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2-level PLIF *** FIVE DAYS AGO *** update...

SueDSSueD Posts: 545
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:45 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I can't believe I'm actually sitting here posting this update!

I had surgery at 8.00am on Wednesday 14 July and they finished at 11.30am. I was up on the ward at 1pm and got up to use the commode (I felt a bit of an invalid, but refused a bedpan!!!) at 3pm.

I used a morphine hand-pump for the first day, which I could press at any time (and did!), but it was set so that I could not overdose. I had regular pain meds thereafter. I even had a shower unassisted on Thursday (though it was a walk-in shower, so was much easier to negotiate). If I lived nearer to the hospital, I could have gone home on Thursday - how quick would that have been! Instead, I left the hospital at 12noon on Friday and walked from the ward, down the lift, and out through the main doors to my hubby, waiting in the car. Admitedly, I was walking very tentertively. The physiotherapist had me walking up/down a flight of stairs the day after surgery (Thursday) and showed me some very basic exercises to do, then pronounced me fit for discharge.

I even phoned Tony (Straker) to let him know that I was in the land of the living and that I was doing well and felt really good considering.

The surgeon and his no. 2 came to visit me Wednesday evening and again on Thursday. I was even lead to another patient to tell him of my experience as he was considering similar surgery in the near future.

I cannot believe how well it's gone so far. It is sore, but it's more from the operation. When I travelled home, I was told to get out and walk after 20-30 minutes, but to be honest, with the pillows, cushions etc. it was quite comfortable and I held on to the grab handle for dear life as I didn't want to 'bend' with the car when it went round corners etc. I did not have to stop at all for the one and a half hours it took to get home. I was amazed by that.

I've been downstairs for my meals and have dealt with my own personal cares - apart from having a shower this morning, my hubby was there just to make sure I was OK getting in/out (as we have a shower over the bath and I thought it may have been problematic the first time). He has since put a suctioned handle there for me to use independently in future.

I am still taking regular meds given to me on discharge. A district nurse is coming tomorrow for a wound check and again on 28 July to remove the staples. The scar is no bigger than the ones I had for a discectomy (I've had 2 about 5 years ago) - and to top it all, the surgeon has even managed to line up my tattoo as best as he can (a tree which I had to cover the previous scars) - how good is that?

To be honest, the thing I notice the most is that on the journey home I did not have the back pain that I would have had from sitting in the car for so long. Neither do I get it when I'm here typing at the PC. I have an advantage I suppose that I can type pretty quickly - after 30 years experience as a PA/secretary - so when you see how much I've typed, please don't think I've been here an hour - it's only taken me 20 minutes, which isn't bad, sitting for that long after spine surgery.

I really hope, as the weeks unfold, that I can keep posting positive feedback about my surgery experience. I did notice pain in my left foot today, but to be fair, I haven't - how would you say, eer, 'been anywhere' for well over 5 days and have eaten for England, so that might have something to do with it. I'm taking meds for that as well, but nothing is helping at the moment - I'm sure I'll feel even more comfortable afterwards, ha! I jolly well hope so!

Just wanted to let you all know how things are going - and so far I'm delighted. I'll continue to do as I'm told as I don't want to jeopardise their good work. I start physio (at my local doctor's surgery) in two weeks and will have a telephone consultation in two weeks from the hospital as they don't want me to travel to Stockton on Tees so soon.

I'm going now, but if there are any mistakes in my typing, then I apologise, I'm not going to check it just now! If you've got any questions, please feel free to ask and I'll do my best to answer them.

I'm a very happy bunny (so far!!!).

Bye for now
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 !!


  • How very wonderful! It comes across in your writing that you are pleased. I wish you the very best in your recovery.

  • What a wonderful post! I'm so happy for you and hope you just continue to do well and get stronger. I'm particularly interested in your experience since I'm scheduled for a 2-level (L4-S1) PLIF in September. I'm told it will be a 5-hour surgery and I'll be in the hospital for 5 days, so am not sure how to compare it with your experience. Mine is a scoliosis correction as well as fusion, so maybe that has something to do with it. In any case, I'll be watching your progress and thinking about you each and every day, wishing you the very best recovery!

    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
  • What wonderful news! Hope you continue to improve daily like my son has!!

    P x
  • That's good news you're healing with not too much pain.Is the numbness gone now if you had that before the surgery? Take care and all the best with your 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
  • I didn't have any numbness at all after the op. The pain in my left foot has gone (so far) which is brill. I had DDD, foraminal stenosis and osteoarthritis in my facet joints (which were crushed up and used to fill the cage, so hopefully I haven't got that anymore either!)

    It's 8 in the morning and I'm going down for my breakfast.

    Thanks for your comments guys!!
    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 it was at level L5-S1, L4-L5, OK. Bye again
    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 !!

  • It sounds like you are doing extremely well! :D

    Isn't it a wonderful relief once the surgery is over and you are recovering well?

    I hope that your recovery will continue as well as it has started. :-)

    Keep sharing your good news with us.
  • great to hear a positive outcome hear so far. Thanks for taking the time during your recovery to let us know. Just what I needed to hear while I await my upcomming TLIF
  • It's great to hear you're doing so well after your surgery. Just remember to not over-do. I had a three-level lumbar fusion (L3-S1) and I'd say it took me about a year and a half to finally feel a bit like "normal". Still a bit stiff, but the comparison in pain levels before and after surgery is dramatic. I could barely move before surgery. Now, I've just come in from tossing the ball about a thousand times for my dog, picked berries in the yard, and did a little weeding, and I feel capital! Sometimes there are happy endings.


    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • i am really happy that all went well and its an inspiration for anyone contemplating this kind of surgery .myself included .please keep recovering as well as you are doing and DONT over do it even if you feel that you could do ...you may want to try swimming when your doctor gives you the OK to do so .take care sue
    tony x
  • That's WONDERFUL news and thank you for sharing with us. There are so many people here who need encouragement as they are contemplating surgery.

    Sounds like you had a top surgeon and I was surprised that you were only in the hospital for two days.

    I hope you will continue to recover as well as you've started. Looking forward to hearing more from you over the next few weeks/months.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • Hi sue

    This is great, sounds like Mr.K has done a good job. I hope you continue to recover well and begin to get your life back.

    So pleased you have updated being that we have the same surgeon. Im off to see him in 2 weeks :), hopefully put me on list as i originally paid private to get a treatment plan. he suggests PLIF L5-S1 and a spacer in l4-L5 as that is on its way our too.

    Very interested in your recovery, please continue update when you feel well enough. Also, I'll pm you back, i hadn't noticed your message in time, and by time i saw it you had had your op!soo sorry.

    Caroline x
    L5/s1 discectomy & decompression 2009
    ALIF l5/s1 2011
    Awaiting X-ray & consultant to see if fused, but experiencing a lot of pain again :( 2013
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    Glad to see you are doing well but be sure to take it easy and listen to your body!!
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
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