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Lumbar 360 fusion


I just had a 360 spinal fusion of L4-L5 and L5-S1 about five weeks ago now. It was a lot more painful than I thought it was going to be. Everything seems to be going well and the pain is certainly manageable now. In fact, I think I get around and do more than I was able to before the surgery.

Been reading this site for awhile both pre and post surgery. Very friendly community with a lot of good information.



  • Welcome to spine health and to the other side of surgery! So happy to hear how well you are doing 5 weeks out. Was your 360 done in one day or did they split it up into two days?
    Will you be starting physio?
    Wishing you all the best with your recovery.
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • BalthametBBalthamet Posts: 6
    edited 09/11/2012 - 6:26 AM

    My 360 was done all at once. Total time was five hours. Only about half that was actual surgery time. The rest of it being the prep for the surgeries and the change over between them. I was in the hospital just over 24 hours and was walking that night.

    I will see my surgeon again in about two weeks and find out for sure on PT but on the last visit we talked about me not going.

    Thank you for the welcome.

  • cjp1986ccjp1986 Posts: 42
    edited 09/11/2012 - 2:21 PM
    My 360 is coming up on 9/17. I am glad you are doing so well. Mine will be done all at once also. I did not want to go to surgery twice. Wow did you say you came home the next day??? That is progress, most people say they stayed from 3 to 5 days. I understand that PT will come and get me out of bed the next day. Then if i do ok and can walk and have a bowel movement i can go home the following day, baring any complications.
    Again glad you are recovering so well. It gives me hope. Keep in touch.
    carol in atlanta
  • Cjp,

    Yes, it was right around 24 hours. I forget wether it was a little more or a little less with all the stuff evolved with checking out. I also was given another small bag of antibiotics to run through the IV and had to wait on that.

    The over night nurse was just great. He helped me a bunch and had me walking with the help of a walker that night. It hurt like heck getting out of bed but the walking was not bad. Well, once I stopped pushing the walker instead of standing more in the center of it. I requested to walk around the floor everytime I had to sit up since that part hurt the most. I also requested to walk around about 30-45 minutes after they gave me oral pain meds after the PCA was removed or right after I got to press the button in the PCA.

    When I woke up in recovery I thought I had made the worst choice in my life. It was incredibly painful. They tried dilaudid, fentanyl, morphine to get my pain under control. Once they finally got it figured out, the PCA did the trick through the night.

    I wish you the best of luck with your surgery. All I have right now is what I call "first motion pain". The first step I take when walking hurts and then disappears quickly. The same when I sit or get into bed. I have a quick, sharp pain and then it is gone. I am sure there is a better name for it. That is just what I call it and I am sure it will go away as I heal. I hope your recovery goes even better!
  • My 360 is Monday. Thanks for the helpful information. I am worried about the pain. however, i am trying to stay positive and not psych myself out. I will also be trying something a little different. I am going to focus on animal assisted therapy instead of pain meds. i don't like meds so i am going to try and not take many narcotics. Thoughts?
    Samantha Frazier
  • One day in hospital for a 360 at two levels? You must be amazing or have a much higher pain tolerance than me. My first two days were spent in a daze of vicious pain and restless sleep. I couldn't imagine going home so soon as you. I also had a 2 level 360 with an iliac crest bone graft. After waking up, my blood pressure was 60/39 and I was only breathing 6 breaths per minute. My pulse oxygen was in trouble too. I went home at 4 days post op. even think it should have been 5.
    2015: Thoracic protrusions C7-T1, T3-4, T6-8
    Dec'13: 360FusionL4-S1 w/bone graft
    2013: 3x2-level disc injections: 12mo surgery postponement
    Dec'12: DiscogramL4-S1
    Sep/Oct'12: Bi-lateral Rhizo AblationsL4- S1
  • my ALIF kept me in hospital for 6 days this was my 3rd operation ..and I was in awful shape the pain was off the chart ..and when I returned home it was 6 weeks before I could even shower on my own ..one day sound very optimistic and not the norm at all .its been two years for me and I am still in a lot of pain ..unable to walk for more than is necessary and visits only to the doctors or hospital .and now my S1 joint is failing .as are the adjacent disk ,..good luck to all going through this horrible operation
    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
  • SarahLindeauSarahLindeau Posts: 767
    edited 12/28/2013 - 12:34 PM
    I would say I have a pretty high pain tolerance but my 360 brought me to my knees. I barely remember the first 18 hours after the op, I needed that pain pump every ten minutes. While I admire your determination to avoid pain killers, please know that the amount of pain you'll be in is going to be intense. I could not get on top of my pain until 4 days post op. keep an open mind to using the medicine, as people who grin and bare the pain are very rare
    2015: Thoracic protrusions C7-T1, T3-4, T6-8
    Dec'13: 360FusionL4-S1 w/bone graft
    2013: 3x2-level disc injections: 12mo surgery postponement
    Dec'12: DiscogramL4-S1
    Sep/Oct'12: Bi-lateral Rhizo AblationsL4- S1
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