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Hi. Booked for PLIF 2 levels at L4/l5 and L5/s1, decompression, removal of cyst under minimally invasive, no muscle stripping, lowest level titanium rod and upper level either a 'flexible' road. I have been trying to prepare by really analysing the way I move and I am getting very nervous about how I will manage shifting position resting on the bed or sofa, getting up from the toilet, reaching for things say at waist level or cupboard level. I am making the house more safety and user friendly to small daily tasks.

I know walking will be the best and only form of exercise to start with. Will I be able to do Pilates type tummy muscle 'clenches' lying down?

Worrying about post op pain. My surgeon is very optimistic about eliminating my leg pain, but I cannot really grasp how lower back pain will be, post op I realise it will be unpleasant but cannot imagine being without severe backache as it has been part of my life for do many years.

In need of your general reassurance .. Think I am about to turn and run!


  • I had ALIF same levels as you. I was quite surprised after surgery that the level of pain was not as bad as I expected. Of course I was on dilauded which brought the pain down to about 4/10 level. I spend 7 days in the hospital due to some post surgery complications, but the pain level went up and down... But never that bad. Just coming home brought the pain level down quite a pit. I am able to move around on my own and never really used a walker. I did bring one with me on my walks in case I needed it to rest (it had a seat). Never had to use it. About 7days after surgery the nerve pain started (never had nerve pain before surgery) now down both legs, and taking Neurontin - helps a lot! It's not really been painful, just really annoying. I would say overall the surgery was a success as I don't have any pain I had prior to surgery.... The lower back pain I have now is just post surgery pain and now down to about a 3 with the meds.

    I still have my mom taking care of me and managing my meds, a few more weeks and I should be ok without her here. I am hoping to start back to work (from home ) next week, just a few hours a day.....

    Walk walk walk! I go for two walks a day, and each time a little farther. I will increase it this weekend to 3 walks per day. I am up and about the house more and more each day, without overdoing it.
    As for getting in and out of bed, I put a walker next to the bed at first to use for a little more support. Make sure you use the log roll to get in and out of bed. I was able to asleep on my side after about 10 days post op, tried it when I got home and it was too much pressure on my back.... Your body will tell you when your ready to be able to handle sleeping on your side.

    Be sure to get a toilet riser. I got a 3 in one, it's a seat for the shore, toilet riser and a portable toilet. Works great!!!

    If your have any more questions, happy to help :-)

    Herniated discs & DDD at L4-L5 and L5-S1; ALIF L4-L5 & L5-S1 on 1/10/2014;
  • I had PLIF on those 2 levels on Nov 8 and am almost 12 weeks post op now. I was dreading the post op pain that I had read about, but I honestly didn't have that experience. I was in the hospital for 3 days and up and walking as soon as my epidural came out the day after the surgery. My leg pain was gone the day after surgery. I was on Vicodin for a week at home, started tapering down and was off it by the end of week 2. Getting up and down and going to the bathroom is tough at first, but you get used to log rolling and keeping your back straight as you move around. My biggest piece of advice is to make sure you get your walking in. I felt so much better when I walked several times during the day. I tried to avoid sitting as much as I could because that would aggravate my muscle and make my legs hurt. I was working from home at 2 weeks and back to work at 6 weeks. I'm an IT guy, so I'm still not lifting anything over 10 lbs or bending over. Now 3 months out, I can't wait to start therapy and finally stretch all these muscles that I haven't been able to use.

    I know you hear the horror stories, but I don't think my surgery could have gone any better and the pain was no where close to as bad as it was when I would seize up prior to the surgery. Just do exactly what the doctor tells you to do and you'll be good to go.
  • stenosisRosesstenosisRose Posts: 489
    edited 01/29/2014 - 4:06 PM
    I have a synovial cyst also post-op
    Dont know if it will be removed someday
    But wanted to let you know that I had a 3 level decompression lumbar surgery WITH NO PAIN MEDS

    I am no hero by any means, but thought it was all tolerable so you will be ok
    They have wonderful pain meds from what I have been told by others but I am just sadly allergic to all of them

    God bless you with your surgery
  • MaximummyMMaximummy Posts: 77
    edited 01/29/2014 - 10:26 PM
    Thank you for your encouraging replies. I think I have a high pain threshold due to all the years of pain, and sure docs do not want you to have pain. Know I will have a morphine pump to start with and then reduce to oral meds before home. Think the fear of how to move worries me a lot and loss of independence .... Will take advice about walking ... Seems to be the only thing you can do. Worry too about just being comfortable enough to sit for long and how much real lying down rest I should get or should I be firm with myself about being up and dressed or have a timetable of up/resting in the first weeks. Suppose it will be a wait and see thing ... Thanks
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