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L5-S1 fusion with instruments and laminectomy @ 22 y.0

annieraganaannieragan Posts: 1
edited 05/27/2015 - 5:58 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello everyone, I have been reading the forum for a few months now and decided that it is a good time to post now that I am out of surgery.

I am a 22 y.o extremely athletic woman. I played indoor and beach volleyball 4-5 days a week. I also worked out 5-6 days a week with weights- no cardio. I do not smoke or drink and I take very good care of my body. I have about 13% body fat (which was a positive for going into this surgery for me).
October 2013 another vehicle that was speeding struck mine and forced my car into the cement barrier- completely totaling it. I was lucky to be alive and only fracture my L1-L5 spinous processes on the right side of my spine. After these fractures healed and I was cleared by my orthopedic, I was back to my normal activities. I noticed that I had an extreme pelvic tilt and scoliosis after this accident also along with the left side of my back muscles being raised significantly higher than the left.
After about five months of feeling great I started to get radiating pain down my left side (not the side I fractured). It was all the above: stabbing, shooting, grabbing, pins and needles, burning, aching..you name it. It stemmed from the bottom of my left butt cheek all the way down the outside of my left leg and wrapped around the bottom of my foot. It began to get worse and eventually I couldn't even lift my leg up as high as I used to without being in extreme pain. No jumping, running, jogging, anything like that. A complete life change for me.

It began to be chronic pain and when I went in for an x-ray due to the pain I was told I would need surgery because I had L5-S1 spondylolithesis (my L5 was slipping over my S1). I was devastated to say the least. I feel like for a year and a half I have been recovering only to have to recover longer and harder.

I did my research and met with a highly reviewed surgeon. After the first meeting I knew I loved him and felt that he understood me and was able to answer everything I asked him. He met with me for over an hour! And I never felt rushed. He said surgery was my only option- I had tried ProLo ( they wouldn't see me due to the nature of the problem ), I did not want epidurals aka false sense of feeling better, I had acupuncture, heel lift, inversion tables, PT...nothing worked long term.

(Wednesday)Right after the surgery I had absolutely no pain whatsoever. The first night I slept OK (whatever that means for being in a hospital). I woke up a little tender but still not in pain. One of the surgeons came in and told me my lack of pain was mostly due to the epidural they put in my spine during surgery (darn). He also said my surgery was a lot easier than expected once they were actually looking at my spine. That evening the catheter came out and I was able to walk around a bit. Felt a little different at first but not as bad as I thought it would be.
The second night there (Thursday) was horrible. I was vomiting and in extreme pain. Both my hips were extremely achy - worse than lyme disease and I could not get comfortable. I was prescribed 5 mg of oxy and they did absolutely nothing for me. I still could not sleep. Finally they gave me a valium and I was able to get about four hours of sleep. Pain level then was about an 8.

I was sent home the next morning (Friday) thank goodness! I felt 10 times better in my own bed at my own house (of course). I got a full nights sleep and was feeling a pain level of about 5. I was able to turn in bed with discomfort but not pain which was awesome. I think this also has to do with staying on top of the meds and not waiting until the pain has set it already.
On Saturday I was walking around my yard a bit and sitting for 8 minutes a time. I was also able to flip in bed with a little more ease than the previous day. Still taking the prescribed dose of meds. Got another FULL nights sleep :).
On Sunday I found it even easier to flip in bed, get in and out, go to the bathroom, walk around, etc. I stopped taking the oxy during the day and only take the 950 tylenol. Still have to take breaks after walking for about 15 mins and do lay down and relax. Decided to take half the oxy (so 5 mg) because my hip area is sore from where they took the marrow. Took another half during the middle of the night because I woke up in a tad bit of discomfort.

Today (Monday) Have not had to take any oxy at all ..walked a bit and then relaxed. We shall see where today takes me.

Surgeon said I should sail right through this due to my age, health, body type, and attitude. Hoping he is right but also letting the healing take its course.



  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    Please take the time to read this post and refer to it when you have questions

    I am sure that you will find your time on Spine-Health very rewarding. This site is a powerful and integrated system that is dynamic and growing.
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    Doug Hell

    Also working with us very closely is Allison Walsh from the Spine-Health company


    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,476
    Thanks for sharing your story
    It's always so good to hear good news! And you're situation and attitude .......so encouraging!

    Best of luck with continued recovery and as you let "healing take its course"!
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • Did you have anybody to help you?
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