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Spinal Fusion coming up

RTgirl2011RRTgirl2011 Posts: 512
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:59 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am having a L4/L5 fusion. I am wondering if there are any Respiratory Therapists or Nurses who have had the same procedure. When did you return to work? My job is a night in the hospital and its not to demanding. Thanks for any advice.

Discectomies 05/08 and 04/11, fusions L4-5 Feb 9,2012 and L3-L4 June 28,2012, Staph infection washout 3/2/2012, Bulged L5-S1. SCS trial on January 17th, 2014, which was a success! Permanent SCS on February 20th.


  • Hello Jennifer!

    Welcome to Spine Health! :)

    I am an RN and have just had the first of two fusions to complete a 360 degree fusion. I had my L4-S1 done, ALIF first and then this Thursday, 1/19 I will have my second to complete it, the PLIF portion. My injury was work related and I was off work on workers comp for one year prior to surgery.

    My surgeon told me that for a 360 degree fusion and because I work as an RN I should expect being off a minimum of 6 months after my PLIF (this Thursday). At this point, my recovery has not been easy, it's been riddled with complications so the next surgery will determine when I can return to work.

    At this point, I have new pain from surgery but have minimal pre-surgery pain. It's very different. I did wake up with some new numbness to my left thigh and immediately after surgery my left leg was weak. It has since recovered quite a bit. They say it takes anywhere from 6 months to a year to know if nerve damage will be perm.

    Anyway, didn't mean to digress from your question! I don't really know the exact answer or am at that point in my journey yet. I just wanted to post so you know that there are other health care professionals on the board who have had the surgery. We are all at varying degree's of healing and you will find everyone's story and journey/recovery are very different.

    Best of luck to you and again, welcome to Spine Health :)

  • so far i can't comment on if its been a success or not but my consultant told me that it would take 3 years ..yes i said years to recover from .at the moment all i can do is shower {with help} and sit on my recliner .i can walk a little way .but things like appetite have all but disappeared,i can't get comfy in bed and i still need the pain killers .even though i had on the the uk's finest consultants i am NOT sure i have done the right thing .i have been waiting 13 years for this operation .so i kind of went along with it {a bit like a wedding that your not too sure is going to last!}.my consultant told me that its likely to take 3 years to heal and i will have some very dark days ..so far he has been wright.i have no sensation in both feet and feel ill all the time .a fusion is a massive operation .proceed with caution .{if i knew all the facts and just how painful it would had been i would not have gone through with it }
    tony {UK}
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
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