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Hi--- I am new---Spinal Stenosis....

Tami715TTami715 Posts: 5
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:50 AM in New Member Introductions
Hi Everyone,
I am new to this forum... I am 35 yr old - I was diagnosed with spinal stenosis last year and I have scheduled my surgery for 2-7-11.

Lumbar Laminectomy from L3 to S1
Posterior instrumented spinal fusion L4-5 and L5-S1
Non- Instrumented fusion L3-4

Can someone walk me through it? Recovery- what to expect?

I have never been sick, never had surgery and I am pretty scared. I have a two year old and it is impossible to keep up with her which is why I am having the surgery.... the pain in my left leg is unbarable, numbness, heat, tingling you name it. I can't walk, sit, stand -- I have had 4 shots, PT, drugs... and nothing has helped-- this is my only hope....



  • I can relate to you and the type of surgery you need. Each person is different when it comes to pain in the back. Getting things ready before surgery is what you should be doing. The layout of your recovering room. Stocking up on necessities, house is clean, After my back surgery my leg didnt hurt anymore. Stay as active as possible without exhausting your self. Walk as often as you can too. :)
    2005-ACDF with Corpectomy at C3-C-5.
    2006-L4-L5 diskectomy.
    2009-Cervical laminectomy at C3.
    Steroid injections series x 4.
  • With what sounds like a big surgery Tami - hope all goes well for you! I got alot of info on here from just typing key words into the search button on top and then reading all the articles and forum posts on the subject. Especially helpful was the list of "must haves" that really helped us with setting things up before the surgery so I would ready afterward.
  • Welcome to Spine-Health.

    I'm sorry you have to have such a big surgery, but hopefully it'll get you back on the road to being the mommy you want to be.

    My surgery wasn't as extensive as yours, I only had a one-level TLIF (fusion and decompression) for stenosis and facet problems at L4/5. I won't sugar-coat it - it's a painful recovery.

    The first few days aren't too bad as you've still got anesthesia in you back, but be prepared for some significant pain in the first few weeks when you get home. Hopefully your pain will be managed while you're at the hospital and if it's not, don't be afraid to speak up. There will be nothing they can do about how painful it is to do your first logroll out of bed post-op, but it doesn't last, just difficult but quick.

    At home, keep up on you medications - take them on schedule and have someone help you take them on time if necessary (i.e. wake you up even to take pain meds even if you're sleeping well). It's imperative to stay ahead of the pain when you get home - if it get ahead of you, it's hard to get back under control.

    You'll want to start walking when you can and they'll start having you walk while you're in the hospital. For me, the bleeping PT guy came in twice a day post-op to walk me around and even took me to a room to see if I could get in and out of a car, climb stairs, get into the bathtub, etc. (They had this really cool room with half a car in it, a little mini grocery store, kitchen, porch, dining table, bathroom, etc. It was so cool.)

    Anyway - I digress. You will want to start walking at home post-op as you can. Start with small distances and work up to longer and longer distances as you can. Walking is the best thing you can do as a spiney. I still walk every day.

    As Patti said, look at the "Post-op must-haves" list in the surgery section (it's a sticky at the top) and see what might be most important. The list is long and you won't need everything, but for me some of the most important ones were a toilet-seat riser, a walker, a grabber, pillows, satin pjs for log-rolling out of bed, a big fluffy blanket (really good for mental health, especially this time of year when it's cold), and having someone around to help you with meds, meals and any other needs that arise.

    I know how scary it is. I had never been in a hospital before either when I had to have my 3-lvl ACDF, but things move really fast once you're in the hospital. They tend to move fast post-op as well, but you just have to know what you need, take your meds and have help for a while. You'll do fine, I'm sure of it.

    Oh, and if you're really freaking about it, talk to your surgeon. Mine gave me Xanax for the weeks leading up to surgery to keep my nerves calmer - I was totally freaking. Turned out, it wasn't as bad in reality as it was in my mind, but it is what it is - spine surgery is scary.

    Take care and feel free to PM me any time if there's anything I can do for you.

  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. you have been given alot of good advice already.. be sure and have a good look around and make yourself at home.. stop by anytime, there is ususually always someone home. good luck with your pain control! Jenny :)
  • They will have you up walking right after surgery. I just had mine in Oct. I did not have a fusion however. Just make sure you have someone to help you at home. Getting out of bed is difficult for a couple of weeks. Luckily my bed is next to something I can use to pull myself up. Check to see if you have something next to your bed to help you with this also. Two weeks after my surgey, after my help had left and we thought I was good, my whole right leg locked up in the worse pain I had ever felt, they told me this was normal. It lasted for 4 days, I couldn't put any pressure on my leg at all and had to stay in bed. My brother had the same problem after his surgery and he had to be put in traction. Be prepared for lots of pain here and there. You will not feel much until about the 3rd day. They fill your spine with the pain meds that help you for a couple of days.
    It is however not as bad as it sounds. Everyone is different. Some people wake up and feel better than ever with no problems. Hopefully this will be your outcome.
  • Hi,
    It nice to know that I am not alone... I appreciate all of the information you have given me... I will see if maybe there is something I can do about the bed situation... thankfully my mom will be here so she might be able to help me.

    Thx again... I am glad you are doing well... ;-)
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,865
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Tami,
    I had a couple of walkers - my city has a community closet that you can borrow them from for free - and I kept one stationary by the side of my bed and used it to pull myself up - I need that for the first 3 weeks or so. I had another one by my couch that I used in the same way.
  • Well --- all cleared for surgery--- 2/7/11 I have to be at the hospital at 515am... wow, that is early!
    I will update everyday when I get home... I know god will protect me and I will be fine!

    Thx for all of the well wishes....

  • :) Hi,
    I see your surgery is today, just sending out some good luck, and good vibes!!
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