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Set The Date

pascoflguyppascoflguy Posts: 18
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:51 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Set the date for my surgery today. Scared as hell. Rods, screws on 3 levels. L3-L4, L4-L5, L5-S1. Grafting from my hip, which he said would be VERY painful. I really appreciate reading all of your stories on here. My surgeon was VERY surprised at all of the questions that I asked. He told me that I would have to wear a bone graft device 4 hours a day for 9 months. This seemed a little long to me. What has been your experience with this? He said he would be able to bring my pain level, which is a constant 9,9.5 down to a 4.5. That would be great, on 60mg Opana (oxymorphone), 40mg percocet, along with 40mg baclofen, 800 mg celebrex, 2400 mg neurontin, 10mg valium and all the rest that go along with it. Has anyone been able to reduce their pain meds after? Also said that I would still have to continue with my pain management, and that the levels above would probably have to be done in about 10 years because of the added stress put on them. Hey, at least he got me to stop smoking! Thanks to all of you!


  • All I can tell you is from my experience. I am two weeks post op from a 2 level TLIF. As far as I can tell, all my pain is gone (my reason from surgery) I still have a lot of surgical/recovery pain. I was never on as many painkillers as you though. Also, I just got my bone stimulator today and I am supposed to wear it everyday for 30 minutes. It's programmed so I can't use it any longer and I am told it has 100 percent fusion rate. I am told I will be solidly fused within 6 months but they recommend using the entire 9 months to make the bone as dense as possible. Hope that helps. Good luck with your surgery!
  • Sounds like you and I are in the same boat. My surgery is scheduled for 3/22 and I'm starting to get nervous. I'm having an ALIF w/360 rotation to fuse L4/L5 and L5/S1. I currently take 10 mgs perco and 350 mgs soma 3 times a day. I have been getting epidurals in my lower back and cortisone in both my hips for 4 years with limited results. I have bilateral hip and leg pain and leg numbness/weakness. My left leg has been extremely weak which is odd because my herniations are on the right side. Other than the back injury, I am a healthy 33 yr old female.

    Unfortunately I work with a lot of people who have had back injuries and a few who have had surgeries. Luckily they are more than willing to share their experiences.

    #1 Male in his 40's had the same surgery I am having 2 years ago and is back to contstruction work. He was injured the same way I was, lifting a patient and gurney while working as a paramedic. He said the first year was sketchy just because he had to make sure he fused and it is extremely important to follow the exercise regimine.

    #2 Male in his 40's had a L5/S1 fusion 6+ years ago and a screw broke. Recently he had the ALIF 360 surgery to fix the screw. He said he wished he had done the ALIF in the beginning because the screw probably wouldn't have broken. For the recent surgery, he says the first 36 hours are excruciating. You and I are on the same med (percocet--although you take much more than I do) which means the post-op morphine may not help out much. My friend said it didn't help him at all. Percocet is a common post-op med, not a pre op! After 3 months of healing he is back to work as a Police Officer--full duty, which includes wearing that horrendous duty belt that weighs about 50-60 lbs. He also stressed the importance of the exercises they give you.

    Both the guys have said they have reduced their pain a lot and have almost stopped pain medication. They have days where they forget they even had back surgery because they are so pain free. The first guy said that he does still have oral medications just in case but he doesn't take them as much as he used to. =)

    #3 Male in his 50's had 2 discectomies within the last 3 years. He is actually in more pain than he was before and is going to try cortisone. For some reason his surgeon is trying to avoid fusing him. I think its because he has quite a few herniated discs and they are in random spots up and down his vertebre. He still takes a lot of medication.

    I wish you the best of luck. Keep in touch, you can personal message me if you want. =) Oh and congrats on quitting smoking, that stunts your growth!! Also, if you haven't already, check out the list on the forum page about things you will need post-op.

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