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Daughter in law looking for information

Father in law (85) w degenerative disc and spondlysis who will be having a XLIF next week with fusion L4-6 with screws and rods and L2-3 decompression.

They are not computer savy and are thinking he will walk home and be fine after surgery. I want some first hand information on what to expect. I have looked at this site for the past 2 days but have to have a plan on what is needed at home, ie walker, driver, shower chair etc so that we can get it arranged before he comes home.

Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks all,


  • ellencalieellencali Posts: 162
    edited 12/29/2012 - 10:23 AM
    I have read this and your other post and get the feeling you are really looking for some answers. I can only give you my personal experience with my own surgery. I had a 3 level fusion done back in July. They went through the back. I had much more damage after he got in...seems to be the standard answer around here. This is a HUGE, HARD surgery. I am 44 years old and in good shape and this thing kicked my butt! Please have be prepared for the worst and hope for the best. They is a great post here for "must haves" after surgery; They are all necessary but I am afraid with the age of your father-in-law you will need more of a care-giver there at most times. The best advice I can give is make sure he is medicated properly for pain and that someone is always with him after the surgery so he does not fall etc. I could not make it to the restroom without help for the first few days home. More from the meds than from the pain. Walker is MUST, shwer chair, grabber etc. Again the post has everything possible you can think of. AFter he is home and comes out of the fog of having such a big surgery, my opinion is help is still needed so he doesnt do too much and hurt himself...again, this is a big surgery and it plain hurts! I hope I have not scared you, I had a really big surgery, posterior with an 8 inch incision. I am not too versed in the XLIF and it might be much easier, but like I said prepare for the worst and hope for the best. If it were my father, I would have home care there 24 hours if it is possible. Sometimes it is easier on our loved ones to get a little personal care from a nurse a long with family in the comfort of thier own home. Just my opinion. Peace and good luck, keep us posted Ellen
    3 level fusion L3-S1 July 23, 2012
  • 85 !!! are you kidding me ??? i had ALIF last dec and i am still in loads of pain and need a lot of help and i am 46 !! married to a nurse i needed 6 days in hospital and i was ill all the time and the following 6 weeks i spent in my recliner totally unable to do anything .its bee a hard year .as for walking home after MAJOR surgery you will need a comfy car to get home in a 4x4 or people carrier would be best as they are easy to get in and out off.read the profession information about the operation on this site and read some of the members comments ..good luck {a fusion at his again i would be surprised if my consultant would have operated on someone of that age as its hard enough for a younger person to get through recovery from ALIF is up to 3 years
    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
  • RTgirl2011RRTgirl2011 Posts: 512
    edited 12/30/2012 - 2:05 PM
    I am 32 years old and have a two level posterior fusion. They were done at two different times. Just having one level done is very painful and will kick your butt. I could barely walk after each fusion. I couldn't even step up onto a curb my legs were so weak. I had to have a walker, toilet seat riser, shower chair, grabber. I had nursing care that would come check on me. My husband was a truck driver at the time so i didn't have round the clock care like I should have. I had to do it all on my own. I agree with ellen, I would have 24 hour nursing care for him. I takes years to fully recover from a fusion.
    Discectomies 05/08 and 04/11, fusions L4-5 Feb 9,2012 and L3-L4 June 28,2012, Staph infection washout 3/2/2012, Bulged L5-S1. SCS trial on January 17th, 2014, which was a success! Permanent SCS on February 20th.
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