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Next operation on Monday ........

Hi everybody.
It is seven months now since my two level lumbar PLIF and I have finally turned the corner .... that is the good news. I had a CT scan a few weeks ago and the surgeon said my fusion is 'exemplary' and the bone grafts are doing well. I am still a bit behind where he hoped I would be in terms of nerve recovery and I still get tightness and some sore pain under the scar lines when I do too much or am tired. I had two nerve root blocks about six weeks ago which has helped a lot with some of the residual leg pain I still had. He has, therefore, allowed me to go ahead and have the knee replacement surgery which had been put on hold while I recovered from the fusion.

I am having a real 'wobble' in facing up to the operation and recovery. I am distressed at knowing, for a while, that I will be back to pain and swelling, bad nights, difficulty mobilising and being stuck at home again. This has made me realised how much I have improved since the nerve blocks ... I do not get tired so quickly now and generally have less pain. I am really being held back because of the knee ....... no point in having had something as big as a fusion to be held back by the knee!!

I know this op. is almost certain to be a success ........ this is just an emotional response and I am sick of people (most of all those who have not had surgery) who all say .... oh, it is such a common operation and you will be fine. I find it patronising even though I know they mean well.
On the other hand, I am trying to look at it as progression forward and that by the spring of next year I will be reaping the benefits of both operations.

Both the back surgeon and knee surgeon know eachother well and have had a couple of conversations about how to best protect my back ... so I know I am in good hands.

Has anybody had knee replacement recently and after back surgery? Any advice would be appreciated.
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Comments

  • ADRJenAADRJen Posts: 211
    edited 09/20/2014 - 1:09 AM
    I need a TKR too but am putting it off as long as possible. I had a series of gel injections a couple of months ago which helped some. I don't have any advise for you, but wanted to wish you good luck. Please let us know how you're doing.
    Artificial disc at L5S1 for 10 years. Had 3 Level lumbar fusion and Laminectomy on Sept 27, 2013. It was an OLIF (Oblique Lumbar Interbody Fusion) with cages, BMP, rods & screws. Norco, Plaquenil
  • LindaMacLLindaMac Posts: 49
    edited 09/20/2014 - 2:23 PM
    I had both my knees done the same day 17 years ago well before my back surgery. The exercises I am doing now post op spinal fusion are good for the quads which should help pre-operatively. If you have a cemented knee replacement they should get you moving quickly. My knees have held up well although nerve damage from my back altered my gait and appears to have weakened my right knee a little. I am using a splint for it now. I have no regrets over getting the knees done. Yes you will have to work hard and it may take awhile to really feel you made the right choice, but it kept me from being crippled and allowed a reasonably active lifestyle.
    LindaMac
  • Good luck on Monday with your knee op. I hope everything goes well.
    It sounds like you are in good hands with both surgeons communicating.
    I'll be thinking of you.
    Hattie
    DDD. Married,Mum of 2, Age 45: 2007 & 2008 L5/S1 Discectomy
    April 2013 L5/S1 Anterior Fusion
    & L4/L5 Artificial Disc Replacement
  • I am thinking of you, Maximummy! I have been following your progress and if it means anything to you, you have been a big inspiration in my times of horrible setbacks.

    Best of luck.
    Kcates
    Bilateral pars defect L5
  • Well, should rename myself The Big Knee! Vy unpleasant, but apart from a major l4/l5 nerve pain flare up on Tuesday which was truly horrid, the op itself is not the total shocker that fusion is. Still; not exactly fun at all and my leg is huge, very hot and solid rock. On OxcyContin and oxcyNorm etc and having hydrotherapy daily and physio daily. Off the frame and onto crutches, walking manageable but wobbly. Lifting the leg or having to bend it not so nice! Told to expect a few difficult months ... Have to be patient .. Again!
  • Hi ... Words fail me and I never wanted to be one of the scaremongers that sometimes write on the forums. I still maintain that knee replacement is not the total body shock that back surgery is, but oh boy, it is still very nasty and I am having a few episodes of shakes and tears when doing the very necessary exercises. My leg is so rock hard, red hot and bruised black blue, red etc and barely looks like my own leg . I can walk well .. Weight bearing is just fine with only the odd wobble. The nights, however, are pretty rough and I am usually up to relieve the pain with oxynorm and ice at least twice of often three times a night. My back, buttock and hip twinge and ache all the time so I am using ice there too. I am provisionally booked in for another nerve root block on the 10th ... Am wondering whose great idea this was?..
  • I'm so sorry. I was hoping that the TKR would be an easy ride for you. Maybe you could ask for an extended release Narcotic to take at bedtime. Not being able to sleep is the worst.
    Artificial disc at L5S1 for 10 years. Had 3 Level lumbar fusion and Laminectomy on Sept 27, 2013. It was an OLIF (Oblique Lumbar Interbody Fusion) with cages, BMP, rods & screws. Norco, Plaquenil
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