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L4-5 and L5-S1 fusion

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,731
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:40 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am scheduled for lumbar fusion surgery in 2 weeks. I am wondering how long the surgery takes. I have had other minimally invasive surgeries and those lasted 3-4 hours. Thanks for your help:-)
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Comments

  • I just responded to a question almost exactly like this the other day. Since we are not medical professionals and the fact that everyone's surgery is a different experience as their bodies are different as well as possibly the injury and your response to healing are different it's hard for me to give you a time frame.

    Have you discussed this with your surgeon? He should really prepare you for all of this and answer any of your questions and expectations. I know I asked my surgeon tons of questions right up until he knocked me out w/ meds before surgery. I asked even what I thought were the silliest questions.

    You can also do a search on this site for the type of surgery you are having and find more information on this.

    I'm sorry I couldn't be more help but I can offer you support and understanding of what you are going through.
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    Much depends on the exact type of surgery, method being used, if an assisting surgeon is also there, etc. Your surgeon or his staff should be able to address this with you. Do you have a pre-op preparation appointment with the doctor? For example, I have surgery scheduled for 2/3 but have a pre-op appointment with the surgeon's physician assistant for the week before for any questions, etc.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • For example, I had a 3 level/360 fusion and the surgeon told me that it was going to last 4 hours and it lasted 8. Then I had 5 Laminectomies and those were about 1 to 3 hours long. So it really varies from person to person,so make sure to ask your surgeon during your pre-op appointment about that and also bring a list of any other burning question that you might have. Good luck with your surgery!

    Tipper
  • Thanks all. I do have a pre-op with my primary and a pre-surgery with the surgeon. I am just very anxious about this one. I wasn't so nervous for the other ones, but this one seems like a bigger deal.
  • Welcome Julie

    My 2-level fusion lasted about 5 hours as well. Thne my exploratory surgery 3 days later was about 2 hours. My hardware removal surgery a few days ago was aobut 1 1/2 hous.

    Besides the Post-op Must Haves, I also have a few tips.

    I found that sitting on the toilet was easy after the first surgery. It has been murder on me this time. If you spread your feet out and brace yourself as you lower yourself it's easier. When my feet were close together it the muscles in my back screamed in agony for some reason.

    Always eat before getting/taking pain medication.

    Set an alarm for when you need to take medication. Keep the alarm(I use my cell phone) and the meds right next to a notebook and pencil/pen - its impossible to keep it all straight if you aren't taking notes. Your brain gets very drug-addled afterwards.

    Lots and lots of ice! Icepacks have been saving me! Almost better than the pain meds. Of course I'm only dealing with soft tissue damage this time, not nerve pain.

    Do whatever you can to get your bowels moving as soon as possible. Narcotics back you up and if you get backed up enough, well then, nothing will go down either. It compunds the nausea issue and makes you feel like crap. Literally ;)
  • Welcome Julie

    My 2-level fusion lasted about 5 hours as well. Thne my exploratory surgery 3 days later was about 2 hours. My hardware removal surgery a few days ago was about 1 1/2 hous.

    Besides the Post-op Must Haves, I also have a few tips.

    I found that sitting on the toilet was easy after the first surgery. It has been murder on me this time. If you spread your feet out and brace yourself as you lower yourself it's easier. When my feet were close together the muscles in my back screamed in agony for some reason.

    Always eat before getting/taking pain medication.

    Set an alarm for when you need to take medication. Keep the alarm(I use my cell phone) and the meds right next to a notebook and pencil/pen - its impossible to keep it all straight if you aren't taking notes. Your brain gets very drug-addled afterwards.

    Lots and lots of ice! Icepacks have been saving me! Almost better than the pain meds. Of course I'm only dealing with soft tissue damage this time, not nerve pain.

    Do whatever you can to get your bowels moving as soon as possible. Narcotics back you up and if you get backed up enough, well then, nothing will go down either. It compounds the nausea issue and makes you feel like crap. Literally ;)
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