Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

PLIF on 08/18

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:21 AM in New Member Introductions
My name is Jack. I am 30 years old and have been in the Air Force for 12 years. I began experiencing back pain about 2 years ago. I was diagnosed with grade 1 spondylolisthesis (L5-S1) with severe formaminal narrowing on my left side and moderate on the right side. For the last several years I have tried many different conservative treatments to include epidural injections (5), facet block, traction, physical therapy, nerve medications (gabapentin and lyrica), pain killers, flexion based core stabilization with no significant relief of my pain achieved. My experience has been very painful, depressing and has really forced me to make drastic changes in my life to decrease my pain level. I opted to have a PLIF at L5-S1 w/ a decompression and fusion at the same level. I am scheduled to have the surgery on 18 Aug. I am really nervous about the procedure and my recovery. I would like to continue my career in the military and retire in 8 years when I reach 20 years on active duty. Had I chose not to have surgery I would have been discharged due to inability to perform my duties w/ the pain and limitations that my condition had brought on. I would still have chosen to have the surgery whether or not it impacted my career because it has impacted my personal life greatly. I would appreciate your advice, specifically about the surgery and hospital stay of which I am extremely scared.


  • :) Hi and welcome to the forum! we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. the forum is more than honored to have the military. i hope we can give you something back. check out the Back and Neck surgery section for some more input. there are things to do to prepare for your surgery and it is wise you have started your homework. you will need assistance in your home for a while after your surgery. do you have someone who can stay with you? you will need such things as a "toilet raiser", a grabber to pick up stuff for you and a kitchen set up for someone home bound and out of sorts. you will get lots of info i am sure. good luck and keep us informed as you as you progress. you might read the "Good news" section for a look at successful surgeries. Jenny :)
  • jt
    If you key in Post Op Tips on the search bar in the right hand corner there is a really great article with tips to make your recovery smoother. Lots of things I would have never thought of.

    I have a partial corpectomy surgery on C3 and C-4 with instrumentation (a titanium cage with plate and screws) scheduled for August 13 and the tips I have learned from the article as well as from all the various posts have eased my anxiety.

    Good luck and keep us posted.
  • and try not to worry too much. Instaed try and focus on the relief that you may finally get from the surgery. Just make sure that you are very confident in your surgeon and you will be fine. Good luck and please keep us posted with your progress.
  • I'm Lauren. I am 27 and just had a hemilaminectomy/discectomy on the 16th of July. I feel ya about the life changes, they have been super tough for me too. Sports were my main source of fun and being social, as well as serving as my emotional outlet. Now I'm just hoping that I'll be able to get back to a halfway normal life after this whole thing.
    Anyway, you wanted some info on post-op? Well, I didn't stay in the hospital, but I am a nurse, so if you have any specific questions, I can try to answer them (although my area of specialty is not ortho/surg).
    I'm sure you've been under anesthesia before, but even though I had had it with my epidurals (3-you got me beat!), I had a tough time shaking it off. My head hurt for the first 3 days really badly whenever I got up at all and I'd feel queezy; I had a hard time eating because of it. Plus I was in and out of sleep a lot and I don't remember most of what went on...its all a bit of a blur when I think back.
    But speaking of getting up, your doc will give you specs on your surgery (which I haven't had), but my understanding is that generally, they want people up and walking asap.
    My advice for post-op? Be sure to have loved-ones around to help out. I don't know what I would have done had I not had friends and my parents rotating through my place making sure I ate and took my meds (which I forgot a couple of times overnight and soooo regretted it!!)
    Anyway, Jack, if there's anything specific you want to ask me, shoot me a PM. I've got nothing but time and would love to help if I can!
    Good luck!
  • I appreciate everyones advice. I guess my feelings are quite normal. I had to go to a store and get a walker and a cane today along with some other home items, that was a little odd. Kind of makes it set in a little more when you start making plans.
Sign In or Register to comment.