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Surgery in 3 days

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:19 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi Everyone I'm back again with a new login (old one was tigger 0311 I think. Anyway, I've gotten a great deal of help from the people on this board! I had the opportunity to meet a couple of people in person and they helped a ton. I have a few others who communicated with me via email for a while and they were a big help.

Now that I'm so close to surgery, July 24, (my last day of work was last Friday I couldn't drag myself in anymore) I have some other questions.

I know everyone is different in terms of recovery but is it realistic to think you could return to a high stress job in 6 weeks even if you sit most of the time? Most of the people I have met on campus and off who have had this done say 8 weeks is more realistic.

I'm considering going back at 6 and trying to find something on campus that is not as stressful. I would want to stay through the semester so I don't cause more issues for the other staff members but I don't see myself able to do all of the events we do.

Also, how soon are most people up and mobile? I guess what I mean is how long before you aren't spending the majority of your time in bed? :?

I'm trying to stay away from the scary posts from people who did not have a good outcome so i can go into this with a positive attitude, but I'd be less than truthful if I said I'm not terrified.

Thanks for this community!



  • A lot of your recovery time depends on your own individual circumstances. What kind of surgery are you having? If you will provide more information, more people will be able to give their experiences.

    Welcome back to spine-health. And here's to a great outcome with your surgery in 3 days! ;)

    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • I'm having transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion with instrumentation L5/S1 using my own bone. At least that is what the surgical instruction form says :-). Sorry I should have included that in the first post.
  • I had a 360 fusion L5 L4 and S1 with hardware, I was in the hospital 5 days,and can honestly say I really dont remeber alot, they stayed on top of the pain as I did when I went home for about a week I set my alarm to take pain pills so i could stay ahead of it....
    i was up walking the day after surgery, and walking a mile three weeks out. i was released after 31/2 month from all restrictions...they let me go back to work after 6weeks (no lifting )
    but they said they dont normally release patient so soon after a fusion...
    good luck ill be thinking of you
  • Hi Toni,

    As far as when to go back to work after surgery that is different for almost everybody. But let me tell you a few things about my recovery that may help.

    I had a lumbar decompression and L3-S1 fusion with instrumentation on 5/1/08. My surgery went well, I had no pain other than some tightness i my hip are for a short while. I was in the hospital for 3 days, in rehab for another week. In rehab I got dressed from about third day on and other than laying down on and off, I was up a lot. When I came home, I only lay down for short periods the first few days and also when I first started walking for 15 minutes or more. Since then I am up and around, other than when I am sitting by my computer, eating,etc, or read and watch TV at night my recliner. I am retired so I don't have to go to work, but I try to keep active, even started attending a writing class a month after surgery. As well as I am, there are two challenges:
    1. finding the right chair (computer chairs are OK for a while but not for too long);
    2. lack of stamina holds me back. I feel really good, try to do something and all of a sudden I am just way too tired.

    Either of these two would make it difficult, unless I could sit in a
    comfortable chair. But during the first 6 weeks I had a limit of 30 minutes I was allowed to sit. Now I can sit OK, but I noticed in some of the other posting that some people have problem with sitting, so it is an individual thing. You'll just have to see.

    The only advise I could offer is listen to your surgeon and listen to your body.

    Good luck with your surgery!

    Kin :) :) :)
  • i had a s1 l5 spinal fusion instrumental and laminectomy 2 weeks ago and i prefer to be walking than sitting or lying down as i was told not to lye in bed all day was up walking round the ward day after op
  • Thanks for that, they haven't told me very much. I had another scare yesterday. The nurse from the hospital called and said my EKG looked abnormal and the anesthesiologist need to review it she said it was something "very old, or non existent".

    Of course I was up all night thinking I'm going to die having surgery and now I'm thinking of not having it. The alternative is not pretty, I can hardly get around now.

    I called my primary care physician to see what he thought about all of this. Still waiting..... I'm not in good shape today....
  • Good luck with your surgery. It is stressful and scary. Try to focus on the positive, that you will get relief from the pain. Keep us posted.
  • It can't help that you've had this latest scare :(

    My only concern for you going back to work so soon is the fact that you are going to be sitting. That was probably the single worst thing for me to do after my surgery. I was told to be up and moving about or lying down - only to sit for meals basically. So if you are going back to work that soon then make sure you have a really good lumbar support cushion, and foot rest to some of the pressure off your back and plenty of room around your desk to get up and move about as often as possible. Don't forget also that you will be restricted to no bending, lifting or twisting for 3 months post op so if you do go back to work don't forget to take your grabber with you.

    After surgery, you need to listen to your body. If you're not ready to go back yet then please don't force yourself - it's just not worth risking the success of your surgery after everything you've been through. Good luck and I hope they manage to get to the bottom of the EKG - the last thing you want is a delay after getting yourself all psyched up for the surgery!

    Good luck, Spicey
  • My NS told me that I would be allowed 20 minutes of sitting per hour the first 2 weeks.

    Then up to 40 minutes per hour for weeks 3 & 4

    NO lifting at all, maybe a gallon of milk - but I can't remember at what point I would be allowed that.

    Absolutely no twisting is allowed.

    Right now I feel like I could conquer the world, as long as I don't have to move :D

    Good Luck on the EKG. I know my high blood pressure was a concern before I went in, but since surgery I've been hanging out at 102 over 59. I had to have an EKG too but I'm pretty sure it looked normal.

    Good luck again and keep us posted, I'll be watching for you.
  • I had my primary care doctor look into this as well. He said he isn't real worried but I need to realize that with high blood pressure and my weight (it has balooned since I hurt myself 5 years ago) they are concerned. He said he thinks I should understand I show a moderate risk in surgery but I'm going to take it.

    It has taken me over a year to get ready for this I don't want to wait any longer.

    I'll be careful, I have 12 weeks of FMLA and an understanding husband. We will be poor but fine without my paycheck at least for now. We can sell the other car if we have to.

    I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow, Thursday 7:30 a.m..

  • Everytime I go into surgery I think of the risks - it is scary, so far I've taken the risk and come out better for it.

    I'm at 9 various surgeries not including having 3 kids.
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