I just had a TLIF fusion at my L5-S1. Things are going great (I'm still foggy and tired, so sorry if this post rambles or has poor spelling). The surgeon said it was exactly as expected from the imaging, and exactly as easy as he thought it would be. I stayed one night at hospital with a LOT of pain for the first 10-ish hours after the surgery. I admit that some points in that first 10 hours were brutally painful. But not always, because I did somehow manage to walk with assistance twice. In the next 12 hours I improved rapidly, and I also had a good PT session. In PT we focused specifically on custom solutions to reduce pain in my specific daily routine. He asked about my house, workplace and hobbies This was VERY VERY useful. Around then, the nursing team had finally found my own personal cocktail for meds. Even in a short stay, they tried every med they could fit in and actually listened to my feedback. Very comforting! Toward the end of my stay I did a fair number of walks in the halls with no assistance. I was BEAT but I could almost feel the walk helping my muscles wake up and help with cover for the back's deficiencies a bit. After discharge, we stopped at the pharmacy and came home. I navigated the stairs well, and here I am. So, things are going exceptionally well... so far. Overall, I've had a great experience so far, and I hope my experience helps someone like me who is really anxious of the surgery and hospital.
Since I was most anxious about the surgery and hospital stay, I focused on that. But I am cautiously optimistic about the surgery results overall. I have had NO leg pain since the minute I woke up, and that is a real miracle. Since the low back pain from the surgery is still overwhelming my normal back pain, I am reserving judgment on how the fusion helped low back pain until I heal more.
Please pray that my luck holds, and if you find yourself scared of the surgery after reading SO MANY negative report please know that good surgeries and hospital stays do exist.
It will take years to ultimately tell if this surgery was really successful, but so far, so good!