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Cath111-Six week TLIF update

Cath111CCath111 Posts: 3,702
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:41 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hubby and I had my first post-op surgeon visit yesterday and wanted to update you because many have been so sweet to PM and ask how things are going. You know how it is - I can tell you how I feel, but I can't tell you what's really happening until I talked to my surgeon, so here it is.

Hubby and I saw my surgeon (yes, the actual surgeon) and we spent about 45 minutes talking with him.

First of all, he looked at my x-rays and said I'm ahead of schedule and have already started to fuse. I was so scared of what they'd find that this made me feel better than anything I've heard in a long time.

A few points:
- I need to start some exercises to strengthen my thigh muscles and stretch my hamstrings.
- He wants me to keep taking the Norco and Flexiril for now and wean off with his help when and if that time comes. He said that with the bone growth, scar growth and the surgery in general, it's still going to be painful for at least six more weeks.
- He wants me to wean off of the Percocets and Valium, but I rarely take them, so they can go directly into the "don't use" bag. (I have to say I'll miss the Valium sometimes because it's nice to feel like Jello once in a while.)
- He showed Hubby and I a replica of what hardware is in my back and showed us what he did.
- I can drive now.
- I asked him about what my PT at the hospital said about how I'll have to take extra care of my L5/S1 now due to pressure from this surgery, and the surgeon said that the average rate of negative pressure on levels above and below fusion is approximately 3% per year, so there shouldn't be a problem. But, of course, take care of my back and neck more now just because of everything that's been done.
- I have six more weeks of restrictions (BLT) and still have to wear my brace. This will all be revisited in my appointment with him in five weeks.
- (Saving the best for last): I'll start PT in six weeks to get up those core muscles that will help my back, but the exciting part is that he's going to have PT specially train me in how to golf with the way my back is and that I could be back golfing in June. His PA told me that if I golfed this year, I could pop a screw out and that would be awful, but the surgeon just smiled and said with the proper technique the PT can teach me, golfing will be possible with no threat of hurting the hardware.

So, that's it. I've had a great discussion with my surgeon (with my notes written on a napkin of all things) and I finally feel like this is going to be a good year.

Thanks for listening. I feel emotionally on top of the world. Hubby still wants me to take it pretty easy (even over the restrictions) and to not worry about starting to plan getting back to work. He said something so sweet when I complained that I haven't worked for over a year, he said "If anybody deserves to not work for over a year, its you with all you've been through. Just take it easy for a while and get better."

Your "healing-ahead-of-schedule" spiney friend,


  • That is wonderful news! So happy for you, plus a supportive spouse is so important. Best wishes for your continued recovery, its always great to hear the good news. Take care of yourself, Lisa B
  • Cath, that is great news! Absolutely awesome! Great job of healing and sticking with your precautions. I can only imagine how difficult it must be, my L4-5 poster/anter fusion is the 26th. Clelbrate!!! It's finally your time! My surgery was deemed "urgent" and scheduled 12/23, pushed back by insurance to 2/8 and finally they processed all the paperwork 2/9 and it's now 2/26. A friend of my told me recently to not worry because "2010 was (my) year to heal!" Congrats again! Shari

  • Hooray for you! Wonderful news, keep on doing whatever you've been doing, seems to be putting you on the road to recovery faster.

    Please let us know how it goes.

  • This is your year for healing. It must be difficult to keep up with the restrictions necessary for your healing. Good for you and hope you continue to heal so well. Your husband sounds very supportive and that really helps. Thanks for the update. 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
  • What great news that is. But do take care and don't over do it. Also tell hubby that we think he a great guy.

    may all you days be pain free

  • How bad was the post op pain? I am having the same procedure soon l5 /s1
  • Wonderful news! And pretty wonderful husband, I'd say! So glad for you, Cath. :)

    2009 Foraminotomy C6-72010 PLIF L4-S1Multi RFA's, cervical inj, lumbar injLaminectomy L3-4 and fusion w/internal fixation T10-L4 July 17Fusion C2-C5 yet to be scheduled
  • Cathie,

    Thanks so much for not only the update, but a full one! Glad to see you are on the mend, and mending well to boot! Driving allowed, hehehe, that is like being released from prison! Whoo hoooo! Keep doing what your doing woman, you sound like a success in the making! *HUG*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Yeah Cath,
    How exciting. Save those valuim will ya! You never know when you may have a stressful day on the golf course. (Oh, wait! No such thing!)
    I am reminded of when I was at one of my final post op appointments after my TLIF. The Doctor finally said those magic words. "I am sure you can resume most of your regular activities." I then asked, "Yeah? Can I Golf?" He just laughed and said. "Sure, but keep in mind I never said this would make you good at it."

    Hey, how did he know!

    My husband was standing behind me rolling his eyes with the doctor. Go figure.

    Take it easy. You still have some healing to do! Easy does it!

    Now, if I could just get this weather to cooperate.

  • Just signed in and read your post-what great news- you really deserve all the good things in life. Congratulations on the great news- Hugs n' Loves - Paula
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I'm so happy for you. I'm glad that you're healing so well. I know that what your husband said probably made you feel better than anything the doctor said. I'm sure that relieves a lot of stress and anxiety.
    I hope that you continue doing so well. Take care,

  • Don't you just love good news? Anyway, thanks for the well wishes and hubby says "Thank you." I'm feeling very strong emotionally now, although I've also been feeling very lazy this week. It's probably just relief.

    Salty, you asked about the pain post-op - I can just say that for me, at least, this was a pretty painful experience. The first two weeks were absolutely the worst, but it got better quickly after that.

    Make sure you have all your post op items. The ones I found I couldn't live without were: grabber, raised toilet seat, wheeled computer table, and a walker. Luckily for me, I went straight from the walker to no walking help, but some migrated to a cane after the walker. So, just be prepared.

    Take care.
  • Well done you! It is good to hear the good news stories.
    Do keep hold of those meds until you are fully recovered - I speak from my own stupid experiences of doing too much. Some days you might need them when you decide to, I don't know, walk too far or do some extra housework!!
    Keep being sensible (and patient) and you will keep feeling fab! Sounds like your hubby is a real gem.
    So pleased for you.
    Helen xx
  • Dear Cath...

    Yay! Congratulations!

    Way to go girl... and way to go bones! :)

    This news had to bring you a huge sigh of relief. I know it sure did over here.

    And yes, I absolutely agree with your hubby. You need to continue on this great path of recovery by TAKING IT EASY. What a sweet thing he said... you definitely deserve this, Cath. >:D<

    Wish I was there to give you a slow motion high-five. Just pretend I was there and have Wally hold up his paw.

    I am thrilled about this news. It really made my day over here. :)

    Sending you a gentle hug and a way-to-go gentle rub on your upper back...

    Tammy >:D<

  • It is lovely to hear of a fellow 'spiney' doing so well and being on the way back to the good life.

    Well done! Thanks for sharing to help others like me too :-
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