Well, here I am 4 weeks postop. I want to give anyone who is preop a bit of hope. You can have a great experience and a smooth recovery with this surgery. It's really tough, but it can happen.
On 3/19 I underwent Anterior/Posterior L4-S1 Fusion, laminectomy, decompression, the whole nine yards. My surgeon inserted rods, screws, cage, etc. I was under for 6 1/2 hrs and spent 5 days in the hospital. I had the most amazing care imaginable. My surgeon visited me multiple times a day and my nurses were fantastic at making sure I was comfortable at all times. I can honestly say I was never in horrible pain. Of course getting up to walk the evening after surgery was the worst part, but I just sucked it up and did as well as I could. Throughout the week, I walked more and more with the physical therapist and even had to pass a little test which included climbing stairs before I could go home. The basics like walking, going to the restroom, getting out of bed, etc took sooooo much effort but it got better and better each day.
After day 5, I was allowed to go home. My first night was horrible--I was allergic to the percacet (sp?) and got violently sick over and over. This was the worst experience of the entire ordeal. It felt like a bomb was going off in my back each time I got sick. After getting my meds straightened out the next day it's been smooth sailing. I only used my walker for 1 day, I was determined to walk on my own after that. My left leg got 95% of it's feeling back...it's better than preop. Just a little numbness and stiffness in my toes and ankle, but it gets better daily. I walk at least a mile every day and wear my brace always unless I'm laying down. I started PT 2 weeks ago and have been doing my exercises daily to strengthen my core and gain my overall strength back....this has made a world of difference!! In the past 2 weeks, I have gained so much strength and I feel about 80% back to normal. Pretty good for only 4 weeks out!! YAY! I only take 1 vicadin in the morning and 1 before bed and I feel no pain. That is 1/2 the dosage recommended by my surgeon, but I don't have pain with the amount I'm taking so there was no need to take more.
So, in all I am soooo excited about how well I'm recovering. The best part is I don't have lower back pain..NONE. I am in shock! So, if you're scared about an upcoming surgery my advice is STAY POSITIVE and go into this with the mentality that you WILL be one of the lucky ones who will have a smooth recovery. Good luck!! I pray this brings peace and hope to someone