Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

October surgery buddies please

Had a TLIF on L4/L5 10 months ago. Cage moved forward and fusion has failed so I am now having ALIF surgery to replace the cage and add more hardware on October 17 and am looking to connect with others who may be facing similar surgeries around that time.



  • Hi Cheryl,
    I'm scheduled for PCF with instramentation on C4/5 and C6/7 on October 12th. Surgery can't come soon enough for me! This is my second surgery in 4 months and I just want to get onto the healing part. Good Luck to you!
  • CherylCCCherylC Posts: 185
    edited 09/28/2012 - 8:41 PM
    I know what you mean. This is my second surgery in 10 months. I think it is worse this time because I know what's coming. I just want to get it over with and start the road to recovery.

    Good luck to you as well and let me know how you go.
  • I'm having surgery in early October. It's for metastatic bone disease.

    T-9 to L-3 instrumented fusion
    Spondylectomy (T12)
    Laminectomy (which I believe is t-8 to l-1)

    Needless to say I'm scared out of my mind.
  • Bigshawn1234567BBigshawn1234567 Posts: 45
    edited 10/01/2012 - 5:23 AM
    I am having a PLIF on four levels on Oct 3rd.

    Have been told so many DIFFERENT things about what to expect from this experience. I am ready to get through the first challenge of the surgery. Was told it could last up to five hours.

    Anyway I have gotten those around me to pitch in while I'm down to take care of my dog and chores around my house.

    Looking forward to the doctors odds of getting rid of 70% of my pain. Woo-Hoo!!!!!
    And forgetting about the 60% chance of success!

    Am curious Cherylc how did your cage move forward?

    Talk to you soon.
  • Met with the Vascular surgeon and he is not going to attempt anterior with my Jpouch. So going in on the 4th for one level PLIF with BMP at L5-S1. Good luck to all other Octobers and many prayers to everyone. Chat on the other side.
    L5-S1 Disc Slip 12 times over last 30 years. Last slip Oct 2009. Tried PT, Chiropractor, Staying off feet, Inversion, Stretching. Scheduled ALIF Oct 04. Edited. Due to Jpouch reconstruction Doc went with TLIF with BMP.
  • Hi Shawn
    No-one is really sure why the cage moved but it happened very soon after the original surgery. There was some hope that there was enough of the cage between the bones to allow the fusion to still happen so we have been in "wait and see" mode since then. Unfortunately there wasn't so now I have to have the problem fixed.
  • Hi guys
    Looks like you will all be on the road to recovery before me. Good luck - I'll be thinking of you and looking forward to hearing how you are after your procedures.
  • I am scheduled for a L3-S1 ALIF. I am so excited to finally be getting the surgery! Our insurance denied payment and we've been battling for a year. I have been unable to walk for the past 3 weeks. So my husband and i decided it time to move ahead without the insurance company for fear of losing my ability to wAlk forever. We are ready for the hard work and excited to go in 24 hours!!! Prayers please!!!!!
    2007 and 2010 L4-S1 Microdiscectomies; helped for a total of 3 years between the 2 of them.
    08/2011....pain returned.
    10/03/2012....back reconstruction L3-S1...large titanium "seperators" were put at each level with synthetic bone graft material.
  • jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,373
    edited 10/02/2012 - 12:48 AM
    Just here to wish those of you who are having their surgery this week a successful surgery and smooth recovery.

    1995 : L3-S1 ALIF on 3rd
    Bigshawn : 4 level PLIF on 3rd
    Supertad : PLIF on 4th

    followed by
    frustrationandpain : PCF on C4/5 and C6/7 on 12th (not sure what that is? - Posterior Cervical Fusion?)
    CherylC : ALIF on 17th
    not to forget
    Jim8689 who must be the King here : T9 to L3 fusion with decompression and spondylectomy of T12
    What is your date Jim?

    I am seeing my neurosurgeon on 9th and expecting to schedule surgery then. I may be joining you or perhaps it will be November. My surgery will be ACDF of C3/4 and C4/5.

    To encourage those having lumbar surgeries, I had a PLIF with decompression in March 2010 and am ever so much better now.
    I hope that you will all be able to say that after your surgery.

  • Came out of surgery around 9am-ish. Oct 4th. Relatively no pain other than the incision area. Doc decided to do a TLIF. Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion, using BMP at L5-S1. He mentioned the fact that there was basically nothing but dust. Did a raise and placed quite a bit of bone material in the space. I was up walking and sitting just a few hours after surgery with basically no pain in my legs or hips. What a relief since it had been years that I was unable to walk for any distance and not able to sit at all. The next day I was able to walk several loops around the hospital wing. The only pain I had was a little tightening in the hips. Wow, I am truly amazed and blessed that everything seems to going better than great. Today, the 8th, I still have no pain other than the incision area. Well, okay, if the pain meds begin the wear off it does become difficult to get up from a seated position. Also, I quickly learned to always push up with my legs and not my arms. That pull from the upper body is a bit painful but as along as I use my legs I have no pain. I am able to sit for just about as long as I want but do regulate it not to over-do. Walking is great. Today my gate is beginning to increase so it's nice to not have to take those baby steps. Other than the good Lord's grace I will have to say, if you're able do as much upper body strength training as possible prior to surgery. In regard to leg strength it's a must. I figured out I was able to do sissy-squats a few weeks prior and what a difference it makes. Flexibility training is a given. My case my be the exception but I can only say at this point in time everything is absolutely wonderful. A few things I have found essential.. grabber, and a sock assistance tool. The Doc has placed me on no restrictions other than the typical BLT. Going in for staple removal and check up on the 15th. Thank to everyone for all the support and invaluable information contained on this forum and site. For all my October surgery buddies please feel free to chat and share how things are going.
    L5-S1 Disc Slip 12 times over last 30 years. Last slip Oct 2009. Tried PT, Chiropractor, Staying off feet, Inversion, Stretching. Scheduled ALIF Oct 04. Edited. Due to Jpouch reconstruction Doc went with TLIF with BMP.
  • Bigshawn1234567BBigshawn1234567 Posts: 45
    edited 10/08/2012 - 7:10 AM
    To my October surgery buddies hope all went well or is going to. My doctors dropped the ball on me and did not send in my precertification paperwork until the day before surgery. Was approved last Friday the 5th. Waiting to hear back from them as to when both doctors can get together again and block enough OR time. Big mess. I as you already know, scheduled my whole life around this event on the 3rd. needless to say it was very disappointing. And the pain is so bad I do not see how I can take it much longer.

    Good to hear Supertad108. Really happy for you. It is nice to hear a success story. Good luck on your recovery process and hope you get back to doing the things you like doing soon as possible.
  • Hang in there Shawn. It won't be long now. Before you know it you will be on the road to recovery. We're all here for you buddy :)
  • Shawn, appreciate the kind words. It can get so frustrating when we, the injured do our part and the professionals drop the ball. I do trust things are finally progressing and your surgery will be perfect. Quick update, it's been a week and everything is awesome. My biggest fear was my J-pouch and the 10+ BM's daily, a couple of those at night. That as well turned out to be a non-issue. It actually gives me an indication of the pain due to having to forcefully push to empty the pouch. Scheduled this coming Monday (15th) for staple removal and x-ray to check on things inside. Although my situation appears to be ideal I do not want to simply disappear into the no-issue zone. Please if anyone needs a shoulder I am available. One note to share... being against pain meds myself DO NOT let those meds lapse. It's a bugger trying to re-gain control.
    L5-S1 Disc Slip 12 times over last 30 years. Last slip Oct 2009. Tried PT, Chiropractor, Staying off feet, Inversion, Stretching. Scheduled ALIF Oct 04. Edited. Due to Jpouch reconstruction Doc went with TLIF with BMP.

  • I have booked my surgery today, for November 5th.

    Hoping that you are all healing well if you have had surgery.
    frustrationandpain, it is your turn tomorrow. Hope that all goes to plan and that you will wake up with great pain control.

  • CherylCCCherylC Posts: 185
    edited 10/12/2012 - 3:12 AM
    Wonderful to hear you are doing so well and really grateful for you wanting to hang around for the rest of us. Am hoping that we can all report back with as much success as you have had. I'm counting down the days at the moment. One more sleep till my husband gets home (he works on the other side of the country and only gets home every three months), and 5 more sleeps until I have my next surgery. Looking forward to tomorrow -yay! Trying, but not succeeding, to not think too much about the rest of it though. Just going to enjoy the next few days with my better half as we celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary.
  • jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,373
    edited 10/13/2012 - 2:27 AM
    Cheryl and hubby. 25 years - a special one!

    I hope that you have a wonderful weekend with your husband and will be thinking of you on Wednesday 17th.

  • Hi Cheryl , I'm going in Monday for 360 4 level fudion .. Super scared , more of recovery . Have know idea how long this will take .. I had an ancle fusion last year and bone healed fast , so hope the same for my back ... Stay in touch and good look Wed ...
  • We really should combine the 2 October threads. Anyways my ALIF & laminectomy is scheduled for 10/29. Supertad, glad things are going so well for you. Cheryl congrats on the anniversary. Jelly, our surgeries are so close to each other. Lets try to keep in touch. Hugs & love for everyone! :)

    Single level L5/S1 360 fusion with 6 screws and a rod (10/29/12)
    Diagnosis: Grade 1-2 spondylolithesis, Pars Defect, L5/S1 disc tear anterior and posterior, DDD, spinal stenosis

  • I'll be thinking of you tomorrow!
    360 4 level fusion is a big operation.
    Is it a lumbar fusion, or cervical?
    I had a lumbar PLIF with decompression 2 and 1/2 years ago. My recovery was relatively good, but I was off work for 5 months. That was in the UK, where we get sick pay for longer than in the States, but I think I needed that time off to be ready for my job as a Teaching Assistant in a primary school (lots of bending).

  • Yes we are just a week apart!
    I would be glad to keep in touch and support each other through this.

    I had a lumbar (L4/5) Posterior fusion with laminectomy 2 and 1/2 years ago. So a similar operation but with a different access route! My surgery was for a Grade 2 spondylolisthesis due to a Pars Defect, so quite similar problems. I have started a November surgery thread and you can always 'private message me'.

    Hoping that all October Spineys in their recovery are progressing well with mininum pain.

  • terri_berritterri_berri Posts: 8
    edited 10/14/2012 - 12:49 PM
    Hi everyone! My first post here! I am scehduled for L4-L5 back fushion surgery on the 17 Oct... so only 2 days to go and I am scared out of my wits! I've been reading this forum so much and it has helped me heaps in preparing for this surgery that I know very little of.

  • It is good that you are reading here to learn a bit about what to expect.
    Have you read the list of useful items to help after surgery?
    I suggest that you place frequently used items at about waist height in your home because you won't be able to reach up, stretch or bend afterwards. Have you got a 'grabber' to pick things up if you drop them.
    I had a L4/5 decompression and fusion 2 and 1/2 years ago and it really helped and got rid of the bilateral sciatica pain. I do have other things going on with my spine, so am not pain free, but I consider my lumbar fusion a success and would do it again if I was in the same position again.
    I wish you a successful surgery and a smooth recovery.
    Do ask any other questions that you have and please come back and let us know how you get on.

  • I am not sure why there are 2 October surgery threads. Did I make one and there already was one?
    Oh well as long as we all remain supportive and in touch that is most important. I am counting down to surgery day on the 23rd. I am still anxiety ridden but trying my best to keep it together. I wish all of only the best!
  • It's been two weeks today (Thursday 18) and I can only say wow. Had staples removed this past Monday and actually got the go ahead to drive and light activity. I am actually still a bit in shock on how great I feel. Walked a mile and half today with sis around mall. Have meds down to once every 6 to 6.5 hours and it feels each day is getting better. I do hope I am not atypical and I pray everyone's outcome is as sweet as mine has been. My biggest obstacle is more mental adjustments to being restricted to a lounger for the last 4 years. Easy does it is my motto. Cannot wait until fusion has completely taken. My next follow up is on Nov. 5th and hope to post before and after spinal pics. Godspeed on everyone's recovery.
    L5-S1 Disc Slip 12 times over last 30 years. Last slip Oct 2009. Tried PT, Chiropractor, Staying off feet, Inversion, Stretching. Scheduled ALIF Oct 04. Edited. Due to Jpouch reconstruction Doc went with TLIF with BMP.
  • Great news! I hope mine will be as fast and steady as yours!!
  • jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,373
    edited 10/19/2012 - 12:08 PM
    and hoping that all has gone well and that your recovery is going smoothly.
    Take care and let us know, when you can, how you are doing.
  • Hi

    Firstly - I hope that those of you who have already had your surgeries are doing well and those of you who are almost there are able to try and relax in the bit of time you have left before your big day.

    My journey hasn't been an easy one. Surgery didn't quite go as planned. NS was able to fuse L5/S1 with no problems but then apparently the fun started. Aorta and Vena Carva were well and truely entrenched in scar tissue as a result of the cage having moved so far forward after the previous surgery. After 3 hours of trying to free them and two tears in the aorta, the vascular surgeon said it was too dangerous to go any further. As a result, the NS couldn't get access to L4/L5 to get the hardware in for the refusing. All he was able to do was remove the offending cage and clean up the area a little.

    The post surgery journey has been less than pleasant. Started with a medical emergency because my body couldn't cope with the morphine. They got a little upset when my blood pressure went down to 82/38. Then they tried OxyContin - extreme migraine. Endone - extreme migraine. Days and days of blood pressure in the high 80's to low 90's. Now on Fentanyl patches supplemented with Fentanyl injections and Vallium. Not quite got the dose right yet so breakthroughs are a bitch but we are getting close. Current dose - 25 mg patch - is being increased to 37 mg today. If we can get through 24 hours without a breakthrough then maybe they might let me out of here - YAY!

    Have to be really careful because the only thing holding L4/L5 in place is the two rods and 4 screws that were put in last year when I had the TLIF done. NS wants to go back in again and do a PLIF to finish the fusion but he can't do anything until he has permission from my insurer so for now - it's a walker and / or crutches for me to make sure I don't fall. (Crutches instead of a walking stick because my left leg still doesn't work properly from the last surgery and the knee has a tendency to give way)

    Anyway - so excited today because I might be finally going home soon!!!

  • You have had a pretty rough journey there! You do sound upbeat still though.
    I am so sorry that you have had to go through all of this. I hope that you will be able to go home very soon. There is nothing quite like being back home again - as long as your pain is well controlled.

    We'll look forward to congratulating you once you are home, and will cheer you on through your recovery.
    Take good care of yourself and allow your body to heal and recover before the next onslaught!

    Keep that positive attitude! xxx
  • Thanks Jellyhall. Wish I could say that today's the day but we're not quite there yet. Hopeful for tomorrow though :)

    Had the best thing yesterday - my wonderful husband acquired a wheelchair and took my downstairs to the coffee shop for a toasted ham and cheese sandwich. It was the absolute best taste sensation I have had! We all know how wonderful hospital food is eh ... You would think after not being able to eat for a week they could find something that's actually palatable!

    Not too long for you now - hang in there and keep your spirits high!
  • jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,373
    edited 10/25/2012 - 12:27 PM

    I am glad that your husband was so thoughtful to arrange a treat for you. That must have felt like you were getting back to 'normal' things. It sounds like you are going to be very well looked after when you do get home.

    Simple things can be a wonderful treat when life has been tough.
    Hoping that tomorrow will be the day you can go home.
    Do keep us updated on how you get on. We'll be here to cheer you on when you have the inevitable 'difficult' days.
    I'll be here once I can get on a computer again. I have been warned by my surgeon that using a laptop will make my shoulders and neck hurt.

    Take care xx
Sign In or Register to comment.