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1 week since TLIF L4-L5

thenadetthenade Posts: 137
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:38 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I'm 1 week today since minimally invasive TLIF. Am 60 years old and waited 15 months for this surgery(live in Canada) Doing quite well. Surgery done on Monday 26th in AM. Took about 4 hours. I was given a shot of dilaudid for post surgery pain(really couldn't feel any). After that I was sent to Post Anesthetic Recovery Area. Pain pump was hooked up with hydromorphone in afternoon. Didn't really have to use it too much. They couldn't find a room for me in neurosurgery so I spent the night in PAR. Good care 1 nurse for every 2 patients and only a couple of people there overnight. Pain was more like spasms across the back and into the legs. No nerve pain. Next day(Tues) physio came down and walked me across the room and showed me how to get out of bed. I was really hungry. Pain pump taken out. Took morphine tablets and extra strength tylenol for pain. Very stiff in the back area. Surgeon came to briefly speak to me. Said surgery went really well. Quite abit of compression on L5 nerve. Stabilized the back. Said I could go home tomorrow. Wed did a bit more walking and took shower sitting in chair. Able to get in and out of bed by myself. At this point only taking extra strength tylenol for pain. It was about a 2 on pain scale. Finally discharged to go home in late evening. Ride home took over an hour. Later that night a lot of back spasms and stiffness. Should have picked up script for morphine sulfate tablets 10 mg that night. Tylenol wasn't cutting it. Just spasms and aching. Told husband I feel like I have the flu from the waist down. Thursday doing ok. No nerve pain. Some hotness in top of foot at times. Back feels more stable. Just resting and walking in the house the next few days. Sitting hurts. Tomorrow may walk outside weather permitting. Get staples out on Friday. Will see neuro in 6 weeks time. So that's it for now.


  • and doing well. Yes, always take the pain med prescription -- even if you think you aren't going to need it. There's nothing like waking in the night in incredible pain with nothing to fix it! Keep up the walking if you can -- it really helps to stay mobile.

    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • Good news that you are already at home and on the road to recovery. It is a slow process, but hopefully you feel better every day. You probably know that this early in your recovery the best thing you can do to help yourself is walk, walk, and walk again. At first you may tire easily, that is normal, than take several short walks, don't push yourself, eventually it will get easier.

    Take good care of yourself and keep up the good work,

  • Yes I think I need to walk more. Will have a shower today and venture outside. I'm walking in the house but not with a natural stride. Just shuffling around. Need some fresh air also. I think I'm doing ok. Most of my pain seems to be of a muscular nature in my legs. Yesterday after sitting a little too long I had a bit of burning in my butt and leg but it went away upon laying down. I learned from this site that things will be up and down and not to get too freaked out. The list for post surgery needs was great. I have rented a hospital bed and it has proved to be very helpful. I am quite short, 5' 1/2 ", so getting in and out of a regular bed would be very difficult. I hope to be a towering 5' 1" since my fusion. Haven't measured myself yet! Thanks for your comments.
  • Try to walk several times each day. Distance is not important -- you don't want to tire yourself out...but it is important to do it frequently as it gets freshly oxygenated blood to the surgical site, which does not have many blood vessels. Also it is the best way to stretch out the spinal nerves which will help to prevent scar tissue from attaching.

    I always planned my walks around my trips to the bathroom. The roads were covered with snow and ice when I had my surgeries, so I would get up to use the bathroom and then walk in the house until I became tired. That didn't take long at the beginning!

    Remember not to sit too long at one time. Fifteen minutes is plenty -- then stand or get back into bed! You might as well get your money's worth out of that hospital bed!

    Just take it one day at a time, keep a positive attitude and you'll do very well.

    xx Gwennie
  • Hi Thenade, glad you're feeling better and are at home. You're an inspiration to me, since Im about a week behind you in recovery.
  • So glad you are both doing well. Keep up the walking and rest and baby yourself. Gwennie is right about sitting. Only sit to eat and bathroom. Lay or stand. But rest and keep up the good healing...Love, Robin
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