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new here with questions

blazerblazer Posts: 785
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:42 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
1st off hello everyone. i am scheduled for a 2 level fusion 3/19 i have been driving a semi truck for 28 years 2 children live with me but they dont get home from school til 2;30 in afternoon. this is a work comp injury. im 54 y/o from reading other posts sounds like im gonna have a rough road to travel.will i need to find a different line of work. also my neuro-suregon wants me to take a stress test before surgery for hihg blood pressure. im 5ft 11 inches and 195 pounds not overweight just under alot of pressure. thanks for letting me post.


  • Which two levels will you be getting fused?
    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • Hi and welcome!

    Surgery is stressful but just so you know, the doctor is being wise in sending you for a stress test. They are not intended to 'stress you out' but instead give you peace of mind that your body is ready for surgery. It's a positive thing.

    I didn't have a stress test (but I didn't haev a fusion, I had a microdiscectomy where they 'shave away the herniated disc compressing the nerve). But, I did have an EKG and chest xRay beforehand to be sure my body was ready.

    I hope you know you'll have lots of support here.
    There's even a "march surgeries" group for folks to know others are in the same situation as you are.

    Good luck!
  • Sorry for the reasons that bring you to our little group! I have read statistics and truck drivers are at the top of the list when it comes to professions that develop disc problems. I think you are wise to consider changing professions.

    Will you have someone to help you in the immediate weeks after you are released from the hospital, or are the kids old enough to run the household with your direction? A two level fusion is a BIG surgery, and you should plan on being laid up for awhile. I would say the first two weeks are tough. After that you may be able to take care of yourself, make a modest meal, etc.

    There are many threads on this back surgery board that discuss various problems relating to fusion. Take some time and read through those that interest you. There is also a "stickie note" at the top of this section that is entitled "Post Surgery Must-Haves" that you should look at. It will give you an idea of what types of things you will want to do to prepare your house for post-surgery, what items you may want to acquire to make recovery a bit easier, etc. The list is long. But it will get you thinking in those terms of life after surgery!

    Good luck to you.
  • Talk to your doctor regarding a return to your specific line of work. He/She would be the best person to consult about this.

    For something to consider, after a single-level fusion at L5/S1, my surgeon told me that after the initial recovery period where restrictions are much tighter, my lifelong limit for lifting anything is 35-40 pounds. Keep in mind, your doctor may set different limits.

  • We are surgery twins! I am having a L4/L5 decompression and posterior fusion, on 19th March.

    As DNice says, come along and join the March surgeries, where there are several of us awaiting surgery.

    How old are your children? They must be quite young is they are still at school.

    You will learn a lot about what you can expect after surgery. There are some good stories and some not so good, but I think it is best to go into this knowing that it can be a difficult recovery.

    If you have any questions, ask away, someone will be able to give you an answer.
  • SEEN neurosurgeon go for stress test 3/8 2 level fusion l4/l5 l5/s1 3/19 told me will be in hard brace for 3 months then start therpathy. then at 6 months might get released to go back to work with a 50 pound restriction. i told him i need a 75 pound restriction to return to my job. quess i have to work harder at getting myself up to my job restrictions. o well never say never semper fi.
  • After my two-level fusion it wasn't just the weight limit - it was the SITTING! Sitting sucks afterwards, it gives you flare-up and horrible aches and pains.

    I would suggest that you be sensible and only do what your surgeon allows. The last thing you want to do is to mess up what your surgeon fixes. All that effort, pain and surgery - wasted. We are talking your life here. If you can lay low for a year to save yourself a lifetime of disability would you do it? Don't go pushing the envelope just because you think you have to. Fusion is serious stuff.

    Now that I've played 'mother' to you - I hope you will forgive me. I'm just one recovering spiney and it's just my humble opinion.

    I do have to say that although I have complications I consider my surgery a wonderful success. I am not pain free, but I am not in agony either. I can also trust my bladder once again!

    Are you having a Thallium stress test? For your heart? If that's what it is then they are testing to see what the blood flow is like in your heart. Are there any blockages? Is everything flowing freely and strongly... (I just had my Thallium stress test 2 weeks ago)

    Good luck - and welcome to the board.

  • not sure how old your kids are but a while back I wrote what I did to prepare the family and kids for surgery, might give you some ideas for pre-surgery preparation
    Here's the link

    It's post number 82

    Good luck
  • thank you for your post saltzworks. the test i have to take is caleed LEXISCAN NUCLEAR STRESS TEST. QUESS I WILL FIND OUT 3/8 WHAT THAT IS. my kids are plenty old enough to help me out. as long as i dont do something stupid while waiting for them to get home each day.i have read the pre surgery tips and have myself as prepared as possible. 2 grabbers/slip-on shoes/shoe horn/sweat pants. and anixety. lol
  • SEEN cardiologist 3/11 he said my stress test came back normal. so im good to go for my 2 level lumbar fusion on 3/19. will be glad to get it done so i can start the healing process. and get back to work.
  • Great news,blazer!These last few days take extra good care of yourself,make sure your kids are set.Think about the fact you must have confidence in your surgeon,or you wouldn't be this far with him/her.The anxiety is the worst the last few days,but soon you will be waking up in recovery,and it will be over!We are here-Jeannie
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