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Anterior/Posterior Lumbar Fusion Recovery Pointers Please

I have finally been approved by work comp to receive my L4-S1 anterior & posterior lumbar fusion (18 months post injury). I don't yet have a date. I do know I'll only be in the hospital 1 night then discharged home. I have read the list of items to have for recovery but am looking for any recovery pointers I can get. If it helps with the advice, I'll be home alone most of the time while my husband is at work & my children are at school. My bedroom & full bathroom are up 15 stairs. We are thinking of getting a recliner to make getting myself up & down easier than our sectional. Any advice/pointers are greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance!


  • I pray it surgery goes well. I am 4 weeks lumbar fusion. Did u see the awesome list of must haves ? It is about as real as,can be. I to am alone but my bedrooms are on the 1st floor. I was in,the hospital for 5,days but no rehab so far just walking. The thing that has helped me more than anything. Has been to have 3 of those grabber extensions for picking up stuff to avoid bending and then getti,g things out of the pantry. I highly recommend a,shower chair especially when u are still on meds. Feels safe and u can sit,and,enjoy the hot water on ur back. Also, before surgery put everything u eenjoy like,computer, books, journal , phone charger etc.....also water,,water,water,at all times for,hydration .also baby wipes,in,every bathroom , extra,toilet paper where u can reach them., I also put as much as I could at waist,level in my fridge, bathroom, kitchen ...etc.......have a heating pad and gel ice pack are,a,must. I have 2 so I always have a back up when I use1. Biotene,toothpaste and mouth wash are great foe that dry mouth thing u have post op. A small fan was so nice also for the night sweats. Serna- anti itch lotion for the healed inscions is awesome and stops that awful iitch .sorry for rambling,, just,cannot,sleep. Lol Theresa
  • What type of fusion did you have? I'm very worried about being discharged the next day. How soon after your fusion could you shower? I ask because we were thinking about getting my Dad's roll away bed & setting it up in our dining room on the mail level which only has a 1/2 bath to avoid steps until I can get upstairs to shower. Do you have a recliner & if so was it beneficial? I already have a grabber & since I can't set a date for surgery yet I have time to get everything on the list.
  • I am 3 weeks out from a lumbar fusion and in the st. Louis area (thinking u r too from the user name). I personally have not used a shower chair cause I only shower before my husband leaves or comes from work. Those grabbing sticks that old people use are my favorite tool ever! I can get stuff I drop, assist with getting dressed, reach things without bending, etc. One other thing I found extremely useful was a potty lift. It makes going to the bathroom so much more comfortable. I used it for the first two wks. Ice packs are must, and I wouldn't recommend a recliner at all we have one and I still cannot sit in it comfortably. Sitting is the most painful for me personally. Maybe for the first couple wks you might want to borrow that bed and put it at ground level, since climbing stairs is painful. My doctor told me only one trip daily up and down. Most importantly prepare for things to do to make u not feel anxious, depressed, and worthless. I still don't do much but lay down, stand, walk. I did start pt 2 1/2 wKS post op, and think it's way too early. My husband got me a tablet, since I only had a desk top, and I have books galore, healthy snacks, tons of h2o. We set up a little TV Stand next to our bed so everything can be accessed easily, such as phone, drinks, tablet, etc. We also rearranged my bed so I could see the TV since I can only sleep on side now (which socks if u r not a side sleeper). Just relax as much as possible, take it easy, and get ready for the hardest part to come. Also, I was discharged after 1 day and couldn't control my pain and an ambulance had to take me all the way back where I stayed another 2 days. I know with workers comp, you're not given much of a choice though. My son had a cervical fusion on workers comp 7 months ago and was discharged about 2 hrs following surgery. It will be hard, painful, and lonely during the days, but just keep in mind to stay ahead of the pain, and remember all bad things will end. Sorry for the long post, and I wish you a safe surgery and an easy as they come recovery. Also I don't know if for the first week u have it set up for someone to be with you all day. Cause there's no way I could have did anything without someone that first week or so.
  • Yes, I am in St. Louis. How long are you up for at a time or are you mostly in bed? I have people I can call in an emergency but no one will be with me full time during the day after surgery. Unless, it is not scheduled until after my kids are out of school next month (I can't schedule anything yet because their side has a right to appeal but fingers crossed they don't) thank you for the advice & I wish you continued recovery!
  • Emtnelly has some great tips also. I had a L4- S1 discetomy with a fusion or called a,TLIF. I was in the hospital 5 days. I do not have a recrecliner. But laid a,lot in my bed. Emtnelly is,right on,about the toilet riser. U can rent them or buy one. Seriously I had a high toilet o it in because I am very short and know this will always be an issue now. I stayed by myself after my surgery but I was there 5 days. Just keep ur pain under control as best u can.
  • STL Momma I am still in bed most of the day. Of course I get up and walk around. I went to church once on Easter, I've been to the grocery store twice and rode the scooters, and have physical therapy three times a week for an hour. I walk outside for short amounts of time only when someone is with me. I'm still not allowed to drive which sucks! But if I were I would probably just cause myself more pain, cause I am going crazy all alone in this house. I have managed to cook a couple times, bit am still in bed 60-75% of the day.
  • I have a walker (my left leg gets weak from the nerve issues), the grabber, the handled bath poof, back scratcher, & satin sheets already. I'm waiting on the toilet seat riser simply because someone I know who had a work comp injury said she was sent home with one that work comp paid for but if I don't get to come home with 1 hubby will be making that his second stop (first is going to be the pharmacy I'm sure LOL). I hadn't anticipated being in bed that long , I thought after a week I'd be up with rests here & there. I've been out of work since Oct (my work decided to no longer offer restricted duty) but at least I can currently get up & do some cleaning & stuff here & there, I already see myself going stir crazy. Luckily my girls are a little older & can help out with simple chores. You ladies have really made me feel better & more prepared. Still worried about coming home the next day and the only surgery I had was a Csection so the pain aspect is really scary but I'm ready to get back to my life, job, & kids!
  • Hi all -
    I'm so glad to have found this site and all the great feedback everyone is willing to share. I had C3-7 fusion last July and am very happy with the results and how much better my neck feels. That was my first surgery ever - at age 61 - so didn't know what to expect. It was difficult for a couple of weeks, but went better than I expected. Because it was so successful, I've decided to go ahead with L4-L5 fusion (with some clean up on S1). Surgery is scheduled for early July. I'm trying to get all the info I can to prepare properly for this surgery and to know how I'll handle day to day life post-surgery. My neurosurgeon has said I'll be in the hospital 1-2 days then home. I live alone, will have family stop by once a day probably. I just want to be sure I have everything I'll need to get myself through the first couple of weeks after surgery. Dr. said I'll go back to work (I'm an admin assistant so sit most of the day) 2-4 weeks after surgery. Please, any of you who have experience with this, please tell me what to expect upon waking from surgery and then what to plan for once home. Many thanks, in advance!

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  • Hi. I'm new to this site. But I had anterior and posterior lumbar fusion of the S1 and L5. Right after the first surgery, the bone grinding pain was gone. I was doing great for the first 4 weeks after both surgeries with was on March 2 and 9. After 4 wks, pain started to come back, into my back and right leg mainly. I'm 6 and 7 weeks post op and am in most the time uncontrollable pain, it wakes me up at night and doesn't let up. Doctor says it will take time cuz i had 2 back to back major surgeries and it will take a year or more to get better. But I don't understand how I got worse weeks later after the surgeries yet I was doing so good the first 4 wks. Anyone out there please let me know if you had the same experience and is it going to get better like my doctor said. Cuz right now I'm in just as much pain and even more pain than I was before surgeries
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