Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

9 days & counting

dapopo315ddapopo315 Posts: 40
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:36 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Ok it's the popo again, 9 days & counting until my surgery. Just got my surgery information in the mail & it looks like I'm going to have a

L3-4 TLIF with Instrumentation & Allograft

The day of my surgery they are transporting me to a Rehabilitation Center because my surgery is being done at a Outpatient Surgery Center. I'm also supposed to have a family member stay with me for the 1st 24 hours. My discharge instructions say I can take short showers then recover my wound. Says I can not lift more than 20lbs for the 1st 5 months. However, I CAN ride in a car, walk, bend over, & do stairs as pain allows. This sounds much better than I was initially expecting. Has anyone else had these discharge instructions?

About the surgery, any idea how long the incision will be for a single fusion? Will there be screws & rods on both sides? Will the back muscles be cut? I'm scared to death, so many questions running through my head. How bad is the pain afterwards? How long is estimated recovery? Yada, yada, yada . . . . . My biggest fear is weather or not I will be able to keep being a police officer after I get done. I'm just keepin my fingers crossed.

I am in a lot of pain whenever I stand up strait or bend back & to the left. I was given a script for Vicodin 5mg/500mg & it isn't helping the pain AT ALL. Any help or advise to ease my anxiety & fear would be greatly appreciated.


  • My discharge instructions were: no lifting anythng over 5 lbs. Showers ok change dressing daily, activity as tolerated. no driving untill 2 week checkup. Thats it. I was discharged on Norco 10mg/325mg. and had Neurontin added at my 2 week checkup. I startd on 300mg 3 times a day and am now up to 600mg 2x daily and 900mg before bed, hoping I will not need any more increases.
    My pain was well controlled in the hospital, with the exception of some rough CT techs. My Driving restrictions were based on my meds and how they make me feel. That varies daily. I go for my 6 week checkup on 10/12. Please keep us posted on your progress, oh yeah, pre op jitters are perfectly normal, they tend to lessen as you get your supplies in order and mentaly come to terms with the whole process.
    Hang in there, :)
  • Thanx for the info, glad to see I'm not alone on this. I think trying to come to grips with all of this is the hardest part. Just gonna keep pushin foward!
  • If you haven't done so yet, you can read about TLIF here:


    It is difficult to answer your questions because there are so many variables. Most of those questions would be better asked of your surgeon. We do not know what specifically he has planned for your TLIF. There are different ways of performing that particular surgery.

    I can tell you that recovery takes longer than you will expect. It is a slow process and there are few successful ways to hurry it along. The most important thing to do during your recovery is to walk. You will start either the day of or day after your surgery and you should try to walk several times each day after that. Distance walked is less important than doing it several times each day. This helps with the healing and also helps to prevent the formation of scar tissue around the spinal nerves that may be affected by the surgery.

    It is important to eat well, drink LOTS of water and take your medicine exactly as prescribed by your surgeon. You won't feel like doing much for the first week or two, but gradually you will walk farther and rest less, and you will regain strength and endurance. Just be prepared that this will not happen over night. Patience is a very important virtue with a fusion -- that, and a positive attitude.

    You'll do fine and it will be over before you know it.

    Hang in there!
  • I am a first time poster but I have been monitoring the forum for some time. I am also in the same profession as you. I had L4/L5 and L5/S1 done with instrumentation on July 3. I was out of the hospital by July 5. I stopped my pain killers after about two weeks post op. I am very happy with my results. My doc allowed me to drive after my two week appointment because I was no longer taking pain meds. I could not bend and twist and I could not lift more than 5 lbs. At my six week appointment he raised the lifting to 20 lbs and I started P/T. I returned to light duty work after seven weeks. At thirteen weeks my doc returned me to full duty. I am still in P/T but so far everything is going really good.
    Have a positive attitude, do what the doc says, rest while you can, and most of all when you can walk, walk, walk. I can not stop walking now. It takes time but it will come to you. Good Luck. Most of all read these forums. There is a lot of really good stuff here.
  • So, I have no advice for you but wanted to say hello anyway....as I am 3 weeks to the bid day and I am having the same exact surgery. It's rare to see the TLIF as I think Anterior seems to be most common. Anyway, what I can tell you is that I too am extremely nervous. I am in so much pain myself and I take Vicodan 500 too. I actually take 1 and a half every 4-6 hours. I just cut one in half--- this equals the extra strenth--- 750(s). So--- in a weird way, I'm looking forward to the surgery and am hoping for the nerve pain in my leg to finally stop. But, I also recognize that its not going to be easy. I'm focusing on preparing my home, learning as much about the surgery as I can, and bracing myself. Can you keep in touch to let me know how you do? Best of luck to you with everything.
Sign In or Register to comment.