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Hello all,
I am meeting with surgeon thursday 2/21/2013.. He will be scheduling my procedures(Total facetectomy and discectomy on L5-S1 with TLIF, also on right side Laminotomy/ Foraminotomy, With instrumentation and pedicle screws, bilateral posterolateral fusion. Not really sure what to expect from all this. Iv'e been in great shape up till i was injured from a fall. Trying to keep positive but somedays its well tough. Some of the post are helpful and some not so.. I have a strong will and have a high tolerate to pain. good to know there's a place to come to and vent...lol.. any fed back will be very helpful...


  • I had a single level 360 fusion at the same level you are. I left with 6 screws, a rod, and a cage 3 days and 2 nighst later. My pain in the hospital was managable in the hospital (I had a pain pump for the first 30 or so hours and then IV morphine with percocet for pain after). What I didn't expect was the nausea that came with it but I had some pretty good meds for that too. The hardest thing for me in the hospital was getting out of bed, hospital beds have a small lip even when they are completely flat, and having a bowl movement. Usually you are required to do both and be able to urinate before they will let you leave. When I met with my surgeon I took a list of type written questions and gave them to the suregeon and he went through all of them with me. Also if you can take at least one other person with you so you have someone in case you miss something. Here's the questions that I took. Some may pertain and some may not. Feel free to use it as you want:

    MRI/Discogram/CT/Symptom Review
    • Thecal sac measurement
    • Facet hypertrophy
    • Annular bulging
    • Pars defect/fracture
    • Spondolythesis grades
    • Foraminal narrowing
    • Tingling – midline back to left butt, quad, outside calf, bottom of foot (groin on occasion)

    What kind of surgery and where will it be done?
    • Fusion (how many levels 1 or 2, bone grafts)
    o Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (ALIF)
    o Anterior/Posterior Lumbar (95% success)
    o Minimally Invasive Anterior Approach
    o Posterior Dynamic Stabilization Systems
    o Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PLIF/TLIF)
    o eXtreme Lateral Interbody Fusion (XLIF)
    • Discectomy (removal of part of disc)
    • Laminectomy (decompression)
    • Artificial Disc Replacement
    What is the surgery process?
    What are the benefits of the surgery (stabilization, pain relief)? How long will the benefits last?
    What are the risks?
    What is the overall success rate? What is the chance that I will have to undergo another surgery?
    How many of these surgeries have you done? What is your success rate?
    What is the recovery time?
    • How much time in the hospital?
    • How much time before I can return to work?
    • When can I start PT?
    • Will I have to wear a brace?
    • What restrictions will I have and how long will I have them?
    • When can I go back to the gym, when can I get into the pool, and when can I get back to my normal routine?
    • When will the fusion (if that is procedure to be done) be complete?

    Let me know if you have any questions.

    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
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