I just wanted to share my story about my surgery 1 week post op. I hope this may ease the minds (a little bit) of those who are about to undergo surgery.
Last October I had a two level Lami/Discectomy at levels L4-S1. I had complications and endured a painful recovery. My symptoms got better for a couple of months then had a relapse of episodes that were twice as worse than before the original surgery. My only recourse, which I knew was to have the two level fusion.
In the past my surgeon always pushed to wait but now he was the one saying we need to get this done. So we fast forwad 2 weeks leading up to the surgery.....
Like all of us, I was horrified and always was second guessing if I was doing the right thing. In the end after realizing that I could not finish an 8 hour day of work, It was time. I do want to say that a certain mod here basically held my hand through this process and got me through alot of it. Im a 'manly man' but I dont care who you are, these surgeries will turn you into a 5 year old getting a shot for the first time in no time. So thank you Tam, meant a lot!
So to the surgery....... As I mentioned I had a 2 level ALIF which left me with an incision from my belly button down about 4 inches. They fused me with 2 "mechanical cages" as I call it but basically this hardware fuses me with screws and resembles an artificial disc but there is no movement. No bone graphed at all. The surgery only lasted 4 hours and the two doctors who did it expressed to me it went text book. So hearing this, I was excited.
My nerve pain in my legs was gone, even after years it was gone. Four hours after the surgery I laid there and couldnt stand it any more, I wanted to walk. I also knew the PT folks were coming anyway so why avoid them. I ended up walking 100', no pain. The next day I walked 1000' and could have kept walking.
I was discharged after only 2 days. Im one week out and still getting better, walking without the use of a walker or cane.
My purpose of this is not to gloat as my results were not typical and even my Lami/Discectomy left me worse off believe it or not. To express to those that are about to go through this or any fusion procedure that they may have good results and once you actually go through the motions, a new life hopefully awaits them or you. Shoot, I even grew an inch!
So for those of you that either have just been told you need a surgery or are just about to have one, I hope and pray for you and your families that you will be rewarded with a pain free life. This site is like AA for bad backs and is full of good folks and I thank all parties who contribute to it!!
Weight room accident at 18. Had compression fracture and was paralyzed for month until ruptured spinal column healed. At 37 did all the epidurals/blocks. At 38 had two level open lami and Discectomy. At 39 (Sept 2012) had two level ALIF L4-S1 fusion.