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

Spinal Fusion. Need YOUR opinion and suggestions;)

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:19 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery

I just found out that I have to have a Lumbar Spinal Fusion for 2 of my disc's. They will remove the 2 bad disc's and put cages and 6 screws and plates in. I am excited about not hurting but a little scared of the surgery:):)

So can any of you tell me about your surgical fusion experiances...what to expect...what to do to prepair for the surgery:)??

And how to deal with afterwards..what will it feel like??


  • Hi Polly,

    I know that you may have heard some scary things about spinal surgeries, especially fusion, but let me tell you that many of us had very uneventful fusion surgeries with normal recovery and most importantly, gained relief from our previous symptoms. Of course every body is different, so we respond differently.

    I had my three-level fusion surgery and decompression with instrumentation in May, and it went way better than I expected. I did not have any pain after surgery, but many people do and it is important to discuss with your surgeon how he/she plans to manage your pain control.

    After the surgery you will begin a long and sometimes frustrating recovery period. Even if you will not experience too many post-operative problems, you will have to adopt a new way of doing everything. You will have to use a "log roll" to get in and out of bed, you may have to experiment with different positions and pillow supports until you find a comfortable position, either when in bed or when trying to sit. At first, your Dr. may not even allow you to sit more than 30 minutes at the time. As soon as you can, you will have to start walking, as that is the best therapy to help you start fusing. It may be just a step or two at first (usually the day after surgery) but you will have to try walking several times a day, increasing the distance each time. At first you may be using a walker or a cane for support.

    It may vary from patient to patient, but I stayed for 3 days at the hospital and for 7 days at rehab. During the fist few weeks it is best if you have somebody staying with you. You will also need to purchase certain items for after the surgery when you cannot bend, lift, or twist (BLT). If you go back a bit on the "Back and neck surgery" thread, several postings dealt with the items you will need to have on hand. If you can't locate this or if you have additional questions, you can ask here and people will respond or you can PM me.

    Good luck,

    Kin :) :) :) :)
  • I'm 7 weeks (almost 8 weeks) post op from my second fusion surgery. The surgery itself isn't that horrible-just know you will have a lot of pain for the first couple days and then it eases over the next two weeks and then we all vary from there. Immediately post. op. they have you on a pump with a narcotic which you control to ease your pain, so it isn't too terrible that way. Then they put you on a narcotic pain killer, usually some sort of muscle relaxer and DEFINITELY a stool softner. It is wise to have someone for at least the first week after dischare. My mom was a tremendous help just helping me in and out of bed and monitoring my meds so I didn't have to think about when I took the last one.
    Prepare yourself mentally for a year recovery. The first 3 months can be the most trying because it's slower progress, there's no driving for a bit and you have to find things to do that don't involve much physically. There are some great suggestions for good mysteries on a thread-pm me and I'd be happy to give you a list of them, collect some magazines, get together some pictures you need to organize and put in albums....whatever things you chooose make them simple and know you'll only work on them a little bit then probably tire out the first month or so.
    I truly believe the surgery is worth it because I had almost no life left due to the horrible instability or my spine and the pain. I have much less pain, even at this point. But a year IS a long time and I DO get very impatient.
    Good Luck to You!!!
  • When is your surgery scheduled for? I have a long list of "get ready" things that I can send to you. Whe I was preparing for my surgery someone sent it to me. I found it to be very helpful.

    I am having a 2 level l4-s1 on tues 7/8.

    Best of luck and keep us posted.

  • Polly
    I would suggest a few things that I didn't do....go to the facility where you will be having your surgery and take a look around. I was at a dirty, unorganized, and highly unprofessional hospital. I came out of recovery with NO PAIN MEDICATION! and when I complained I was told "You know this isn't going to be pain free!" They finally got me on a pain pump, that 2 RN's didn't know how to operate, an aide had to show them. I didn't recieve a bath the entire 4 days I was there. They left my catheter in for 2 days,they forgot!I rang my call button 3 times one night, the RN kept coming in and shutting it off, finally on the third time she asked me"Are you who keeps turning this on?" Unbelievable! I had to ask for the physical therapist to pay me a visit,and then all they did was help me get out of bed and walk me down the hall and back. Never saw them again.I think my surgeons were ok,but I sure would have been more comfortable in another hospital. And I could have went a different one, but I thought all hospitals were clean and professional. So I would strongly suggest you go take a look. See what their protocol is for after recovery room care. And for when you go home, I had to ask for a prescription for pain meds. And a week later I had to call my doctor for muscle relaxers, they should have given me those at the hospital. I think hospitals like this are few and far between, but they exist! Take care and I hope your experience is much better than mine was.
Sign In or Register to comment.