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Lumbar fusion surgery today..looking for someone to talk to

legnawerdllegnawerd Posts: 9
edited 07/14/2015 - 11:19 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
i am going in for posterior lumbar three level fusion with decompression, rods and hardware today, July 15,2015. I am scared to death which is probably why I have put this off for almost fourteen years. I would like to find someone who is going through the same or close to same that can be a buddy to talk with during what i think will be a long recovery. If you want to chat some let me know. I am going to need someone for sure..
thanks ,
best wishes


  • On July 6, I just had a two level fusion. Mine was an ALIF and PLIF so I ended up with incisions on my stomach and back.

    You can do this! It's a marathon not a sprint. Stay positive, keep us posted and I wish you the best. Chad
  • scamp3268sscamp3268 Posts: 1
    edited 08/11/2015 - 6:58 AM
    On June 1st I had ILIF surgery (Interlaminar Lumbar Instrumented Fusion and decompression). I have suffered from severe spinal stenosis for 6 years and within the past 6 months developed spondylolisthesis. I also have complete numbness in the pelvic floor as well as pins and needles in my legs and feet. I am now 6-weeks post op and am feeling stronger every day. I still have numbness in buttocks area but the pins and needles in my legs and feet are becoming less. I wear a Fitbit for measuring my walking steps and try for 5,000 per day, which really helps. I feel confident that I will recover from this surgery and regain my life back. I'm 71 years old.

    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Please click on link for helpful information! ~moderator savage
  • I feel confident you will get your life back as well. Keep up the good work and the positive attitude.
  • Hello
    I'm new here. 48 year old healty male. I had disectomy and fusion t12 l1 and lamenictomy l2 l3 for spinal stenosis. Doc says surgery went well. I was in hospital for three nights. I'm walking okay. I have lots of nerve pain in left leg, calf and both feet burn. They say this is normal and will subside over time due to nerve being so compressed. This is the most difficult part. It's also hard to sleep. Any insights or thoughts wound be appreciated.

  • Hi , Best wishes for a fast recovery regarding your procedure! I hope all went well today?
    I had a very similar procedure 11 months ago and am doing GREAT today!! For myself, walking helped alot.
    My advise, follow your Dr.'s instructions,no BLT,think positive and visualize your body healing and your path
    to recovery. It does take some time to recover however, you should see subtle changes as the body adjust to the fusion and begins to heal.
    Again , best of luck!!
    Bilateral L5 spondylolysis L5 with grade I anterolisthesis L5-S1.
    Stable multilevel degenerative spondylosis contributing to mild canal
    narrowing L2-3 and L3-4.
    360 ALIF & PLIF L-4 - S-1 on 8/11/14
  • I haven't been on here since the day of surgery. silly me, thinking I was going to be up to talking to anyone or getting near any wireless device at all. surgery was supposed to be five hours but ended up being nine hours because doctor said it was alot worse once he got in there then my xrays or mri had shown. I had a PLIF L3-S1 with instrumentation and decompression along with bone graft. I was told surgery went well even though I felt like I had been run over repeatedly by a bus for first two days. I was not allowed to sit up more than 15 degrees for 3 days because doc thought I might have a dura leak that he said was so paper thin he sutured it and glued it to keep it from leaking and he wanted to make sure it all set up good before I sat up or anything. It was the longest 3 days of my life. I finally was allowed to sit up , stand and walk on day 4. I ended up staying in hospital for 6 days mainly because couldnt get pain under control. Now I am in week 3 of my recovery and for the most part I feel good. I somehow managed to get cellulitis in the lower part of both my legs last week with alot of swelling so that has slowed down my walking progress. After 7 days of antibiotics I just started seeing swelling go down some on the last day so not sure if Im gonna need more antibiotics or not. As far as my back goes, it is really stiff but not much pain. My feet were numb for first 2 weeks but starting to get feeling back in them this week so that is a plus. The pain i do feel in my back now is a different kind of pain than before surgery. I think it is my body getting used to all the junk he put in and muscles healing. I was wondering if anyone knows answers to a few things like ..when they say no BLT, does that mean none at all or is it okay sometimes? I am trying to follow rules but have had to bend a few times to either pick up or put something away. How long before I can soak in a nice hot bath again? How long before I can try to drive? It s not like I am gonna go cruisin around town but I am starting to go stir crazy and getting tired of sending others for things then having them return with the wrong thing and me being frustrated. I guess I am just looking forward to having my life back again so I am being impatient. I know it takes time to heal and I surely dont want to mess anything up by over doing it. Dr told me at 2 week check up that walking is good and to try to slowly build up how far and how much I walk. I know once my swollen feet go down I will be able to walk alot more and farther but it is hard right now with feet and legs feeling so tight they hurt. Only problem I have is my husband was in dr office with me and now gets on me daily about trying to get up and walk more than I have been. I feel like he is pushing me to do what he thinks I can and should be doing and when I tell him I am doing all I feel I can at this time, it is not good enough. He said he wants me to walk around our block sometime this week but I know I cannot do that yet. Our block is two miles in length. I want to do this at my own pace and keep walking around my house like I have been. I am still using a walker most of the time mainly because my balance isnt great yet. I dont know how to explain to him that it will probably take me longer to do the distance he wants me to do no matter how good I start feeling mainly because Im still over weight by about 75lbs that I gained from not being able to be active before surgery for years. I need to do this recovering thing at my own pace and work my way up to walking more than a quarter mile. I couldnt walk our block before surgery so I dont know why he thinks I can do it so soon after surgery. I get so frustrated with him and with myself but I refuse to push myself too hard too fast. I just hope he can and will understand. sorry for this being so long but I think I needed to vent my feelings some. I just want to know how long it will be before I feel human again..thanks for listening
    best wishes
  • Pleased to see that your surgery went well and you're on the long road of recovery. In regard to BLT, be guided by your surgeon and don't be in a hurry to do things that you used to. I found that walking was the best for me, but like you said, must be at your own pace - a two mile block would be too much at the moment - keep it as a goal.

    Are you using a grabber to help you pick up things from the floor? I wouldn't have been without it for the last surgery and for this one coming up.

    With driving, it was 7-8 weeks for me, and mine was a one level fusion (6 years ago) - just try and be patient, even though that's hard, and your back will tell you when you're ready.

    Just remember, slowly, slowly and you'll get there - this is your time for healing.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • Thank you for reminding me that this whole healing process is at my pace not others who have never had surgery on their spines. I just get to feeling so guilty when people like my husband voice their opinion on what they think I should be doing or trying to do. To top it off my husband asked me last night when I think I might be ready for sex again. It is a question I knew would come up but the way he said it to me was like it is a duty that he needs me to hurry up and resume because he has been without for over a month or so. I would love to resume with sex but to be honest it has kind of been the last thing on my mind since surgery and now I feel kind of angry that he is not thinking about my feelings at all and the fact that even though I can stand and walk and not in too much pain , I still have a lot of recovering to do and even if my outside incision looks healed , my insides are still feeling like a hot mess. Bottom line is I just dont feel very sexual again , atleast not yet. I wish I could explain to him that I need him to be patient but it would probably fall on def ears at this point. Ever since he heard the doc say walking is best thing I can start doing he thinks I should be able to start other things like cleaning house etc. I keep trying to explain to him that I am not that far into what I was told will be a long recovery but he keeps thinking about how it only took him a few weeks after a knee surgery for a torn ACL for him to be walking without crutches and he was out running again at the three month point. He was in better physical shape to begin with than me. I have gone from a mere 135lbs to a whopping 260 over the past nine years as my physical activity level went to basically a couch potato. I do want to get back in good shape but even I know it will take alot of time to get there. I guess I am going to have to find some nice quiet time to sit him down and really make sure he listens to me when I explain I need patience and time. wish me luck!! Any way I do have a grabber now so I can try to not do bending. I keep second guessing myself as far as where I should be in my recovery but I know in my gut that I need to go slow. I am going on week four now and I have just started walking around house without my walker. If I do venture outside I know I will need the walker because I still get off balance.
    Anyway, I really am glad I found this site and I am thankful for the advice and well wishes I get. As far as driving, Im not sure I am ready yet but looks like I might not have much choice since I have an appt with my pain management dr next week and my hubby wont be around to take me so I may have to drive myself to it.
    One more thing, can tell me...if right now I can feel all the rods and things inside me when I move around will I still feel all that once I am healed ? or is it something you just get used to and no longer feel it as time goes by?
    thanks in advance for listening to me vent my frustrations again and again and for the good advice
    best wishes
  • 64pvolvo1800664pvolvo1800 Posts: 250
    edited 08/12/2015 - 12:53 AM
    I'm glad you continue to heal but time takes time. Take the time to get this right so that you will give your body the best chance possible to heal.
    As far as his needs go, maybe validate his feelings and acknowledge your own desires and Fears too!
    The fact is, sex can be very physically demanding (done properly at least!) and there are plenty of alternatives for mutual enjoyment not involving intercourse per se.
    Walking is the best therapy and maybe he would walk with you and it could be a good time to discuss the topics above?

    Try to talk about your common goals and long term plans and this will be but a speed bump in time.
  • thanks for your advice. Now that I have been walking without the walker for about a week I think I am ready to venture out and start my daily walks. I know he will walk with me so we should be able to have private discussions. It is hard to find alone time in our house mainly because we have alot of family always around. We have four children, a son 30 with wife, daughter 25. daughter 20, and daughter 9. Our oldest two live on their own and 20 yr old is in college most of the time and 9 yr old lives at home. We aso have two grandchildren by our son and two more by our oldest daughter of which my grand daughter 6 practically lives with us and only goes once a week to visit either her dad or her mom. We are a very busy family and even though I am down at this moment, the rest of them are still doing all the busy stuff daily especialy being summertime. I didnt expect everyone to be stuck in the house just because I cant keep up. Anyway my husband and myself cant find ten minutes of alone time normally but we always found a way to hide out for a few plus we had nights. Now it is harder because I have had to sleep in the family room in a recliner since the surgery because our bed is not comfortable to me at all. I am starting to think that with us not having our normal few minutes by ourselves here and there that that is what the friction might be all about and why we arent communicating well. We have always been fine sexually and I know there are other ways we can be together per se but honestly I think the problem is 75% me and 25% him. I understand he is feeling neglected but to be real, I havent been in the mood at all since surgery and I dont know why. Maybe I just need to suck it up and make myself be in the mood. Either way, I know we are going to have to get alone and communicate our feelings so that this so called speed bump doesnt become a mountain that we cant climb. How long does it normally take to recover from all this again?
    I would like to know from someone this...my husband works away for months at a time and come september once he leaves and my daughter goes back to college in NY, it will be myself and my 9yr old and 6 yr old grand daughter 99% of the time. I have been recovering from surgery since July 15th. They told me no bending,lifting or twisting when I left hospital and I have to wear LSO brace anytime I am upright. So far my daughter has been doing cleaning such as mopping ,sweeping etc and she has also doing laundry and dishes with dishwasher. Once they leave me, can I load dishwasher, wash clothes and sweep etc or should I just buy paper plates,plastic silverware and solo cups and have my 9yr old load washer and move clothes into and out of dryer. I feel bad putting the responsibilities on her but at the same time I dont think thats too much for her to handle helping with since it will only be three of us. I feel like my life is such a mess with me being out of order basically but I dont want to mess up my healing and end up needing another surgery to fix me. I seem to have such a hard time with the no bending even with having my grabber tool. When can I start bending and such again?? For the most part I feel good other than having muscle spasms some and a little pain if I over do it.
    Anyway, if anyone can tell me how long it took them to be back to themselves after fusion and how long before dr said ok to do housework and all I would appreciate it. I wish I had a crystal ball at time like this....I get so frustrated at life in general sometimes and I need an escape.
    Sorry for venting so much but I get to feeling so overwhelmed with trying to let my body heal at the right pace. I am used to pushing myself to do things even when I am sick and all so this is new to me.
    Best wishes
    best wishes
  • Or perhaps you have been doing so for the last fourteen years...
    God answers a prayer for patience by giving us the opportunity and need to practice.....wait for it....PATIENCE, go figure :(

    I do feel for you Angel. No one can really answer your age old and individually unique question and answer quest. It took 14 years to get this bad and it won't be better overnight. The wonderful news is; it will improve some and it will improve in less than 14 years. The extent and time frame is of course the $64,000 question.

    Please do a couple/few things for you and your relationship. 1) start a journal with a "questions for Dr page", 2) ask Mr Angel to accompany you into the next appt with his own list of questions too, 3) re-read your paragraph above, specifically paying attention to "...when I overdo it.." This is also my problem and I venture to guess many of us here as well. It is commonplace for us to push through incredible pain leading up to our decision to finally have surgery. So much so, that we do it without a s cond thought afterward. That catches up to us and torpedoes our chance at healing properly. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure as they say.
    Please give yourself a break and take the time and heed the BLT instructions. Treat them like a chocolate chip cookie recipe. If we add or delete ingredients they taste like cow patties, if we rush them through the process or ignore them, they either look good on the outside but are mush inside or they're like rocks looking and tasting like it too.
    Proper ingredients and timing gives us the cookies we remember and yearn to taste. That brings up the other issue, ask Doc with the Mr Angel present when a gentle romp is OK. At two weeks my surgeon said its ok "as its comfortable" but he suggested holding off the chandelier swinging stuff just yet 8-)~.
    Like I said earlier, perhaps the you guys can enjoy alternative recipes rather than the main course for a little while longer! In the overall scheme of things it's a small compromise.

    Above all, hang in there and remember your worst day and your present feelings. Small improvements are huge. Latch on.
    Helping others takes my mind off my own pain. My cats also help. The unconditional love they give me and the acceptance of me no matter what really give me hope that I can be the same for others.
    I have a Siamese, a Sphynx, and an American short hair dark tabby that all live inside the house. More love than any one man deserves.
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