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Anyone with any 360 advice?

fishinwidow98ffishinwidow98 Posts: 54
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:46 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Pre-op today has me MUCH calmer but with multiple questions. I get the whole anterior approach and I understand all the issues with that now. The GS was awesome in drawing pictures (even with my background I am still thankful for the illustrations because it SOUNDS more complex than it looks!). I am wondering how they'll "flip" me over to get to the posterior? Also my consent form mentioned "instrumentation" & that was also never discussed with me. Will that have to be removed after I fully fuse? I worry about the healing process since there will be incisions front and back. How easy will it be to get in and out of the recliner? I would REALLY like to hear from someone who's had this done if possible. In discussing this with the GS today I feel almost like a freak of nature. When I told people what I am having done I get looks like I told them I am having a toe transplant! Is this THAT rare? Is it as complex as it sorta seems or is it really not that big of a deal?

This site has been a HUGE resource to me & I appreciate all the help I can get!!


  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,732
    My first fusion was a 360. It's not that uncommon. And most fusions have some kind of instrumentation. Harrington rods and pedicle screws were used on me. You will need lots of help as you won't be able to do anything for your self.Or even want to for that matter. My anterior was done first and 3 days later they did the posterior. I donated my own bone from hip for my fusion as did I donate my own blood. If you haven't read the Things you need befor surgery. read it. I think you can type it in the blue search box at the top of the page. And several threads should come up. Choose one to click on If you don't get comprehensive info. Then click on another till you do.
    Good luck, Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,732
    Most instrumentation in most cases doesn't have to be removed.
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,732
    Click on post op must haves by saltworks. And there are many others with very useful info.
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • Thanks for the info! I have heard horror stories about grafting from my own hip so we are going synthetic. They mentioned cages as instrumentation? I will have both done same day which is awesome because if I had to wait 3 days in between I would probably run away. My concerns are all much less about the surgery than the recovery. I copied the "post op must have" list and already have half my bags packed. I bought a bunch of books & am headed out to buy more this weekend. My recliner will be delivered Sat. My cheer moms are bringing us dinner the first week & I am freezing casseroles as we speak. I just feel like I'm forgetting something!

    Thank you!
  • Do you have help, at home, lined up for the first 3-5 wweeks after you get home?

    360 fusion surgery is somewhat rare in the sense that a lot more PLIF, and TLIF fusions are done. It really depends on what's wrong with your spine and how the doctor see's fixing it. As far as flipping you is concerned a better word would be roll. The operating room personal pick you up and turn you over. You could very well end up with a bruise here and there from them doing it. A lot depends on your weight with how easy your are to flip.
  • I did work in the OR briefly and am aware about moving pt's but I was just wondering if there was a special table or what. I am hoping since I am having surgery where I work that they'll be somewhat sympathetic... hoping!!!
  • I did the bone graft from my own hip and I couldn't even tell you where they did it! I had no specific pain or discomfort that I could even point out. Quite honestly, I don't even know where on my hip they took the bone. I wanted to mention it because I believe that studies have shown that you have a better chance of fusing using your own bone. I don't know that for a fact, and I can't recall where I read it, so please take it with a grain of salt.

  • My doc is so anti-own graft it isn't funny. He is definitely using synthetic although I heard that somewhere about your own bone being better. If this wasn't a workers comp thing I think it would be easier to get my ideas out there but no one seems to listen to me so I am trying to figure out how to make due with what they give me!

    Thanks Dave!
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    As for books, it took at least 3 months before I even attempted to read. The medications used to get pain relief made reading (which I usually love) not something I could do. Even if I wanted to I'd nod off, forget what I had read, etc. I was in the hospital for 7 days but most of it is a blur due to medications, fatigue, etc. I even had my husband bring my netbook to the hospital and I only logged on once to put an update on this site. Other than that I wasn't interested at all.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,732
    I've had both in different surgeries. The synthetic worked just fine. I think the basket will mean less surgery time. And less invasive than rods and screws. But make no mistake, this is a very challenging surgery. So be as prepared as you can. You just won't feel like or be capable of doing much. And FOLLOW orders!
    If you don't you WILL pay!
    Good luck, Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • 6 months ago, yesterday, was my 360. While I heard my surgeon say initally 6-12 months and then after surgery said 12-18 months, I thought....hmmm, not ME!

    But, I have learned that this is a long journey and it seems everyone has some sort of bump along the road. My surgeon was great with telling me it would happen and to try not to get too upset, as it is expected.....

    This forum has been a life saver, I don't know if I could do it without everyone here!

    With a 360, it is difficult to move at first. I kept the head of my bed elevated. I was in the hospital for 6 nights. Before the surgery, I bought an elevating wedge pillow at bed, bath and beyound, as well as satin sheets to help with bed mobility.

    I don't have a recliner, so that I can't speak to.

    I had a ton of abdominal swelling and still do. I tried to plan ahead and bought some clothes a size bigger and baggy. But, they weren't big enough, so I had to sent hubby out for bigger so I could leave the hospital! LOL :)

    I still am in a size bigger which makes me very sad, but I am trying. I had my thyroid out years ago and as a result of my 360, my body stopped absorbing my medication. My level was 62 and they want it in the 150's.....

    I had my own bone graph and it is a big source of pain now, but my surgeon prefers it and I trust him....without it, you should have less pain!

    Feel free to ask any questions! We are here to support you on your journey!
  • I am a realist so hearing my docs sugarcoat everything has been nightmarish while trying to figure out what to expect. I KNOW it's going to be rough & that snags are inevitable. Seeing the ideas that recovery can be as little as 3 months seems fairy tale. 2 years seems obscene to me as well because I am such an active and strong willed person. I hope things go well.

    I have been preparing like crazy. I am NOT a recliner type of person but I bought one today. After my microdiscectomy I found that the position I was able to get into with most comfort mimics what I can get into with a recliner but make no bones about it--as soon as I am "better" it's gone lol.

    Thank you for the support and for sharing your ideas!
  • Sitting is still torture for me, but I can get into a relatively comfortable position in my recliner with my phone by my side and my laptop on a little work surface that sits on my lap. This has allowed me to work ~6 hours per day very consistently.

    Without my recliner, I would be lost!

    Best wishes with your surgery!
  • but my surgeon said that recovery would be around 2/3 years and the first year would be bloody awful.and in his words ..you will hate me and wonder why i had it done ...but it will be worth it in the long run ..you must find an excellent surgeon to do your operation as this is a major operation and not all surgeons are skilled enough to give a good result .so get recomendations .i know that you dont live in the uk so theres no point in giving you the name of my surgeon .but good luck finding one and keep us informed
  • It sounds like we'll be a few months apart, so I'll be watching your recovery with interest!

    My surgeon said 6-9 months recovery, no idea why the difference. I'll let you know when I find out more.

    I hope to be getting mine soon.
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