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Surgery on Friday--Scared Stiff

candle99ccandle99 Posts: 279
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:19 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi everybody,

My surgery is scheduled for 7am Friday morning. I'm having an ALIF on L4/L5. Everyday that gets closer, I'm getting more and more scared. Whew! I'll be so glad when it's done and then I'll know what to do. I've had two c-sections horizontal low down, but this will be a vertical incision to the left of my navel about 5 inches long. I don't have a clue as to how bad that will hurt or continue to be sore. I'm sure after having all the internals moved over several inches, I'll feel like I've been in a car wreck thru the middle of me.

Then, the fusion itself. Does it ache or is it painful from the bones and disc removal and cages going in???

I have the raised potty seat and arms on the sides. I got satin sheets and a grabber. Is a walker a good thing? Should I wait and see?

Also, all virtual hugs and prayers and thoughts would be greatly appreciated. I'm not normally a "needy" person, but I sure could use some encouragement today.



  • Good luck with your surgury friday,i will say a prayer for you.....
  • Hi Melissa,

    I can relate to your aniexty. The bright side is that part of it is almost over for you. I wish I could answer a question for you but I haven't had my surgery yet and I will doing the same as you, L4 and L5.

    My thoughts are with you and I hope that your recovery will be speedy. Best wishes.

  • Good Luck Melisa, I will be praying also.
  • I just had a L5-S1 PLIF. If yours is anything like mine was you'll definatly need a walker. I had one at home and after I was discharged out of the hospital I used it constantly for about 12 days. I still use it however now I'm trying to go without it as much as I can.

    Christina :)
  • Best of luck to you. You'll be surprised how quickly time passes as you ready yourself for surgery. Be prepared for feeling like you got run over by a bus for a few days after surgery. After that recovery is amazingly quick when there are no complications!

  • I had a 360 fusion L4 L5 and S1 with hardware feb 27th 2008, they went in through the front and the back ( large incision in back) and when I woke up I had no old pain, no ICU and they stayed on top of the pain the whole time, never really hurt, but you know us spiney are tougher than we even truley know, I had no morphine pump they gave me it through the Iv, and I guess from years of pain the pain wasnt bad, i was up walking the next day and showered later that night, I found that the walker had me hunched over leaning on it and when I was done walking my hips hurt, so on the third day in the hospital I got up and didnt even think about the walker, so dont go in thinking the worst have faith in the Dr's and hospital and god to take care of you, there was'nt a bigger chicken around than me I put off scheduling surgery fo almost a year before I decided doing nothing was no longer an option....I had a great DR who while putting the harware in the back caught that one of the cages kept sliding to the rigt (no disc to use to hold it bone to bone) and he added additional peicce of hardware called a bridge to hold the cage in place, Im so glkad he caught that and fixed it while in there instead of alot of pain and additional surgery...
    My prayer's and good vibe are all yours friday
    Gog Bless
  • Hi Melisa,

    This is the hardest, the waiting, but you will be over it in no time. Just try to relax, think good thought about a positive outcome.

    I had my fusion from the back, but in the hospital and rehab I used a walker (they provided it) but I did not need it by the time I got home. So you can wait, and when you are about to be discharged, if you think you'll need it, it is still time to find out about rental or finding one that you could borrow.

    I'll be thinking of you on Friday. Good luck with your surgery, I know that you'll be OK.


    Kin :) :) :) :) :) :)
  • Hi Candle:

    Yes, get a walker. I might have mentioned in a post back to you that you can get them "cheap" at places like Salvation Army, etc. The satin sheets will help, I also used what is called a pull sheet, they use them in the hospital. My husband used that to help me turn and get in and out of bed. I was very calm (I know, not the "norm") before my TLIF. I have had many surgeries over the years and I always do my homework and figure I have done the best I can to make IT a success. The TLIF is from the back. One week later I had an emergency colon repair which was from the front...so I ended up with incisions on both sides. I had a pretty easy recovery as far as pain. You just have to take it slowly and listen to your body. Many overdo it too soon and suffer the consequences.

    My best to you on Friday.

  • Everything will work out, the anticipation is the killer. I had a 360 L5-S1 fusion 8 weeks ago. The biggest issue I had was my hips and thighs were very achey for quite a while. I don't know if you will have this because they are only going from the front...I was told it was mainly because I was in an unnatural position for almost 4 hours ( on my belly like a frog). The other explaination I got was that my nerve had been crushed for so long it didn't really know how to react at first.

    The hospital did a great job of keeping the pain under control, I did have the morphine pump. The day they got me up for therapy, I was pretty nausous. But they even gave me something for that, and it didn't last long.

    The first couple of times you get out of bed are the hardest, but there is someone there to help. My husband went to work each day while I was in the hospital. It was a decision we made to give him more time to spend with me when I was home recovering, and would need the help. Well the day after surgery when he came to visit, I could barely shuffle to the bathroom with help. The next day, he was sitting with me and I went to get up, he freaked....get some help, I said I've been doing this all day. He was amazed at the difference a day made. So, it gets better pretty quickly at first, then it seems to take a bit longer to see progress. But, listen to the doctor and you'll be fine.


    let us know how things go as soon as you get a chance!

  • Everything will be well. In November I had a spinal fusion T4 to S1, two stages posterior and anterior. My anterior incision start from the left side of my navel and is approximately 6.5 inches long. Don't worry they will put everything back in the right place. It only hurts if you press on the incision.

    It's normal to be scared but think POSITIVE. It helps tremendously with the recovery.

    I am back to work and doing fairly good and can walk 3 to 4 miles. Good Luck.
  • Melissa, I had my surgery 4 weeks ago PLIF, but I have had 3 c-sections. I was like you a nervous wreck before surgery, and honestly it has been much better after than I ever expected. I started PT today in the pool and am completely off narcotics for the first time in 4 years. I know it is different for everyone, but like everyone else is saying go in with a positive attitude, have faith in your doctor and God, and know that I along with others will be praying for you and your doctors hands tomorrow morning. As far as the walker, I did not get one before hand, but the therapist at the hospital ordered one for me before I left and I used it about 1 week at home. Good luck tomorrow!! Sherrie
  • Thanks for sharing Sherrie.

  • We will keep you in our thoughts & prayers.
  • I totally understand your fear. We will be praying for a speedy recovery. Looking forward to hearing from you soon.
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