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saltzworksssaltzworks Posts: 1,031
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:40 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi all,

Just thought I'd get us started on a January Surgery thread.

IIf we've got to go through it we might as well be able to commiserate with each other.

I am scheduled for what I hope is an easier surgery - hardware removal in about a week, Wed. Jan. 6th. I am planning on going back to work after 1 week off, extremely optimistic, I know. My surgeon has a history of postponing and rescheduling so I'm not entirely sure that I expect to really have surgery next week, I guess we'll see.


  • I am also having surgery on the 20 January I am having a 360 Fusion surgery and I am very nervous but I hope all goes well with your surgery. And good luck to you I will be checking for your post after surgery.
  • Ah, Ceecee - a 360 - yikes. How many levels? I assume this is your first back surgery?
  • I get to chime in this month (yay /:) ).

    I'm scheduled for a TLIF or PLIF (whatever they find in there) on Jan. 6. My pre-op testing and paper signing is tomorrow. For some reason, when the pre-op stuff comes up it starts to slap you in the face that you're really going to have surgery.

    I'm freakin' out. If you've ever read my past posts to newbies facing surgery, you'll know I'm the queen of the "Oh, the anticipation is worse than the surgery" statement and now I want to shoot myself when I try and tell me that. I just want to tell myself to shut up.

    Anyway, I'm in the January group. I'm lucky enough to have my MIL coming to take care of me for the first 2+ weeks 24/7 and that I have a very supportive circle of family and friends and a fantastic spine team that I trust 100%.

    I'm wishing the best for everyone having surgery in January and let's compare war stories during the month. "My scar's bigger than your scar...lalalala" LOL. JK.

    Take care my fellow spineys. We'll come out of it with flying colors. I always feel like if I can just wake up from the anesthesia after surgery, it's all downhill from there.

  • Cath - we are on the same day~ oh joy.

    I know the whole anticipation/worry/WHY, Oh WHY am I doing this? stuff. If I let myself think about it I get butterflies and if I keep thinking I get sick to my stomach. I almost want the NS to post-pone!

    We are all going to have to make sure we take photos (well, if you want to) and post them for NoseOverTail :)
  • I am just having 1 level L/5/S/1 but I still and scared but the pain in my leg will be well worth it.
  • Saltworks this is my first back surgery hope it is my last and I too will be posting pictures also good luck to you both and Cath I understand what your feeling because I am nervous about the pre op this is a major surgery for me I have to get cut in the front and the back with hardware.
  • Cath - isn't it almost worse going back in - now that we know what it was like the first time??

    CeeCee - I surely do not envy your front/back 360. You will certainly have some scars to show. I've heard that JUST a front isn't as painful as JUST a posterior, but to have BOTH??!
  • I heard that recovery is very long for a 360 fusion surgery but I want to be out of pain so it is well worth it.
  • I am due for revision microdiscectomy on L5-S1. Praying it works b/c I am trying to avoid a fusion.

    I spent all of December researching and visiting doctors and finally found one I'm comfortable switching too (needed to get in network). I have a follow up visit with him on 1/12 and that's when we'll schedule the surgery but he told me plan for January.

    Good luck for all you folks in the next week. I am glad you got to 'enjoy' your holiday not recovering. But probably like me, you had to take it easy and are struggling with pain.

    Mine is mostly leg pain followed by general fatigue in my back.
  • DNice - glad you've found a dr. finally. It kind of sucks to be in limbo-land though, all the tension with nothing really set.

    Here's to successful outcomes for all of us!!!
  • I too will be having a 360 double level fusion on the Jan 15th. SO scared.
  • AxialLif 2L on January 25th. Haven't been able to eat well at all.
  • Knowing you're having surgery is so stressful and scary. Yesterday, I started getting ready for my recovery by taking care of some household chores. I was feeling pretty good and did the normal spiney thing - questioning whether I should really have this surgery or not.

    So, while contemplating this I'm carrying laundry up and down the stairs, folding, hanging, cleaning the kitchen, etc.

    Today I hurt so bad from all the things I did yesterday that I'm not so nervous because I can't live with this pain.

    So, if you start questioning your choice to have surgery, just do something stupid like shoveling snow or doing laundry. Then you'll know you're making the right choice.

    (Of course, I'm kidding - DO NOT do anything to hurt yourself further. I just know that us spineys experience exactly the kind of thing I described above.)

  • cath . . .you made me laugh.

  • I find myself questioning my surgery all the time. Then along comes a zing or a cramp and I remember what this is all about. Today a co-worker said I looked tired -- at noon!!

    I'm having my simple surgery on Jan 11th. I feel silly worrying when I read about all these major surgerys that you guys are having. I just hope I can keep too busy to worry this weekend and I think next week will fly by with all those last minute chores.

    What I am working on now is how things will get done that first week or so. Like who can do laundry, freezing dinners and cleaning kitty litter box.

    My no-fault will pay $40 a day for daily expenses. Try finding a cleaning service who will come in for that!! Where do these people live?
  • Jen- are you getting the ADR?

    Jason- I KNOW what you are feeling. Right now just reading your post has my stomach rolling (not on the floor laughing either) and I am only getting the hardware taken out.

    Cath - things to do to want surgery, now yes, I am ROFL!

    Kris- I also had rotator cuff surgery after I got rear-ended in 2005 - that was the start of a long series of surgeries from the accident. What surgery are you having? Fusion? 360?
  • Oh - &*#%

    I need to get food set up! SO glad you posted about that Kris. DH is great, but his choices on 'edible' food do not coincide with mine. Usually I let it slide, but my stomach will not let me 'go with the flow' when I'm on pain meds.
  • It's funny you mentioned the shoveling of the snow. I just did that on Sunday and remembered why I am getting surgery. How true!
  • No I am not having the ADR after all. My ins. will not cover it and I really can not wait until they do. I opted for the fusion. I am nervous...but know the pain cant be as bad as it is daily for me.

    Best wishes for everyone with up-coming surgeries.
  • Jen- I know I asked my NS about ADR and also about Stem Cell. They were all a no-go for me too.

    My NS did explain about fusion - that it is the best bet for how long I need it to last. I guess the younger you are the more you need fusion instead of replacement.

    My NS also used the Peek cages in my fusion. They are slightly flexible plastic that allows the spine to still have some bendability. This means that my L4/L3 has more of a chance of lasting longer. It relieves some of the additional pressure on the adjoining discs so I don't get adjacent disc disease.

    I am looking at an ankle replacement or a fusion and the fail rate on the replacement is HORRIBLE! Then, once it fails you basically lose your whole foot. The bones are too small to support a second replacement after the first one fails in 10-15 years. I can't help but think ADR might be in the same category.

    I just wish the technology would catch up to me. I refuse to have the ankle done until there is SOMETHING else besides fusion. But then the pain comes -

    Colleen - I just arranged the to and from school on my surgery day for my 7 y/o as well. Now I have to figure out if I can manage to drive her on the following week after my surgery. I guess it all depends on how well my surgery goes, how much medication I need and even how long I'll be in the hospital. I'm betting it's not going to be the 9 days I spent in there last year!
  • I decided to go for Micro-D #2...I'm scheduled Jan 22nd!

    My original NS recommended a 3 level TLIF and I'm just not ready for that so I'm switching surgeons.

    I'm looking at losing my job over this but I can't see myself lasting unitl June when my FMLA renews. On the bright side, I found out I'm receiving a retention bonus (the check should be in the mail today!) so that extra $$$ will help.

    Glad to be in the January surgery club :)
  • Welcome! You have the dubious honor of being in the January surgery club ;) yeah, not.

    Let's hope that this MD#2 does it for you and helps you avoid that 3-level! Sucks that you lose your job, that would just about kill me if I were to lose mine, yikes!
  • First surgery. Three level ACDF 4-7. Have suffered with DDD since 2004 and tried all non-invasive treatment. Will have plastic cages with plate and screws. Doing pre-op testing and starting to get a little nervous. Not doing this to relieve pain as much as to decrease chance of permanent damage to spinal cord. (NS told me if it was just for pain relief he would NOT do it!) Good luck to all and best wishes for a happy and HEALTHY New Year.
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    XLIF L-2,L3. Surgery # 6. I should be used to this by now. But I'm scared spit less, or something that rhymes with that! My stomach just flips over, thinking about it!
    DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT laugh post op! Or sneeze!
    Good luck, Jim :SS :jawdrop:
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • My thoughts are with you and I know you will all get through it - we are a special breed of survivors.

    I had a 360 degree fusion - both AP with two rods and many screws and replaced disks in the lumbar region. It took about 12 hours but my surgeon was able to get me upright from Kyphosis and I am able to walk now reasonably well.

    So, to all that are having surgeries this month - remember to breathe, talk about it, and I know we will be checking your progress.

    I am new to this forum but not new to all that we go through. Please keep us posted - we care.

  • to you all. Remember to check out the list of things recommended to have at home after surgery, and don't push yourself to try to recover in lightning speed. Let yourself have some time for recovery and don't bend, lift, or twist for a good long time. Take care!

    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • BigG - THREE levels - ouch. Hopefully you DO get SOME pain relief though.

    Jim - you've got to add no thrwoing up to that 'do not do post-op' list! Most of what I remember from last time was being curled up around that pink hospital basin like it was a life preserver!

    Tnor - I think you are the first of us to go in so far - wishing you luck!
  • I may or may not be having a 3 level PLIF toward the end of the month, or I may wait until later on in February...haven't decided yet. This is an extension of the fusion I had done in Jan 08 and the little surgery this past January. It is the surgery I probably should have had the first time, but at that point, a one level sounded MUCH better than a 3 level lumbar fusion.

    I know I am really spoiled as the little surgery was so easy that I've forgotten most of the details of the open PLIF!! I will be having a different surgeon who believes in the use of a brace...so that will be new and different. @)

    My surgery is totally my decision this time. It may accomplish nothing other than make me stiff. I am doing it to try to resolve my nerve pain...but there is no evidence that the S1 nerve is compressed...and it may or may not help with the nerve pain coming from the L3-4 segment...so it is very much a very expensive crap shoot.

    I'll let you know when I make a decision....

    Good luck to the rest of the club.

  • Egads Gwennie! To not know - yikes. At least you have researched it completely (I'm sure you have :) )

    You have had a recent discogram haven't you?

    I know that as for being stiff - I was grateful to be unable to move anymore. Before my surgery any movement was so painful that I just wanted to not be able to hurt myself that way anymore.

    Do keep us informed - and best of luck.
  • I too will undergo the knife on 1/5/10.
    Schduled for xlif of L3-L4 with posterior fusion with rods and screws. Scared of upcoming procedure but hopeful to be rid of the pain that shoots down by right leg when walking.

    diagnosis of severe facet arthritis of L3-l4, spondolylisthesis of l3, synovial cyst at L3
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