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After spinal fusion..What can I expect?

Laurie AnnLLaurie Ann Posts: 47
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:19 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Looks like I am having spinal fusion in August. What can I expect afterwards?? I am having it in August before kids go back t school, so I will have help, their all teens 15 and older. The surgeon said it may not relieve all back pain, but it will help leg pain.


  • hi laurie
    after my fusion, i had to relearn how to walk again, dress, getting in and out of bed. surgeons forget to tell you that. make sure you have the medical devices you need to help you,
    1 toilet riser
    2 grabber
    3 walker (provided by hosp sometimes)
    4 shower seat
    5 everything at a reachable level
    baby wipes
    journal to write things down like med schedule

    the hardest part of them all it when using potty learning how to wipe booty. that would be tricky part
    hope helps
  • What procedure and what level(s) are you having done? Recovery for most of us has been longer than any of us anticipated. There are a lot of us here who can offer helpful suggestions once we know a bit more.
  • Hi Laurie Ann,

    Since I don't know exactly what type of surgery you are having, I just offer you some general suggestions.

    When you read all the postings you will see that as many people as many experiences. So if you read about some difficult recoveries, remember every body is different, for example I did not experience any of the pain and difficulties after my three-level fusion than most. But even if you experience pain, remember that it can be controlled, so make sure they give you sufficient medication for.

    One thing is sure though, you will have to move differently at least until you are fused and this can takes months even up to two years. You will not be allowed to bend, lift or twist (BLT). So in the hospital they will teach you the "log roll" that you will have to use getting in and out of bed.

    Probably a day after surgery they will get you out of bed, even if only for 5 minutes. Walking will be your main type of treatment as it helps with fusion, and also helps you get back on your feet. It will be hard at first, so you may do only short walks (5 minutes or less) but you will increase it as you are able to. At the beginning you may need to use a walker or a cane.

    You will tire easily, so you'll have to take frequent rests. Even if otherwise everything went perfectly, your body need recovery time after such a trauma it went through.

    Diet is also important, as it helps you to heal faster and feel better. So eat lots of fresh fruits, vegetables and protein. Vitamins and Calcium supplement also help.

    That is all I can think about right now. keep on reading the different threads, there is lots of related info everywhere.

    Good luck,

    Kin :) :) :) :) :)
  • The surgeon said they will remove bone, place a rod and screws, and put back ground down bone. Spinal Fusion at L4-5
    I have already had a cervical fusion in April 08
  • Hey Laurie,

    I had a two level fusion this past sept. Before I went in for surgery, i was pretty much on this site all day. very very helpful. The week before I went in, I changed all the clothes in my drawers from the summer to winter (cause I knew come the fall I would be in no condition to do so, and I did the same for my kids), I redid my side of the bathroom, taking out everything I would need and put it at a level so I did not have to bend, got slide on shoes, those were very impt for me and still are, Only now I am tieing my own shoes, and I hate it. I got 2 grabbers, one for upstairs and one for downstairs. When I came home from the hosp, I had my mom get me a hospital bed, I tried to sleep in my own bed the first night and it was a disaster for me...the hospital bed stayed with me for about 3 months. It was great, especially for napping after I started pt. I am sure you will here from many and there was a list at one time...good luck!!!
  • Hello,
    I'm having a spinal fusion, L2 3 4 5, next week. My case is unique as I had a total right knee replacement 8 months ago, not realizing I also had back issues, just thought my back was bothering me due to limping so bad from my knee. It's very difficult for me to walk, get up from a chair, use stairs ect. as the compressed disks control my quads and leg. This surgery will correct the problems and I'll get full use of my leg again. Any tips on the best chairs to use, getting in & out of bed? T/Y Patty
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,476
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