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Spinal Fusion L1-L2 XLIF surgery scheduled on Tuesday, 10 Feb 15. Nervous

My Name is Dixie, I have been on and off this site for 3 yrs. I have DDD and Spondylilothesis in L4-L5 along with ever changing herniations scattered through. Last oOct I went on a ride at the state fair that destroyed me - pain shooting in butt, legs, calf, feet.... It added acute injury to an already fragile body. However, that is not why I am writing. Along with that, I have had a sharp ache in my midlow back for at least 9 years. I'm a pretty tough girl, Ive always just pushed through pain. Waking up going full force until aprox 1pm and my back painforceed me to laydown. I also can not get spine injections, I have had muliple in my lifetime, until the last two sent me to the Hospital with miningitus. The miningitus is always viral. Infectious Dr and Back Dr thinks it is diretly related to injections - so that is a done deal.... no more shots. So with all avenues taken, I was sent to see a surgeon. I have had many MRIs, however, never an xray. Also I failed to mention the pain in my midlow back is the one that knockes me off my feet. Surgeon told me that he had never seen a 37 yr old with such spinal instabilitly... in my L1-L2 so my consult for my L4-5. turned in to surgery for my L1-L2. I have retrolithesis, which is where your disc slips backward off of your spine, same as spondylilothesis except opposite and higher. Anyway, my surgery is on Tuesday, in 3 days, I'm scared and losing it. My back dr took me off of Butrans patch 20mg cold turkey, yesterday. saying it would not allow the other pain med the surgeon is going to give me work as well, being a partial antagonist. So, here I sit, in pain, hardly able to move, losing my mind and rethinking the who surgery idea. Just Freaking out.
I have so many questons, too many to ask, the surgeon what this little guy with a sweet pleasant face. Who gaveme very little after care instructions. Has anyone had fusion at the L1-L2 area? Everytimne I would show a little nervousness and would be worried, he would say Well, you dont have to have the surgery done. ... WTF. I guess I just need words of encouragement. Anything. Dixie


  • wow, your lack of replies really made me sad.
  • Hello Dixie,

    I just joined this site yesterday. I was feeling down for myself until I read your story. That is so sad for such a young lady! I've only had ACDF that didn't fuse, looking like they will have to go back in and redo.

    Please let me know how your surgery goes, I wish I could help you more with answers.

    You will be in my thoughts tomorrow! Please update when you are able.
  • I just wanted to thank you so very much for your reply. I have my surgery today at 3 p.m. It's February 10th 2015. I guess this forum is more for factual information and less about support for people's emotions. Again I wanted to thank you for taking the time just to wish me luck.
  • Jimbo8JJimbo8 Posts: 27
    edited 02/10/2015 - 1:38 AM
    I'm sure everything will go fine for you today.

    Please let me know how you are doing when you are able. You will be in my thoughts!
  • I wish you all the best in your recovery. Its hard to not do the things you normally do for awhile. No bending, lifting and twisting is not easy. Time is going by faster now that I am more active.

    I'm also young, 29, and just had a PLIF for L5 S1 with instrumentation. I had my surgery on Jan 19th and, today, I'm going for a walk for a coffee. This is the second time I've done the coffee walk. I pray you have the same success. I am SURE you will.
    Condition: Bilateral L5 pars defects and anterior slip of L5 on S1 by about 50% of the width of the L5 vertebral body.
    Surgery: L5-S1 PLIF January 19 / 2015
    Condition: Spinal stenosis at L4-5 immediately above the level of fusion on the basis of broad-based disc herniation. posterior element overgrowth and retrolisthesis of 4 on 5. There is impingement on the L5 root bilaterally at this level.
  • How are you all feeling now. I have had a fusion from T10 to L10 , rib removal as a graft and have severe pain. Can I ask what pain symptoms you have?
  • I am now 4weeks post op and i have to tell you .... in the hospital i was in extreme pain, they kept me 3 days so they could get the right meds to control it.... and they had me on an incredible amount. the first week at home was hard and i needed everybit of it, then my back pain subsided and i was up doing things like laundry and dishes... stuff i wasnt supposed to do but, again, no one really gave me any bonderies. 3 weeks in i started feeli g a click click in my back, so they brought me in for an exray and at that time finally i was scared. i had been begging them to scare me cause i kmew i was over doing it. well the click was bone graphes rubbing.3 days later i was at my reg back dr(as i was released from my surgeon except for a follow up in a month) my back dr cut my pain meds in half, at 3.5 weeks... i was begging him not to, just giveme two more weeks i begged. but nope. intent on following all med orders i did as he said... i was in bed for 2 days, slepping, in pain, stomach running off. called my surgeron after 3rd day when i was coming out of my delousional state. he said i was withdrawling already! and was pissed at my reg doc for doing it and asked if i wanted my med back. i told him no. i cant go thro that again... that was about 4 days ago.i thing it was a cruel thing to do to some one. my sergeon told me i could take motrin for extra pain... which seems to go against everything i read.! No NSAIDS for spinal fusions. when i question them, they told me to stay off the internet. so i take motrin, a lot. so that is how im doing... i went to the gym and walked a mile yesterday which im so proud of... god knows, im in pain... but i tough it out. i hurt but ut us considerably better. i dont know if i can go through thisagain...really. my l4l5 and s1 need surgery, but as of now, i will manage with meds.
    How are the 3 of you? Thank you for repling to me, gives me little faith in many heavy posters who are opinionated on this site. judgemental and opinionated... things everyone abuse meds and so on... we all know who they are. so thank you. would love to hear how you 3 are doing.
    Dixie Green
  • Hi Dixiechick,

    I've just joined this forum. I would like to say that I really admire you. YOU ARE GREAT!. I almost cried reading your story and I completely agree with you that many people are here more to seek emotional support than finding technical information. Well, I am one of them and I totally understand what you are talking about. I have also got a problem with my l5-S1, a significant disc herniation which has almost completely stopped me from my normal activities. That happened to me when i was studying overseas and I had to go through a 16 hrs flight in order to get back home. I have been working too hard toward my doctoral degree and now I can barely even use my computer!. As stupid as it sounds, a small disc in my back has significantly changed my life. I just can't accept all my efforts is lost. Just wanted to share my story with you.

    I also think you should listen to your doctor. But its always worth getting a second opinion. In the mean time keep educating yourself about your situation. . Wish you get fixed soon. Take care and keep us posted.
  • Hi Dixiechick,

    I am so amazed by your courage. You are such a young person to be going through something like this! I am 59 years old, and I just found out last September that my whole lumbar spine has little or no discs left. Hard to believe that I have lived all of these years without terrible pain…some lower back pain, but nothing unmanageable. Now I am having bad sciatica. The injections have helped, but I am still experiencing pain and numbness. I am looking at a 5 level fusion. I'm having my hip replaced in a week, and had my knee replaced last year. It has been like a punch in the gut every year for the past few years. It is so hard dealing with health issues, and it really changes who you are. But I believe that it can change you for the better…It has made me more compassionate towards others and much more grateful for all of the things that I do have…like people who care and want to help. We all take what we have for granted, so I try to find one thing to be really grateful for each day, like my eyesight, or the way my hands work so well.

    I hope this has been helpful! Wishing you all of the best on your journey!

    Kathleen Mahoney
  • So sorry you have to go through this, I am new here too and looking for been there done that advice, as well as a place where people get it. I am forty, a mom of twin seven year olds trying desperately not to loose my business(sewing) and looking at a possible fourth back surgery in three years time. From what I have gathered from your story, your exit orders may have been lacking, which I found during the micro discectomy surgeries. Whatever you do, assume you shouldn't be doing it, haha. Laundry, nope. Sitting, nope. Bending, nope. Dishes, nope. Vacuuming, nope. Walking, yes...even better walking in a pool, do not swim until you have had some PT to get your core back to stable though. Walking in water for more than about 20 minutes can be painful too because you won't feel it until you are on land, so go easy until you have built some strength back. I am at the, stop doing what your doing when your feet go numb stage, only my feet are numb almost constantly now. It is amazing the amount of workout you can get with some very small movements, hopefully you have started PT and have a home plan started. As for meds, no advice here as I know we all are just trying to get through the day without collapsing into the pain.
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