her feel, so she controlled her pain with tylenol.

    I was on pain meds for 12 weeks, or so!

    They have better pain relief than they had in 1996. They should be able to control your pain. Be sure to speak up if you are really uncomfortable. Don't be shy about asking for more, or something different. I found the hospital staff to be very concerned about my level of pain and really wanted to make me comfortable.

    Try to relax. Listen to your favorite music...or watch a movie you like...something to take your mind off the surgery. Something to make you laugh, if possible.

    Good luck. You'll be fine.
  • I had ALIF/PLIF at L4/5 last July. My experience was that recovery was long, slow and boring but not overly painful. I stopped all pain meds about 2 weeks after surgery because they made me feel icky and my discomfort was pretty easily controlled with ice (and heat when my surgeon Oked it). In the hospital I was up and walking the same day I had the PLIF part of the surgery. I had the anterior surgery on a Monday, the posterior on Wednesday and went home on Friday. I am 58 and my back is very good now.

    Lifesavers for me at home (besides my husband!) were a "grabber", the shower chair and lots of pillows. Be sure to check out the Post-Op Must-Haves list on this site. It is excellent and will help you have your home prepared for your recovery.

    The brace did rub the incision a bit but I put an icepack between the brace and the incision when I walked and that helped a lot.

    The main thing required for the recovery is patience! Remember the no bending, lifting, twisting. Walk as much as you can - I tried to walk at least few minutes every hour the first couple of weeks. It really does make you feel better.

    People on this site are wonderful about answering the questions that you will have during recovery - don't hesitate to ask!

  • Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real. In other words, it's worry over what hasn't even happened.

    I'm facing my fear today, too. I have a discogram Thursday. Not as major a thing as yours, for sure, but I have had 3 back surgeries so I know what you are going through mentally now, and what it will be like after.

    You've had some good advice here. They will work with you to control your pain, it's protocol for them. Be sure to tell them if you need more stuff or if the meds they give you aren't working. And be ready to take it easy after. Follow the orders of not bending or twisting, blah blah. You don't want all that hard work to go down the tubes.

    You will get through this. Hopefully you will find relief after, to a great degree. You've done all your research, you have prepared as well as you can.

    Remember, this is your choice. You are in control here, and still are, even one day before. So you have decided this is the way to go, and you have confidence in your surgeon. So let it go at that. Have a good day. Try to sleep well. You'll get through it.
  • I had 2 level PLIF and discetomey in Dec. It is a long recovery, but I have heard of lotd of sucessful outcomes. My girlfiend had the same as you in Sept and was on morphine for pain prior. She is great. She is off all meds and works part time does flower gardening, the works. The recovery is different for everyone. I am still taking pain meds, but my surgery was 8 hours long. I am not unhappy I had it. My Dr told me it would be 6 months to a year. After surgery they kept me comfortable. I asked for pain meds and they gave them to me. A hospital bed is a good idea. I have one and it makes getting comfortable so much easier. Is the surgery worth the pain? That is something only you can answer. It is for me, because I am 49 and have to much life to live, to be in constant pain. The road is long, but the end results are worth the journey. Take some deep breaths. Watch a happy comedy. You will be fine. Dont even think the worse, you've been through back surgery before. You can do it again. Let me know how you do. I will be watching for your first post, post op. Prayers are with you for a sucessful surgery and be strong. Attitude is part of the recovery process. Go in there with the attitude that when you wake up, each day is going to be better than the day before! Hugs! >:D<
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