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Made it home!

Mark33MMark33 Posts: 44
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:37 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Had my surgery on Tuesday.. L5 S1 fusion.. Made a small incesion in the back, took out the fractured piece, also took a sample of bone from my illiac creast crushed the 2 together. Used that for the fusion, inserted four screws and 2 pins. Procedure took about 3 hours.

Got to the hospital early. Everything went like clockwork. While I was waiting in the preop room my family came in and wished me luck, we said a prayer and I was off.. I actually was out of it before I even got into the surgical room.

When I woke up I was not in much pain but what I do remember was I was shaking like crazy?! I mean I was SHAKING! Teeth chattering, everything.. They gave me something and covered me with a warm blanket and I was fine. To be honest I do not remember the first day much..

The next few days were much better. I got up the second day and let me tell you this, it was the worst pain I have ever experienced. I logged rolled into the sit up position and it was excrutciating pain. I stood up from there and made a small trip outside my room with a walker.. The sitting back down and getting into bed was about as painful. The next day things were about the same but the pain was much better with getting up and down.. Drainage tube was taken out that day as well, and yes it HURT! By Friday I was doing everything by myself, log rolling out of bed, using my walker and even though it was still painful, it was bearable.

I was released yesterday and that ride was fine as well.. I was SO fortunate that my nextdoor neighbor has a surgical type of bed in his storage so he and his wife brought it over for me and I have it set up in the living room. I took my first shower today and boy was it relaxing. Felt great to get cleaned up. I am almost getting up by myself and walking around my house a few times a day with a walker. I am looking forward to more progress as days go buy.

Thanks for all the well wishes and support here! If I can answer any questions for people getting ready to go into surgery ler me know.. I will keep you all posted each week...



  • So glad to hear from you, you made it to the other side! Hearing about your hospital stay sure brought back memories, can believe mine was 9wks ago!! Take care and go slow, let everyone pamper you!!! Congratulations and keep us all posted!!
  • That is excellent news. That first shower sure does feel great, not only for the body, but for the soul! Take it easy and let yourself heal.

  • That's great your back home recovering. I hope you continue to get better like you say everyday. Take care. 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
  • Hi Mark,

    I'll bet you are so glad to be home! I am scheduled for a fusion on 11/4 (L5/S1). Did you have a PLIF? That's what I am having. It sounds like yours was a single level fusion. I was wondering if you could suggest any adaptive equipment I should have on hand once I get home. I will be wearing a brace whenever I am not laying down once I get home. I've read that a grabber and a toilet seat riser are good to have. Take care and be well!

  • Glad your home and doing well. Remember follow Doc's orders, be patient with your body, If you have a day you feel exceptionally great, enjoy it but dont over do anything, remember walk,rest,rest,rest,walk, rest,rest,rest, walk as much as comfortable, but rest and let your body heal. Like Rachel said let yourself be pampered as long as you can, it will end soon enough :) .Keep us posted on your progress,
    God Bless and Keep you(r) papmerers close by. :)
  • Congratulations on making it through surgery and, more importantly, to getting home. Take things easy, follow doctor's orders, and you should be on your way to well in no time.


    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    Congratulations on your progress thus far! Take it easy and listen to your body (sleep when it wants and take medications on schedule to alleviate pain).
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    Hi Mark

    I am glad to hear your recovering well. I can't add anything to the good advice you have already been given, just wish you well and speedy recovery.
    Look forward to following your progress.


    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • It's actually great to hear from you Mark! Have been wondering how it went. I am scheduled for this coming Thursday the 29th with multilevel PLIF.

    While I hate to think about the awful pain, I did want to hear exactly how it went from someone. Also glad to hear you are home and doing so well.

    Be good to yourself,
  • Bob,
    No problem.. Ask me anything you want to.. Trust me, the buildup is more stressful then the actual day of the surgery. I felt at ease leaving pre op and then BOOM, I was out like a light.. I have questions for others... Did you all come home with a brace?? I did not get one and was nto told that I needed one.. Day 2 at home and I am doing better.. Still painfull but much less than when I was in the hospital.

  • Some surgeons use a brace after surgery. Many more do not. It is just their personal preference based on their own training, what they have found works best, etc. There are pros and cons on its use. It reminds the patient to avoid bending and twisting, or moving in a way that is automatically prohibited by the use of a brace. On the other hand, muscles can atrophy more easily. Patients can come to depend on the brace and it can become a psychological crutch. With all the new instrumentation that is used, cages, pedicle screws, etc., the spine is pretty sturdy and held in place securely while the patient is fusing. Without the use of hardware, there is more reason to brace.

    Be glad you don't have one. Just remember to avoid all activities that involve bending, twisting, pushing, pulling, reaching overhead or to the side and do not lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk or as advised by your surgeon. Remember this for the first three months to be sure you don't screw anything up!

  • Hi Mark - I don't "know" you but wanted to say "I am happy all went well and you are home and doing well". :)
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • Mark,
    Glad to hear things are going good for you. I am scheduled for ALIF and PLIF at the L4-L5 on November 4th. I have been reading the website and preparing for the last 6 months. Between swimming and physio to getting all the little house chores completed. My Doctor told me it would be just as you stated. I would wonder why I did it for the first 2-4 days and then things would start to feel better. Counting days down and looking forward to getting back on my feet.

  • Hi,
    I am glad your surgery went well. I am scheduled for a 2 level fusion in a week. i am curious as to how long you were in the hospital? I am very nervous and loved reading about what it was like for you.
  • Congrats on the surgery. Glad it went well.

    Best wishes for the future (:

  • Saw your comment to Mark. I had a two level 360 fusion and was in the hospital for 7 days ( one extra then planned, working in pain control). Hope this helps you.

    By the way Mark, how are you feeling, you ok? Keep us posted and hang in there.
  • I am still doing well but have 2 questions.. I am battling with my calfs being a little tender or sore and I am assuming that this simply has to do with the fact that I am not doing so much walking.. Legs are a little sore as well but once again I think it has to do with how often I am in bed. My ssecond question is going to the bathroom. I go pee very easy but it has been a week since my surgery and I have not had the urge to go #2.. I have some gas but that is about it.. I tried an enema today which helped a little but not like usual.. Sorry, I know this is sort of a gross topic but I was wondering if anyone else has gone through this.
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084

    It's normal to have this after the type of surgery you had. For me the best things have been prunes or prune juice (luckily I like them) and some natural laxative products (both in tea form and some in tablet form).
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • Pain medication can cause constipation.
  • Thanks for the input.. I still have not really gone #2 but am begining to feel the urge. Man I really feel good this morning. My leg pains are gone and I can get in and out of bed pretty easy. Walked around the house for about 15 minutes doing little projects. Nothing too rough but just wanted to stay on my feet. Weather outside will not really let me get outside. Am scheduled to go get my staples out tomorrow.. Hope that goes well.. Does anyone know if this is painful?
  • I had 26 staples in my back. It didn't hurt at all when they were removed. Just kind of a little pinch each time. Sounds like you are doing very well overall. Keep up the good healing.
  • I agree with mamainpain 100% The only thing you should be doing now is eating and sleeping. Your body is tired and weak. Good luck, and welcome home.
  • xMar, that is about all I am doing.. I live in a culdesac and I have taken sometime to walk around this while I get the mail but other than that I am just relaxing in bed. I am taking my medication no matter what to make sure I stay ahead of the pain but all in all to be honest I am doing pretty good thus far!!! We will see what the Doc says tomorrow and I will be sure to keep you all posted.. I am very thankful for all the advice and this website. It has helped me a great deal!
  • =D> So glad to hear your surgery went well. And boy, did that first shower feel great. I just wish I had known about the toilet riser before hand. That sure would have been helpful! Just treat yourself gently and eat healthy foods to help your body recover. I was back to work in nine months. And back to the gym with a trainer skilled in back problems.

    Take care and continued good health,

    Donna :H

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