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Stairs after PLIF?

BunnysnaxBBunnysnax Posts: 36
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:56 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello all!

Well, my date is set for December 5th, 2011. The neurosurgeon will do laminectomy, decompression and fusion of L4-L5 and L5-S1. :OO

My concern is that I live in a split-level home. 3 stairs to get to main level from front door and 10 stairs to get upstairs to where bedroom is.

I don't want to "camp out" upstairs as I'd surely go insane lying there by myself. I'd rather set up in the living room on the main floor.

So - I guess I'm asking - in your experience, when were you able to safely navigate stairs?

I'd really like to sleep in my bed at night (awesome bed), but then in the A.M., move downstairs to the recliner during the day/evening.

What'cha think? Like will I be able to go down the stairs like that after I'm released from the hospital stay? :??

(yeah, i'm gonna ask the neuro at my pre-op appt in Nov, but wanted to see what my fellow spineys thought in the meantime) :)))



  • I only had one level fused not two but, yes, I could manage stairs. Before leaving hospital after both my ops I was assessed to see that I could do stairs.

    To start with going up was harder than coming down but I managed both. Just don't expect to carry anything with you - you will need your hands on the bannister. Oh, my stairs are very steep but I still managed to haul myself up them!

    Good luck!


  • I appreciate your feedback! That is SUCH good news to hear. I was really worried that I wouldn't be able to and the configuration of my house, unfortunately, seems to have stairs all over the place!

    I figured even if I have to go down, one stair at a time, carefully, on my butt, then I'd have to do that! LOL!

    Also good to know that going up is harder. Every little bit of info is helpful!

    Did you have a good result from your procedures? Are you feeling like it was all worth it?
  • Hi again bunnysnax!

    I am sure you will manage with stairs just fine - it is amazing what you will manage with a little determination. I doubt you will be running up and down them though! I hope you were joking about coming down on your but LOL ;)

    If you have time/are able I really wish someone had told me to strengthen my abs pre surgery. Mine were weak and gave me quite a lot of pain once I was released to do exercise. I am only talking walking here but my lower abs throbbed like mad! Your back muscles take quite a lot of strain and post op it all comes down to your abs.

    As far as it all being worth it for me - I don't know yet! I am currently in recovery from having my hardware removed 4 weeks ago. It was infected and loose so had to come out. Unfortunately this infection has meant my recovery has been very up and down with more downs than ups to be honest. I often ended up back at square one in terms of pain coupled with fever and general ill health. I suppose that most of the time the pain I have is not as bad as before my fusion and so maybe it has been worth it. I am still in pain, just different, but I have to give myself time to recover from this latest surgery.

    Had you asked me if it was worth it back in the winter I would have said YES!!! It had seemed that the infection had cleared and I was pain free for getting on for 5 months. I mean totally pain free! I could do anything (except tumble tirns when swimming). I went sledging, went on holiday and walked all day, worked up to swimming a mile and a half a day, played Just Dance on the wii etc etc. I didn't have to think about whether I could manage to do things I just did them and never paid the price. So I have had a taste of the good life and am hoping to return to it soon!

    I really wish you the best of luck and hope you get pain free and can live the high life again!

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