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360 fusion

Hi john from Connecticut

I'm having surgery Monday 10/15 .. Anterior/posterior lumbar fusion at L3-L4-L5-S1
I'm a bit nervous and don't know what to expect for recovery time .. How soon can I drive , how long pain last after .. If anyone could shed so light , it would be appreciated ..


  • backache99backache99 Posts: 1,338
    edited 10/10/2012 - 2:43 PM
    your having a MASSIVE operation .and you will need at least 9 months off work you will be in hospital for about a week if all goes well .your mobility will be reduced {for life} as for driving in the uk its 6 weeks for legal reasons and you have to inform your insurance {i had half what you are having} i had ALIF i have already had posterior spinal operation in the past and Io was supposed to be having A 360 but the consultant was happy with the ALIF and did not want to do any more surgery on me as the fix he got from the front was enough {and i am glad it was as i was in agony when i woke .i have never felt pain like if it my life .i wanted to die {i know lost of people say that but at that time i did} it took the anaesthetist and consultant over an hour to get the pain down to a 9.9 from a 10.. i needed 4 mg of diamorphine every 4 mins and ketamine every 2 hours and diazepamPRN all IV at high levels as i already take large amounts of oxycontin and oxynorm every day and have done for the last ten years..i spent a week in hospital it was hell even though i was treated well .when i returned home all i could do was lay on my recliner and i did this for 6 weeks .anything had me in tears i was defeated by anything my wonderful wife was there to wash me and help as much as she could .i don't know what i would have done would out her .i was unwell going in for surgery because it has been 5 years between the last surgery and the ALIF the previous surgery was where the damage was done if i has seen the same consultant that did the ALIF when i has the previous operation i think my life would have turned out a lot better {healthwise}by the time i found the last consultant i was almost finished she saved me .anyway your in for a massive operation with a long recovery time a recliner {new or used an electrical adjustable bed and a grabber are a must to help with recovery .don't rush anything and i wish you all the luck in the world and a healthy recovery .good luck john ..your going to need it ..{i don't sugar coat things }
    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
  • Set yourself up for success by having as much help and then more help! Tony has told you in detail his experience, pretty spot on. I wont give you all the details of mine. I had a 3 level fusion from the back only same levels as you July 23 of this year. It was a huge surgery. Almost 8 hours. Stay in the hospital as long as you can and let them manage your pain. As much as you want to get home to your family....STAY! The most important thing for me was having family there to advocate for me. I had some complications, and without my father there callling the shots things would have gone really bad. Choose someone who can be there with you ALOT. Have them read up on health care management a little. There is no reason, never any reason to suffer in pain when you are in the hospital. There will be plenty of time for that when you are home trying to recover on your own. One thing I can tell you is make sure you are covered with pain meds when they realease you...they released me without proper at home management and my surgeon put me back in the hospital for 3 days of pain management. It hurts like hell...and again, I dont beleive the first couple weeks you should suffer. You need the pain meds to heal. You need to sleep, There are great places on this site to help you get your list in order for what you will need when home. Most important for me was have someone that is there to HELP you. I still sleep in a hospital bed. Rented of course. They realeased me with a grabber, a tool to hep me put clothes on and a bedside commode...which didnt help because it didnt have the riser on it. Get the riser toilet seat! Release the stressors in your life, because you will b ein no condition to deal with stress. Another thing I did was put an anti depressant on board about 8 weeks in. This is depressing stuff...you lose your independence. I wish I would have done it sooner. Just a thought....the other mistake I made was not having my plan on who was going to manage my pain after I got home. My GP wasnt comfortable with the meds, the surgeon did it for the first month or so...since I have been left to a PM doc that is really kind of a jerk. Doesnt see me as a human, just an insurance code that he gets paid for once a month...so if I could change anything it would be to have a great relationship with my pain management guy.
    This is a huge surgery, I believe I will be a successful fusion patient....its so much about how I look at my days now. The depression is your enemy even more than the pain. Be mindful of the recovery process as a whole. Mind, body and spirt. Good luck to you.. Please keep us informed! Peace to you and yours, Ellen
    3 level fusion L3-S1 July 23, 2012
  • stress is almost impossible to handle after surgery .i have found that i still can't Handel stress now 9 months on.
    take it easy both of you
    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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