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Multi-level fusion recovery

dtesterddtester Posts: 1
edited 05/11/2015 - 9:31 PM in Recovering from Surgery
I am 20 days post-op from a multi-level fusion surgery (4/21 Tuesday). I was there 7AM until 5PM on 4/24 (Friday). Friday afternoon was a flurry prior to discharging me to a rehab center. This was when I saw PT and OT, all for the first and only time. A brace company representative came to fit me to basically an elastic binder with rip cords. My NS had told me I'd be in a brace from above my breasts to my hips. The brace rep really spoke negatively about this, apparently the brace order was not specific. I would not accept this. Well, he finally returned just before I left with a Bremer MALE Comfalign ($1408!!). He did nothing to adjust the rods, only trimmed the shell as it arrives fairly long. I did orthotic fittings in the 1970s and I really do not feel "fitted" properly. At the same time, I rescinded my consent to go to a rehab facility. I had help at home for a week and really felt I did not need to go to a facility.

So I was set up for home health care. Because of communication lapses, I did not start OT/PT until 5/3 (came home 4/24). I am to be discharged this week from OT and next from PT. I was right to come home! I have done pretty well, especially with the precautions. The RN from home care was quite expressive when she looked at my incision. Her wound paper tape measure from McKesson was only six inches and my incision is 8.5. MY NS's nurse told me to start peeling off the steri strips after Day 10?? Nobody else thought that a good idea. As of today, I have one strip about to fall off. The rest of the 20 strips are still well-fastened.

I was also set up, with no forewarning from my NS or hospital staff, with a bone stimulator, Biomet SpinalPak. The rep just called to say she was on her way! As with SO MANY topics, Spine-Health is such a wealthy resource. Thank you.

I have a bladder stimulator so am unable to have an MRI, which was very frustrating to both my neurosurgeons. She still felt it would be more than one fusion but couldn't tell until in surgery. The date was delayed because she had to also schedule another NS to do the surgery with her.

Here is my info. I am 60 years old and single. I also have kidney/bladder/bowel issues, bipolar II/depression/anxiety, sleep apnea (use CPAP), hypothyroidism and my baseline BP is 100/60. 85/50 moved slightly during the 24 hours after the surgery. As soon as the CNP came on the floor, she d/c'd my pain pump! I had finally in the last three hours found a rhthym. My B/P is low, 85/50 was not an issue for me. So many "numbers" are appointed to ALL patients unnecessarily. I have had quite a few surgeries. The pre-op doctor told me I am a "durable surgical patient."

My PCP referred me to the pain clinic after many years of low back pain and increasing leg pain. Procedures were quick and painless, but the only one that worked was the RFAs, but only for four months.

DX from pain management clinic 2014; Facet, Epidural, RFA, and SI Joint injections both sides (twice in facets)
1. Displacement of lumbar intervertebral disc without myelopathy
2. Degeneration of lumbosacral interbertebral disc
3. Lumbosacral spondylosis without myelopathy
4. Osteopenia

DX from neurosurgeon after Myelogram/CT
1. Moderate multilevel degenerative disease in the lumbar spine
2. Disc osteophyte complexes, disc bulges, and thickening of the ligamentum flavum result in mild to moderate central spinal canal and bilateral lateral recess stenosis at L3-L4 and L4-L5. There is also mild central spinal canal stenosis at L2-L3.
3. Disc space narrowing and osteophytes result in several levels of foraminal stenosis of varying severity. this includes mild right and moderate to severe left foraminal stenosis at L5-S1, and moderate right and mild to moderate left foraminal stenosis at L4-L5.
4. There is mild dextroconvex scoliosis of the lumbar spine.

My discharge procedure report........
L2, 3, 4, 5, S1 decompression with interbody fusion L3-4, L4-5, bilateral foraminotomies L2-3, L5-S1. L3, L4, L5, S1 arthrodesis, posteriorlateral technique. Posterior segmental pedicle screw fixation L3, L4, L5, S1.

Do I read that as bone grafts and screws for three levels with decompression only on L2-L3? My follow-up is 5/19.

MY QUERY--can anyone having this large a surgery advise me on their recovery? I am off the percocet, and senna-LOL. But I still take meds for my other conditions. I only use flexeril from my NS infrequently. My legs are starting to hurt again. NS's nurse said the nerves were very traumatized in surgery and will take some time. My hardest issue is not doing the housework I normally do. I also care some for an ALS bedridden/ventilator patient and I am really wondering when I might be able to move an adult around and all the bending and lifting. One member talked of an office job and being back to work in three weeks--please be me.

Thanks for reading my epistle. And thanks for so much information. I have read the FAQs, rules, info for newbies, and LOTS of posts as well as all the health info on the site.

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