Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

ADVICE...L4/5 & L5S1 ALIF & second stage posterior L4 to S1 decompression and Fusion.

Tracy WoodliffeTTracy Woodliffe Posts: 2
edited 01/30/2015 - 7:36 AM in Surgery Buddies
Im new!
Mum of 2
Wee bit nervous about surgery so any tips/advice GREATLY received.



  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    Welcome to Spine-Health

    Use that above hyperlink to help you get started with Spine-Health and navigate through the system.

    If there are any questions, you can always post them here, send Liz or myself a private message or contact Ron rdilauro@veritashealth.com

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Its obviously normal to experience anxiety regarding this type of surgery, as it should be. I remember researching the procedure , Physicians , hospitals etc.! And then , I discovered this forum. Not that it took the place of all my research but that it became an integral part of the process. Reading about actual experiences proved invaluable! I would encourage anyone considering this type of procedure to review different post's here. It really assisted myself both before and after the surgery.
    Now regarding additional advice , the following tips helped me. If possible ,get yourself in surgery shape. Meaning prior to the event , try to exercise as much as possible with the focus on cardio and core training. This, because surgery takes a lot of energy out of you. I know for myself, being fit helped immensely!! Have someone to assist at home the first 2 weeks post op. This to prepare meals , drive to the store and assist with getting comfortable. For myself , I didn't really have any challenge getting out of bed , walking or bathroom duties. Even the stairs in the house didn't prove to be an issue.
    At about 3 weeks post op , I was walking 2 miles per day. For me, walking was the rehab as my surgeon felt because of my
    level of fitness , I'd be fine.
    At 10 weeks post op ,back to work and the gym. Now at almost 6 months , I'm feeling pretty good! I really want to do everything physically , however I'm still being careful due to the fusion not quite at 100%. Although , I'm on track to be there by April at this rate. Patience!!
    So , do your research , ask LOTS of questions and use this forum to gain VAULABLE information regarding back surgery!
    Also , stay positive and focused. It does help!
    All the best to those considering and who have had surgery!

    Bilateral L5 spondylolysis L5 with grade I anterolisthesis L5-S1.
    Stable multilevel degenerative spondylosis contributing to mild canal
    narrowing L2-3 and L3-4.
    360 ALIF & PLIF L-4 - S-1 on 8/11/14
  • PlanoCelloMomPPlanoCelloMom Posts: 2
    edited 02/22/2015 - 12:50 PM
    Hello Mum of 2,
    You have every right to be "a wee bit nervous", I was scared to death : )
    My surgery was on 12/11/14 and was a 360 degree. An anterior discectomy and removal of osteophytes with plates - S1 -L5, L5/4, L4/3 AND a posterior foraminotomy, and laminectomy - S1 - L2 with rods and pedicle screws. She also performed a kyphoplasty at T5.
    This was my second spine surgery in 6 months, but I REALLY trusted my neurosurgeon, she is pretty "kick a$@" in the end it was "fine."
    My advice would be to be as fit as possible BEFORE surgery. Between rehabbing after the June surgery (anterior foraminotomy, osteophyte removal, discectomy and fusion with plates and screws C3/4, C5/6) and preparing for the December surgery I spent 5+ months going to physical therapy 3 times a week. It without any doubt saved my bacon. You will need as much upper body and core strength as possible. You will temporarily lose your core strength immediately after surgery, but you want to have established some serious muscle memory that will kick in as you begin to recover and rehab. Your upper arm/body strength is what is going to carry you over the hump. You will need this strength to shift position in bed those first few days/weeks and to get in/out of bed, up off of a chair and off the commode.
    Stay AHEAD of your pain. DO NOT skimp on the pain meds, there is NO REASON for you to hurt. It just makes everything harder than it has to be and sets you up for emotional as well as physical distress and you do not need that, and it WILL hinder your recovery.
    Make sure you have help, animate and inanimate!! You will need a "stand" of some sort that goes over the commode to raise it up and to give you arm rests/grips and you will also need a shower bench or chair. I have a 3 in 1 "bedside" commode, although it was never used bedside it can be, it also fits over the regular commode and sits in the shower with the lid down as a shower chair with arms. My surgeon also prescribes a walker for the first couple of weeks. This allowed me to get to and from the bathroom and to move from my bedroom to the family room and back again without anyone needing to be right by my side. Make sure you follow your surgeon's guidelines for wearing your back brace. DO NOT cheat, you are only hurting yourself.
    In the beginning and depending on how many days you are in the hospital, when you get home you will also need someone to help you move around and sit up in bed, get in and out of bed and in and out of a chair. You will need someone to bring you meals and water, the ever present pillows and blankets and to go to the store, take out the trash and do some laundry.
    You didn't say how old your 2 are, but if they are not independent, make sure you have the appropriate amount of help for them as well. In the beginning everything is hard and as much as you might want to you will not be able to do anything for them and even something as simple as having them sit next to you on the couch is not going to be possible. I am also Mum to 2 (CelloMom2-2 actually!!) but thankfully my 2 are independent , however, the poor kitty cat couldn't understand why he couldn't sit on my lap or lay next to me on the couch or in my bed.
    I spent 7 days in the ICU, not because of anything the neurosurgeon did or didn't do, but because my body was just plain ticked off! I went home and by day 14 home I had made great strides. I was going for short walks with the walker up and down my street by myself, weather permitting and back and forth across my house when it didn't. By week 3 I was still using the walker most of the time inside , but going short stents without it i.e. used it to get into the kitchen, but moved around the kitchen without it. I could also use the walker alone to stand up from sitting without anyones help. By week 3 I'd made a very short trip to the grocery, craft store, hardware store. I'd also been to have an ultrasound of my legs, X-rays of my surgical sites and my staples removed.
    On day 21 everything changed, but again not because of anything the neurosurgeon did or didn't do, or because of my back at all. My blood pressure bottomed out and I passed out and shattered my ankle in 3 places. I had emergency surgery and spent the next 22 days in hospital. Recovery is a "you know what", but I have had X-rays of my surgical sites and seen my neurosurgeon and I didn't do any bone damage, my hardware and bone grafts are where they are supposed to be.
    This is a big undertaking, but if you are confident in your surgeon, do the prep work and have a plan A and a plan B all should be well.
    Best of luck,

    ACDF C3/4, C5/6 with plates, screws, PEEK. 6/10/2014
    Anterior/posterior (360) LDF S1/L5, L5/4, 4/3 with anterior plates, screws, PEEK. Posterior rods, pedal screws, cross ties. Osteophyte removal & complete L1 - L5 Laminectomy 12/11/2014
Sign In or Register to comment.