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July 2014 Surgery Buddies

awalshaawalsh Posts: 33
edited 01/20/2014 - 8:05 AM in Surgery Buddies
Welcome to our forum members who are planning to have surgery in July 2014. We look forward to hearing from you!


  • Hi! New to forum and have my surgery scheduled for July 1st. Nervous as all!
    Grade 1 Anterolisthesis/Spondy L5/S1 with Modic changes and mild disc protrusion, DDD, Osteoarthritis L2/L3, Stenosis, Sciatica, Herniation L4/L5. Scheduled for 360 spinal fusion/decompression July 1, 2014.
  • woolywwooly Posts: 7
    edited 06/11/2014 - 8:52 AM
    New here and still getting the hang of all the acronyms. It's like the military on steroids!

    My problems started in March with cervical radiculopathy. MRI revealed minor disc herniation at c-4/c-5, moderate herniation at c-5/c-6 with spinal stenosis from the bulging disc. Treated with Naprosyn, Norflex, and Vicodin for two months. Off the vicodin, switched to gabapentin (sp). Still have numbness in my right thumb, palm, and inner forearm.

    Surgery is scheduled for 7/14/14 and I'm nervous as all get out.
  • ChelleBelleATXCChelleBelleATX Posts: 67
    edited 06/11/2014 - 2:50 PM
    Im sorry you are having to be here. I wish you well in your surgery and your recovery! Here's hoping we get some much needed relief. :)
    Grade 1 Anterolisthesis/Spondy L5/S1 with Modic changes and mild disc protrusion, DDD, Osteoarthritis L2/L3, Stenosis, Sciatica, Herniation L4/L5. Scheduled for 360 spinal fusion/decompression July 1, 2014.
  • Lumbar Decompression and Fusion w/ Microdiscectomy & Laminectomy of L3-L4 is scheduled for July 11th at a military hospital. They say I should be in 5 days and off work a minimum of 8 weeks. I'm not really sure what to expect otherwise...? Will I need a cane or walker? Will I be able to get out of bed on my own? Do I need a riser for the toilet? How long before I can shower/bathe? Should I cut off my long hair?
    I go for a pre-op appt three days earlier but that doesn't leave much time to make changes to my plans if I'm thinking this out wrong!

  • ChelleBelleATXCChelleBelleATX Posts: 67
    edited 06/11/2014 - 4:32 PM
    I too am having fusion and decompression (360 ALIF/PLIF) L4-S1. My surgeon said I would definitely be on a walker for 10 days then cane for awhile. I will also need the toilet riser and a shower chair. I will be sleeping in a recliner as my bed sits too high but was told Id have to learn to log roll out of bed or off couch if laying. I plan on cutting my long hair to shoulder length for easier maintenance. Hope this helps some.
    Grade 1 Anterolisthesis/Spondy L5/S1 with Modic changes and mild disc protrusion, DDD, Osteoarthritis L2/L3, Stenosis, Sciatica, Herniation L4/L5. Scheduled for 360 spinal fusion/decompression July 1, 2014.
  • Hi Chelle! I am also in ATX.
    I will have a 360 fusion in 4-5 weeks depending upon when it can be scheduled. You see, in ADDITION to the junk that is in my signature, I ALSO have Addison's disease which makes any surgery dangerous. In order to schedule, I need a physical with my endocrinologist (Monday afternoon), and detailed information from him as to what to do prior to, during, and after surgery.

    I am a 1st grade teacher specializing in Dyslexia and just closed out the school year: painfully so. I have a new Neurosurgeon as of last week when I was sent there from my former Neuro as this new one manages all severe spinal cord injuries. Hmmm...it didn't seem to be so serious 2 years ago. I hurt my back while picking up my 2 little ones and tossing them into the pool. We have 3 children: 17, 7 and 5 but at the time, the younger set were 5 and 3. It began with 2 ruptured discs: L4 and L5 and has progressed from there.

    I am hoping to hear about when it is scheduled SOON as my endo already sent the information to them via fax today and gave his permission to schedule.

    I also need an MRI for the cervical spine as I have tingling in my hands. This may be from the secondary scoliosis but she wants to repair that too if need be at the time of surgery.

    A MESS!

    I am relieved to have found this board as my former Neursurgeon and I had been discussing a fusion for several months but had NO IDEA that things had become so intense until the Myelogram on May 28th.
    2 microdiscectomy L4/L5 with laminectomies. Spondylosis, Secondary Scoliosis, Spondylolisthesis, Sciatia, Lordosis....and a host of other vocabulary words that I WISH I didn't need to know.

  • Thanks so much for your insight! I last saw the surgeon Aril 11th and I didn't want to be scheduled for May as I had plans for the end of June. He asked if I had questions and I knew that I did but was a little too overwhelmed to think of them at the time! I'll see him again a few days pre-op and I'll have a ton of questions for him then!
  • Sooooo, I feel like my op is minuscule compared to everyone else's here :D
    I've had a discectomy in June 2013, and now almost exactly a year later (July 2nd) going for a disc replacement for the same disc (L5/S1). I'm really over this back pain and would like my old life back already!

    Good luck everyone...
    L5/S1 discectomy June 2013
    L5/S1 ADR July 2014
  • bookcatbbookcat United States Posts: 66
    Hello July surgery buddies! I am now scheduled for ALIF at L5-S1 on July 1. It's a good thing, too, as I just developed a cold and am hoping to be through it by the end of next week. Heather, I ended up cutting my long hair and it was a very good decision; less time, less maintenance. As you may see by my signature, I've been through a few fusion surgeries. All were successful and I am optimistic about the upcoming surgery. It's not wildly exciting to be told that my surgeon will go in from the front, but she can do a better job. I'm all for that. She doesn't think she'll have to do posterior which is good news for me. One piece of advice: make the day before surgery relaxing and pleasant. It does wonders for the body's preparation.
    PLIF L1-3 6/13
    ACDF (C5-7) 8/12
    PLIF (L2-5) 2003/05/08
  • ChelleBelleATXCChelleBelleATX Posts: 67
    edited 06/21/2014 - 2:30 PM
    Schedulded for my 360 fusion on July 1st. I will definitely have you in my thoughts and prayers!:)
    Grade 1 Anterolisthesis/Spondy L5/S1 with Modic changes and mild disc protrusion, DDD, Osteoarthritis L2/L3, Stenosis, Sciatica, Herniation L4/L5. Scheduled for 360 spinal fusion/decompression July 1, 2014.
  • Hi. I am new to this forum. I'm having a Si-L5 fusion on July 7. I had a previous L3_L5 fusion in 2009. I have spinal stenosis, and degenerative disc disease. I've had sciatica pain since February 2014 because of a large herniation at Si with a fragment pressing on the nerve. I look forward to chatting with others facing the same surgeries.
  • ChelleBelleATXCChelleBelleATX Posts: 67
    edited 06/30/2014 - 2:49 AM
    Nerves are all over the place but excitement is in the mix as I am so ready to find even the slightest relief from all this. It has been 5 years in the making since my accident and a little over a year since it has worsened, and I am ready. Ready and waiting! :D
    Grade 1 Anterolisthesis/Spondy L5/S1 with Modic changes and mild disc protrusion, DDD, Osteoarthritis L2/L3, Stenosis, Sciatica, Herniation L4/L5. Scheduled for 360 spinal fusion/decompression July 1, 2014.
  • Chellebelle I noticed uv had your surgery...how are you doing?
    I'm temporally booked for a fusion in August..that's if I don't chicken out...
    Facet joint Arthritis L3,L4,L5,DDD.
  • blueeyedwolf1977bblueeyedwolf1977 Posts: 55
    edited 07/04/2014 - 2:18 PM
    I am going for my second surgery, for the same thing this month (first was August 2013)...the first one helped for a little time (a few months, post surgery), but then the pain started ALL over again...had new MRI to find disc was re-herniated...back pain is worse than leg pain, but they think this will help? Soooooo frustrated at this point-

    And, to top it off, have to go alone, stay in hotel post surgery and take coach bus, (7 hour ride) back home- 3 days post surgery- sigh....WICKED scared at this point-
  • Hi! I'm also in Austin and just had my surgeri(es), how are you guys doing? My experience immediately post-op was better than I'd expected -- getting out of bed/sitting up is definitely the most painful/scary but I found standing/walking to be really helpful and apparently the more we can do that, the less we will swell (and the less we will hurt).

    I feel like Day 1 was a bit of a trick - besides the anxiety I had around catheter removal and learning how to get out of the bed the first couple times, the pain was manageable and I felt pretty positive. Yesterday afternoon I got to come home (day 2) and my pain was a lot more intense. Finding a comfortable way to sleep has been the most difficult, and then once I can sleep for an hour or two, getting back up is pretty rough.

    I feel a lot better pain and mobility wise today, but I hear that days 3-5 are pretty bad so I'm not sure what to expect in the next few days. Wishing all of you the best -- hope it is comforting to hear an experience that wasn't nearly as scary as I though it would be in the hospital. Getting home gets a little trickier, but I hope we can help each other over the next few months.

    Quick backstory: I'm 30, believe my initial injury came 10 years or so ago from a minor car accident where the plastic seat belt hit my tailbone area. It bothered me off an on for years but nothing too serious; however, I was overweight at the time and as I started getting more fit and becoming more active (bootcamps, running, CrossFit), my pain became a central focus of my life and really started impacting my mood, my marriage, my activity level, and my work. I tried PT, ART, acupuncture, stopping workouts, reducing workouts, yoga, spinal shots (4 total before I said no more -- they hurt so bad!), you name it -- really the only thing I never gave a chance was pain pills/Celebrex/muscle relaxers etc. I'd like to have kids at some point, so I knew if I got dependant on those drugs and then got pregnant, I'd have to stop taking them and be right back to the drawing board. So, I finally decided after over a year of research to bite the bulllet and explore surgical options, and here I am.

    I can't believe the surgery is over and I'm alive -- now is the hard part, trying to make sure we do everything correctly and managing the pain. I look forward to a normal night's sleep, but am so grateful my experience has at least been easier in some parts than I ever expected. Others have been worse (peeing, sleeping).

    Wishing y'all all the luck!

    360 Spinal Fusion (ALIF/PLIF) 7/3/2014
  • One more week until my 2-level ACDF surgery. I've bought a wedge pillow and laptop stand for my recliner. I've gone for my pre-admission blood work and nose swab for MRSA. Got my hair cut short, since the Miami J collar I'll be wearing comes up to the middle of the back of my head. This week I have my pre-admission phone interview with the hospital, pre-surgery meeting with my surgeon's PA, and spinal surgery class that my hospital offers for patients. It's to learn what will go on at admission, recovery, when family can come back, how long the stay may be, where in the hospital I will be, etc. Going shopping for easy stuff for hubby to cook for the kids later in the week. Need to groom my dog and rearrange some furniture (well, direct my boys in rearranging furniture). I'm thinking about going for a pedicure as a treat too.
    Trying to keep busy and not think about it too much.
  • How did everyone's surgeries go? My TDR is good thus far, incision through the front though so coughing is a nightmare! Holding the pillow doesn't really help. Any tips?
    L5/S1 discectomy June 2013
    L5/S1 ADR July 2014
  • I'm having a small piece of my spine removed In place of the New spinal cord stimulator it's a 2 part surgery by my neurologist. To block pain from L-3,L-4,L-5,S-1 my surgery was supposed to be set for June 30 but my white cell count caught a small cold in my eye before I even knew I was going to have it
  • Today I'm a lot more nauseated and groggy- I took 2 pain pills (my max) each time I could yesterday and although it helped with the pain, I'm really feeling more out of it today. May try to cut back on dosage now and see how managable it is. I'm still only able to sleep for about an hour 1/2-2 hours max, is that normal for everyone else? Any tips for sleeping? On my side seems to be the most bearable -- sleeping on my back means it's hell to get up afterward and generally I'm more nauseated then. I haven't gotten brave enough to try sleeping on my stomach -- feel like that would be too rough on the incision (and hard to get up from), but who knows.

    I feel like barfing now so I'm going to sign off, just checking in. I do hope all of you are doing well.
    360 Spinal Fusion (ALIF/PLIF) 7/3/2014
  • Seeing quite a few new members in the July Buddies. Just wanted to say Hi and wish you all luck and relief with your procedures. Some of our buddies have had their surgeries and I hoing to hear from all of you with details of recovery.
    Tuesday is my pre-op appointments and Friday is the surgery- here's hoping it and the recovery go by quickly and successfully!

    L3-4 discectomy and fusion w/ instrumentation (not sure of all the codes yet!) July 11, 2014
  • Thanks for your message -- wishing you luck with your preops and surgery (and relief/easy recovery as well)! I still can't get over how smooth my postop experience was in the hospital -- I think the harder parts came at least once I was home and in my own house to deal with them. Will be thinking of you on the 11th, you'll do great!

    On Day 5 post anterior & posterior L5 fusion (cage + pedicle screw)
    360 Spinal Fusion (ALIF/PLIF) 7/3/2014
  • Heather HillsHHeather Hills Posts: 7
    edited 07/08/2014 - 4:59 PM
    but now reality is setting in! everyone sounds like they are doing very well considering and the Dr. was very positive when we spoke today. Hard to believe I only have two "normal" days left. Seems I will need a walker but they will supply me with one. Tomorrow I'll grab a toilet seat riser and shower stool etc. and get a Mani/pedi since it will be a while and I can use some pampering. Thursday its the dentist and an early night.
  • Hi everyone. I'm home now and recovery is better than I expected. I was sick the first night but was told it was due to the anesthesia. I'm moving around good and the pain is being controlled. I hope everyone is doing well.
  • Is it normal to have crazy dreams from the pain medication? I'm on fentanyl patch, valuim, and norco. Been having some really strange dreams since surgery. Thank
  • adoyalaadoyal Posts: 35
    edited 07/12/2014 - 12:20 PM
    @Mihoneybee, meds can make you dream some wild stuff, I'm sure it's that. Stress, too. Hope you are still recovering well and keeping your pain under control.

    Just today I started to have a weird pain/tingling in my right hip; I am praying this is a short-term effect of doing too much or moving the wrong way and I haven't done anything to damage the cage or screw. The burden of having to be so careful is really tough, especially if you are already prone to obessive-compulsive behavior like I am. I have to really talk myself down from the idea that I've ruined everything if I hurt myself or get a new or weird feeling I haven't had before. Today is day 10, ,I think, and I am so lucky that I'm feeling as well as I am. This is night and day compared to day 3 or 5 -- my God, those were rough. Wishing those of you who aren't through that yet the best and healing and peace even if you are!

    Hope to hear from some of the other July surgery folks -- y'all okay?

    360 Spinal Fusion (ALIF/PLIF) 7/3/2014
  • Thanks for responding. I know what you mean about being concerned of reinjuring yourself. This is my second surgery. After the first surgery I went to the ER twice in the year following because I was afraid I had done something to my hardware. Even though I overdid it and even fell down, the fusion was strong. I learned the hard way to just let stuff go. I'm a clean freak and its very hard to ignore things. For some reason this surgery is going so much better than my first, I'm very thankful. Get well and I hope every day gets better for you. :)
  • No problem, thanks for sharing about your ER visits! It's good to know I'm not the only one worried about slip ups. My post-op follow up appointment is tomorrow morning so I'm going to ask about the little pains/make sure I understand the limits I'm supposed to be under -- looking forward to getting clarification on those just to be sure. Glad to hear this surgery is going better than the first -- hope that continues and that you heal quickly!
    360 Spinal Fusion (ALIF/PLIF) 7/3/2014
  • Hello all!

    I had my 2nd lumbar laminectomy on Fri, July 11th, at 7am. (first was last Aug). I wasn't quite sure what to expect this time around, but am HAPPY to say that all is wonderful as of this point! I am able to manage my pain pretty well, even had to do a few things which are not recommended, but I needed to...(full grocery shopping today, and taking a 10 hour bus ride back home yesterday)...I have to admit, the bus ride was horrible, but with pain meds, was somewhat manageable.

    We have two goats, two cats and two dogs (which our female dog is expecting within a week or two )...but my hubby is GREAT about letting me relax this time around and making sure I don't push myself and re-injure myself again right after...It somehow feels different this time? Hoping above all, that I am done with these now?

    Hope everyone else is doing just as well! Thanks all!
  • Had my ADCF yesterday. It went way better than I expected. Dr said I could go home that night, but because of my med schedule I ended up spending one night in the hospital and came home this morning. Right after surgery the worst pain was a sore muscle feeling in the back of my neck, like I had held my neck up while doing crunches or something. Now the worst pain is swallowing. I haven't needed any pain meds at all since last night. I'll probably take a Vicodin before bed just to help me sleep. All in all, not a bad experience at all.
  • itzmejudyiitzmejudy Posts: 7
    edited 07/15/2014 - 6:02 PM
    I was suppose to have Anterior ACDF surgery this Friday 7/18/14 but they changed it to Monday the 21st. I was scared but thought I was handling it ok until they changed the date and now I am having anxiety about surgery. I am 62 so not a youngster. The Dr. said I have severe disk bulging and it is causing compression on spinal cord. I just met with Surgeon and they are getting me into surgery right away. He said if they didn't do surgery soon I would become a quadriplegic (bad spelling). I have everything ready at home but I am alone with knowone to help and so I don't know if they will send me home or to Rehab hosp. I am just scared..
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