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Getting L4-S1 fusion on 9/22/2010

pzochppzoch Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:47 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am scheduled for fusion surgery on 9/22/10.
just curious about how long to heal and getting up and about again.
Was wondering if there were any tricks or special items that would be helpful after surgery.

Thanks, Pat


  • I had L4-S1 tlif with soft stabilization at L3-L4 five weeks ago now. I had some complications post op in the hospital-the worst being CSF leak, but was still up moving and walking the day after surgery. I am just now feeling like I can move around without a whole lot of pain. Use help from others. You can look on post op must haves under this forum. Most important is a grabber and elevated toilet seat. You will also need a walker for the first few weeks. The recovery is not a cupcake, but be sure to follow doctors orders. Don't over due things! I hated the staples and felt a lot better once they were out.
    Good luck Pat!
  • What KIND of fusion will you be getting? A PLIF (from the back) an ALIF (from the front) etc. While everyone is diferent with their recoveries I can tell you about mine. You can click on my name to get more info on me.

    My 2 level PLIF (L2-L4) was a long, rough recovery, in hospital 5 days, needed help getting in and out of bed, slept alot those first 2 weeks at home (thank God for pain meds!)

    My 2 level ALIF (L4-S1) was a walk in the park compared to the PLIF. I was up and walking around the next morning, my surgeon was thrilled about this.
    I had prepared the house for my recovery: lots of meals in the freezer, things I needed put at waist level, etc. Get yourself a grabber for sure!

    With both surgeries I didn't need a walker, used a cane for about a week with the PLIF, didn't need the cane at all with the ALIF. But like I said, we are all different in our recoveries.

    Hope that was helpful. You found a great site with lots of support from its members.

    Take care,

  • Wishing you the very best with your upcoming fusion. As others have said, evryone is different and there are so many different types of fuion with different types of recoveries.

    I had a 360, both anterior and posterior. I had some complications in the hospital~ pneumonia/plurecy and 3 blood transfusions. I was in the hospital of 6 nights.

    I started PT on day 14. Went back to work after 15 weeks and am now 6 1/2 months post. It has been a long recovery and have had to work hard to get to where I am. But, little by little, week by week, I am getting my life back!

    Wishing you all the best!

  • Welcome to Spine Health Pat!

    I would like to add my best wishes for your fusion on Wednesday.

    Everyone's recovery goes differently. It all depends on what physical condition you are in before surgery, how invasive the surgery ends up being, how much medication you are on before surgery and various others things.

    I would definately say you need at least 1 grabber. I had 3; one downstairs, one in the bedroom and one in the bathroom. (I managed to borrow 2 of them)
    I didn't need the raised toilet seat or the walker.
    Somehow I managed to walk the day after surgery without any aid at all. =D> My physio was amazed!!
    I did have a satin under sheet which really helped when it came to turning over.
    I also had a shower chair and bath board to help me get into our bath (shower is over it)
    I bought one of the towelling turbans, so when I washed my hair, which exhausted me, I could put that on (no bending needed) and lie on the bed to rest before drying it.

    Do keep asking us questions Pat, and come back and let us know how you do. You will be so glad that you found us. The support we all receive here is a life-saver at a very difficult time. :H

    Looking forward to getting to know you better. :-)
  • Good luck with the surgery. Been there done that x2. You will do fine. Depends on pain tolerance and don't be afraid to use the pain meds. Don't wait until it is unbearable before you take them. Don't rush recovery. It will all work out.
  • I wished more than once that I had soap on a roap. Now, I know why that is popular.

    Also before you can use that get the liquid soap in bottles and many of them.

    When you get that shower in a few days, your going to love that :)

    Use the shampoo if you don't get this in time.

    My poor husband picks up the bar everytime :)

    Sitting on a pillow when you sit at the table.

    Also now that I bring up the sitting at the table.....
    While you are at the table do not reach for the salt and pepper or anything else!!!

  • You have reminded me that I had a revolving seat on my chair at my place at the table. It meant that I didn't have to try to tuck my chair in.

    I would just back onto it, and then spin round so my legs went under the table. Because it raised me up, I had one of those trays with a cushion under it, to raise up my plate. I could pull the tray closer if I needed to. I also used to sit there to do any writing or reading when I got fed up lying down. It worked well for me. :-)
  • I wish you all the best for your surgery...
    Ive had 5 levels fused in both cervical and lumbar regions and also an artifical disk at L4/5 in the past 3 years and each recovery time has been different...Be guided by your Dr as to what your restrictions are now and later as everyone is different..

    Let us all know how your getting on.
  • I was wondering If anyone knew if there was any other good sites about the fusion and what pain meds are the best when I get home from hospital nervous but happy to finally get some relief been a year of pain waiting for this thanks all
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