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July Surgeries

MJMcDevittMMJMcDevitt Posts: 71
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:44 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Well after 2 years of this Bullsh*t, I have finally pulled the trigger and I am scheduled for "Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion of L5-S1 and Decompression of L4-L5, L3-L4 and possible L2-3" on July 16th.

Symptoms are: Sept 08 got up from a chair and "wrapped" my leg around chair leg, something popped. Intense pain in right and left legs and severe left foot drop. Since then I have had a Laminectomy of L3-4 right for siacitia pain (very successful). I am not able to stand for more than a couple minutes. Can only walk a 100 +- feet. Have had about 6 sessions of epidural injections, none successful. Also had 3 level Rhizotomy that only gave me relief for 2 days.

I am 49 years old and unable to work (construction electrician). I was lucky and did get SSDI.

I am reading this blog and I do appreciate all the information I have received. My doctor has said that after surgery I am going to a rehabilitation hospital for "at least 2 weeks and probaly 4 weeks". WOW!!

I hope that I have as much success as I have seen here with other fusion people. I am scared, but if I wasn't I think that would be strange. As the days tick by and I get closer to surgery I just try to think about the things that I will be able to do again. Like travelling with my wife, and standing and walking without pain. That helps with the jitters!!

Any one else getting surgery in July???


  • I had TLIF L5 S1 with rods n posts and spacer. That is the only area. I am 3 weeks out today and would do it all over again. I still have some pain but nothing like before.

    Good Luck
  • I was going to start the thread about July Surgeries yesterday but got distracted and forgot.

    My son is having minimally invasive ALIF & PLIF July 2nd. He has been getting progressivley worse over the last 2 years. He also has both cervical & thoracic problems but they will have to wait.

    I live in England & he lives in South Florida. I leave next Mon 28th June to spend 5 weeks with him. He is a single father of 2 boys so I will be busy!

    Very excited to see them as it has been 2 1/2 years since I last hugged them! Thank goodness for Skype.

    My Brother just had a discectomy and my Mom has back problems too from Osteoporosis and has just recently had Kyphoplasty. My husband's back is "out" right now but he seems to improving daily. So many people I love have back problems.

    Good luck to everyone having surgery this month and next. May you all live an almost pain free life afterwards.

    Peggy x
  • I hope your surgery is a success and a speedy recovery. Check out surgery pre-op must haves in the surgery section and get a grabber and high toilet seat.
    Best wishes to your son PeggyM. Prayers for your son's healing and recovery. 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
  • For the very kind wishes. You are such a supportive member of Spine Health and we all appreciate it. I have the list and will certainly be seeing to it as soon as I get to Florida!

    You are Canadian aren't you? I am too. Born in Saskatoon but most of the family lives around

    MJM...here's hoping everything goes exactly the way you are hoping it will and you will get your life back. I believe that thinking positively is VERY important.

    Wonderful to hear you are feeling so much better Connie. May you continue to improve.

    P x
  • I had a PLIF with decompression on L4/L5 on 19th March and am doing well in my recovery. I am so much better than before surgery :-)

    You will be glad that you found us. There is a wealth of spinal information here and lots of lovely people who will help and support you along the way.
    Any questions? Just ask away - there is bound to be someone who will be able to share their experience.

    Your son and grandsons are very lucky to have such a caring grandmother/mum who can put her life on hold to help out. I expect that this will be a special few weeks for all of you. It will be hard during the recovery, but your help will make it much easier. I suspect that you will have some very happy memories afterwards. :-)
    Have you read about useful items to help your son, and how to prepare the house to help in his recovery?

  • I so want my son to have his life back. He has missed doing so many things with his boys and struggles to give them an "ordinary" life. He could really do with a bit of good luck.

    Good to hear you are on the mend Jelly. I have "the list" to help me stock up on things to make recovery a bit easier for him. So much great info on this site!

    P x
  • I'll be having a 2-level PLIF on Wednesday 14 July - not long to go now. I've experienced back/leg pain now for 5 years and was originally told "There's nothing more that can be done" and "You'll get worse as you get older". Great! I have got worse as time goes by, that's true, but it isn't true that nothing more can be done.

    To anyone who experiences pain on a daily basis and has tried ALL the conservative treatments and different medication regimes to try and combat pain - DON'T GIVE UP!!!

    If you are not convinced by one specialist - go to another one for a second opinion. In the end, if I can remember, I saw 6 different consultants before asking to be referred to this last one. I have confidence and trust in this new surgeon and his team and am aware of all the pro's and con's of PLIF surgery. I'm not saying it will be a walk in the park (far from it from what I understand from other 'spineys'), but ultimately I am hopeful that I will get my life back (if I do everything I'm suppose to do and don't run before I can walk so-to-speak).

    I am anxious about having such an invasive procedure (I think it wouldn't be normal not to be), but can now see light at the end of the tunnel.

    For anyone considering surgery, booked for surgery, or in the process of recuperating - I wish you all success in your road to a [more] painfree life!!!! BRING IT ON !!!!!!!
    2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!
  • That's how I feel also. I want my life back! I want to be able to go on vacation and WALK with my wife. If I can do that after surgery I will consider it successful!
  • I hear you!! Positive thinking is so very important so keep good thoughts.

    Peggy x

  • Your son's turn tomorrow! :SS

    I hope that you will have a good day together today and that everything is prepared for the recovery once he gets home again.

    Make sure that you remember to look after yourself along the way too. :-)

    I hope that the surgery will be uncomplicated and that his recovery journey will be a smooth one.
    After tomorrow, he will be on the road to a better life. I look forward to the day when you can say that he is so pleased that he went ahead with surgery. :-)
  • We are taking the boys to the movies today. It is so hot here in Florida that most of our activities are indoors.

    At 1:00 PM he starts his Bowel Cleanser...fun! His biggest problem is hunger! I have been feeding him hot broths and lots of jello trying to fill him up a bit. When he gets home I will be making him all of his favourite foods!

    If he does as well as Beaver's husband we will all be pleased for him!

    Peggy x
  • I had my L5S1 tlif fusion done June 7th and could not be any happier. I was walking 6 hours after the surgery and woke up with no leg pain or sciatia for the first time in 2 years. Now I am 4 weeks out and started to get numbness in left calf (not as bad as before)and sciaita that comes and goes. It is not real bad but seems to happen more at night.
    I stopped all pain meds after week one and now take one Loratab and a tizanidine at bedtime. If 5 hours of sleep is all I get I am happy with that. Just not being in constant pain is good enough for me.
    The funny thing is I have more mobility now than before, makes no sense to me but I will take it.
  • you are doing well Mike! I know what you mean about getting 5 hr of sleep. I don't even have any back or neck problems and I have trouble sleeping sometimes.

    Remember to follow your doctors advice. Do not over do it! I know it is difficult when things that need doing rear their ugly head but you don't want to be back under the surgeon's knife so take it easy.
    Nothing is as important as your health! You are very early in your recovery.

    I hope you continue to improve. Take it easy!

    Peggy x
  • Just one more week until my surgery and I am starting to be jittery. Seeing all the "good" stories on this blog really helps.

    Peggy, how is your son. Have they done the 2nd surgery yet?

  • but he is so much better! He is moving around and says it still amazes him after all these years that he has NO pain in his legs or back.

    I imagine we will hear something next week. He doesn't seem as upset about this surgery as he did the other. I think because he now knows what to expect.

    Your time is nearing. Think about how wonderful it will be to be pain free!

    I will be watching to see how you are. The first few days will be difficult but after that you will continue to improve rapidly.

    Good luck Matt and don't hesitate to ask questions.


  • Not long to go now. I expect you are feeling rather nervous, but hopefully a week or so after surgery, you will be really glad that you had it. :-)

    I used to say that I wanted my life back. Now I feel that I have got it back! :D
    It feels so good, and such a relief to be on this side of surgery.
    I can honestly say that the anticipation was worse than the actual surgery. I had been prepared to face the worst, but very happy to find that is wasn't nearly as bad as I had feared. And the surgery has done what was intended. <:P

    I hope and pray that you have the same experience. :-)
  • Hi Matt! Hopefully these next days will go by quickly.

    Try to spend the days doing things that you enjoy. I know that can be difficult when you are not feeling well, but maybe watching the world cup finale, going out to dinner with friends, movies, etc.

    I was really nervous before my surgery too, which really surpriced me since I had 2 other surgeries with the same surgeon.

    Hang in there. If it gets too bad you can call your doc and they can give you something to help with the anxiety.

    I asked for it as soon as I got to post op. It really helped! The next thing I remember, I woke up and it was the next day! My husband says I was happy when I came out of post op and walked the hallway. I just don't remember it which is fine with me! :)
  • Hi Matt,

    Welcome to the board! Wanted to add my thoughts that you have an uneventful surgery and have an easy recovery. Please let us know when you can how you are doing.

  • Thanks everyone. I will make it, just getting some pre-surgery nerves! I fully anticipate a successful surgery! God will guide the surgeons hands!

    Hopefully he will hold my hand during my recovery.


  • He certainly helped me through it, and gave me His amazing peace. :-)
  • He will definately hold your hand and carry you if needed!

    Hang in there and be sure to do something fun each day! :)
  • with much the same surgery and he is pain free for the first time in several years. He was in such awful pain before surgery that this is almost unbelievable. Hope your surgery turns out as well. Just go in with a positive attitude, get through the first week after and life improves greatly.
  • I had a double discectomy @ C5-C6 and C6-C7 this past Wednesday July 7th. My recovery hasn't been exactly graceful. Three days in the hospital with pain and nausea. I wish I had been on this site before surgery, but the knuckleheaded tough guy thought he could hack it.
    I'm home now and the pain I used to have is gone. I'm still not comfortable sleeping, but I have faith it will get better. My voice is gone and I hope it returns.
    If anyone cares I will update as my recovery continues. Hopefully I can be of some help to anyone about to go through the same thing.

  • Welcome to Spine Health. Do stay around so we can support you through this. (Even if you are a knuckleheaded tough guy! Lol!)

    Im glad that the old pain in your neck has gone now, and it is just the surgery pain you have to deal with. I wish you well in your recovery :-)

    My question:
    You say your surgery was a double discectomy.
    When did you have the double disc replacement?
    Did your disc herniate after ADR surgery?
    I thought they removed the disc and replaced with the artificial one.
    Please educate me here about disc replacements. :-)

    Hoping that you have a smooth recovery now you are on this side of surgery. It will take a while, and you need to follow the rules you have been given, but you will get there. :D
  • Hi jballgame!

    Sorry to hear you had a rough time in the hospital! I did too so I understand how hard it can be.

    Hopefully now that you are home you wil begin to feel better.

    When I first got home I looked at the days/nights in 4 hour blocks as I could have pain medication every 4 hours. In that block of time, I tried to eat a little, sleep a little and walk a little.

    I, too, had a hard time getting comfortable as I had 3 big incisions!

    Keep posting and letting us know how you are doing. The support that I have received and the friendships I have formed have been invaluable!

    Hang in there! Wishing you the best!
  • And panic is starting to set in. Not much sleep last night and don't anticipate much tonight!

    My wife and I went to "Fusion Class" at the doctors office last night. I knew 90%+ of what she was telling us just by being on this site! All the info on this site is great.

    Hope to be communicating as soon as I can to let you know what happens!

  • This stage of waiting for your surgery is very nerve wracking. Not long now until you are over on this side, and can just concentrate of the healing and recovery.

    I hope that you are managing to have a good day and able to treat yourself with something you enjoy. Eat a favourite meal. :-)

    Hoping that your surgery goes smoothly and that you will wake up comfortable. Things will be tough for a while, but then you should start to feel better and will know that you are on the way to a more comfortable life.

    Good that your wife went with you to the Fusion Class, so she knows what to expect too.

    We'll be here, waiting to hear from you how things went. :-)
    I'll be praying for you.
  • Just 24 short little hours and you will be on the road to your new and improved life!

    I think it is awesome that your surgeon has a fusion class! :)

    I was so nervous before my surgery! If you can, try not to worry about sleeping, read a book, watch a movie or just some TV. I tried to take the pressure off of myself to sleep the night before. I figured I wouldn't be able to, and I knew I would be sleeping off and on the next several days.

    I watched TV and played on my laptop!

    Can't wait to hear how you are doing! Wishing you all the best!
  • I wish they had one for my son! What a great idea!

    Won't be long now and you will be on your way to a new life. I am surprised how much time my son is awake. I thought he would spend all his time sleeping.

    We will be waiting for your updates!

    P x
  • I am off to see the Wizard, I hope he can give me a new back!


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