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First week post op XLIF worries

Greetings Everyone,
This forum has been a godsend of information and support for me and my family. I am 41 years old, married with 2 children elementary school age. On 5-22-13, I completed a lumbar fusion of L3 to L4 vertebrae with discectomy. Dr. performed XLIF with titanium screws posteriorly. This coming week is scary because I will be alone at home for first time!! Please give any testimonials/advice about the first days you were home alone. My wife and I have discussed this and have prepared as best we could, I think. I am wondering if it's ok to bend at my knees ( not my back) to get things in top shelf of refrigerator? I believe I can manage some light meal prep. in kitchen if things are set up properly. I was told to follow BLT' s by hospital Physical Therapist, meaning no Bending, Lifting, Twisting or Stretching. Then surgeon's says lifting restricted to no more than 5#. Yes it's ironic that I am a working Occupational Therapist, and I had back surgery. God has a sense of humor! I am estimating a return to work in 6 weeks per surgeon. This sounds too soon, what do you all say? I would be glad to share my professional experiences/knowledge with folks in this forum too. Thanks for your replies and support.
XLIF of L3+L4 with posterior titanium screws


  • Just my experiences...knees bending is fine. You'll need to do that to sit down anyhow :-). Be gentle though as your muscles will probably fire a bit differently (I'm a kinesiology PhD student, so I get the irony. My PT is a c-spine fusion person...it makes us better at our jobs!).

    I was able to go back to work in 3 hour shifts after my surgery, but I needed frequent position changes plus meds, ice packs, & heat packs. My surgeon wanted me out of work & classes for 3-6 months, but it wasn't financially feasible. A lot of it will just depend on how well you can cope and deal with your work environment.
    1/16/2013 Minimally invasive TLIF with rods, screws, and cage on L5/S1 joint to treat grade 2 spondylolysthesis, pars defect, degenerative disc disease. Dealt with chronic pain & nerve issues since at least 2007.
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