Positive TLIF L5-S1 Story

Positive TLIF L5-S1 Story

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goodbyebackpain
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Joined: 11/09/2011 - 5:27pm
Positive TLIF L5-S1 Story

For several weeks prior to my TLIF (which I had 11/3) I read everything I could find about recovery, including many stories on this site. Most things I read made me question my decision to have the surgery. Finally, 2 days before the surgery, I decided that most people with positive stories were not writing about them. I knew that I would want to write about my surgery, but especially if I had a good experience.

Now, almost a week after the surgery, I know that I made the right decision. The pain in my left thigh, groin and calf, not to mention lower back, was so severe the day of the surgery that they had to inject me with a very strong painkiller just so I could be still enough for the nurse to start my IV. My doctor found my disc at L5-S1 to be severely herniated and dry and chalky. It was also very flattened out.

I stayed in the hospital for 4 days. It would have been 3 days, but I did have one night of severe muscle spasms that they wanted to make sure were under control. I only had IV painkillers for the first 2 days and then only Vicodin and the occasional Soma. I have been walking since less than 24 hours after surgery and am now up to about 1/2 mile twice a day and sometimes 3 times.

I do not feel much pain at all most of the time. In the evening is when I do feel some pain, but it is never constant. Only twinges of pain directly at the surgery site. I have not felt my old pain since the morning of the surgery. I do find that sleep is easier if I take 5mg of Vicodin and a Soma before bed. I think it keeps me from trying to roll around too much.

Overall, I really feel great 95% of the time. I know that I may still have days ahead that will be difficult and I am prepared for those too. I am very positive that I will make a complete recovery in the near future.

I feel for all of you that have had difficult recoveries. I hope that each and every one of you eventually finds relief. Only someone that has experienced this kind of back pain can really understand it and I certainly do too. And to everyone facing this surgery, I would say to research all you can about the limitations and recovery, but don't let it overwhelm you. Make sure you are completely comfortable with your surgeon. He should be readily available to answer all your questions and concerns.

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backache99
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Joined: 11/01/2010 - 4:05pm
i am delighted for you

just be careful and don't over do it .where did you have it done {i am in the uk} and going for ALIF this dec .so hearing your story is very good for me too! .best wishes with the recovery
tony {UK}

1997 laminectomy
2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014

Rapp0378
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Joined: 10/17/2011 - 6:19pm
Great story, glad to hear

Great story, glad to hear you are doing so good.

I had my MIS TLIF done on october 28th and share similar results. I had about the same pain you did before i went in for surgery. They had to bring me by wheel chair the day of because i could not walk the nerve pain was so bad.

All of my initial pain is gone, surgery site hurts a little. The only thing that really bothers me are my hips. Apparently thats from the position i was in on the operating table and i was told will get better soon.

I think posting positives results on here is a great thing to do. Keep it up as you progress. It helps alot of people. Take care and i hope you continue to improve and feel great.

goodbyebackpain
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Joined: 11/09/2011 - 5:27pm
Backache- I am in Texas USA.

Backache- I am in Texas USA. I chose a Dr. who is our area expert in Microdisc surgery because I thought that's what I needed. Lucky for me, he is also the expert in fusions and knew which one would benefit me the most. Good luck with your ALIF. I look forward to following your recovery.
Rapp - I have followed your progress as well. Your story was one of the only ones that encouraged me to go ahead with the surgery. I am young (31) and in good physical condition as well, so I think that has helped my progress tremendously. Sounds like our conditions were very similar. I too had to be taken to the OR suite in a wheelchair. Then, even though they make you ride in the wheelchair, I could have walked right out of the hospital 4 days later! Cheers to continued pain-free backs!

Rapp0378
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Joined: 10/17/2011 - 6:19pm
Im really glad that my story

Im really glad that my story helped you out. It sounds like you are doing really great with your recovery. I am also walking twice a day everyday. Its tough because i still have alot of pain in my hips and my hamstrings are like steel cables. I think this is from the inactivity of being laid up in a bed for three months prior to surgery, walking with a gimp And from the nerve being so compressed for so long. Normally i could resolve this by stretching them but that is really difficult to do when you cant bend. lol Hopefully this will all resolve soon. Overall i am a million times better then i was before surgery and for the first time in a very long time i actually have a positive outlook. Just like you i am aware that i may never be 100% and i also may have other problems down the road but i feel good and really feel that in another 6-9 months i will be fully fused and feeling great.

I really hope you continue to do great and i think its important for people like us to post our positive stories on here. I read a few positive posts before my surgery and it made such a difference. People need to hear about them more. And to everyone still in pain i am sending positive energy to all of you in hopes relief comes soon. Take care

Rn32mb (not verified)
Title: Member
goodbyebackpain wrote:For

goodbyebackpain wrote:
For several weeks prior to my TLIF (which I had 11/3) I read everything I could find about recovery, including many stories on this site. Most things I read made me question my decision to have the surgery. Finally, 2 days before the surgery, I decided that most people with positive stories were not writing about them. I knew that I would want to write about my surgery, but especially if I had a good experience.

Now, almost a week after the surgery, I know that I made the right decision. The pain in my left thigh, groin and calf, not to mention lower back, was so severe the day of the surgery that they had to inject me with a very strong painkiller just so I could be still enough for the nurse to start my IV. My doctor found my disc at L5-S1 to be severely herniated and dry and chalky. It was also very flattened out.

I stayed in the hospital for 4 days. It would have been 3 days, but I did have one night of severe muscle spasms that they wanted to make sure were under control. I only had IV painkillers for the first 2 days and then only Vicodin and the occasional Soma. I have been walking since less than 24 hours after surgery and am now up to about 1/2 mile twice a day and sometimes 3 times.

I do not feel much pain at all most of the time. In the evening is when I do feel some pain, but it is never constant. Only twinges of pain directly at the surgery site. I have not felt my old pain since the morning of the surgery. I do find that sleep is easier if I take 5mg of Vicodin and a Soma before bed. I think it keeps me from trying to roll around too much.

Overall, I really feel great 95% of the time. I know that I may still have days ahead that will be difficult and I am prepared for those too. I am very positive that I will make a complete recovery in the near future.

I feel for all of you that have had difficult recoveries. I hope that each and every one of you eventually finds relief. Only someone that has experienced this kind of back pain can really understand it and I certainly do too. And to everyone facing this surgery, I would say to research all you can about the limitations and recovery, but don't let it overwhelm you. Make sure you are completely comfortable with your surgeon. He should be readily available to answer all your questions and concerns.

I am so incredibly glad I came across your post!! I am scheduled to have a tlif at the L5 S1 on the 29th of this month and I am terrified... literally (age 33, female, normal healthy weight). I was telling my friends that my Surgeon told me to go home and do my research on the procedure and I have all week but came across more horror stories then positive outcomes until yours and now I feel like I can take a deep breath and go with it. It had to be better then the horrible back and leg pain I have had the last 2 years even though I herniated this disc 8 years ago.... I do still have questions and I do not have another appointment with him until the day prior to my surgery so maybe someone can help put my mind at ease?? On the paper, my surgeon marked the TLIF and not the Minimally invasive tlif, I am concerned as to why this is and just how big of a scar am I going to have back there since it is only the L5-S1? also I have a 3 story house with my actually "bath" rooms being up stairs, how long would I have to wait to go up stairs and shower? being that it is 1 disc being fused, how long do you think I will actually be in the hospital if no complications arise? any other advice would be great appreciated. and once again THANK YOU SO MUCH for posting a positive post!!

goodbyebackpain
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Last seen: 2 years 1 month ago
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Joined: 11/09/2011 - 5:27pm
RN32MB - so glad my post

RN32MB - so glad my post helped. I have to admit that the last 2 days have been my worst yet. At 16 days post op, I could not walk due to such severe nerve pain from my butt to my mid-calf that my leg just gives out. I believe that it's due to feeling too good earlier this week and doing too much. Boredom has been my worst enemy. I will stay in bed for a few days and hopefully this will take care of it.

As for your questions: I did not have a minimally invasive TLIF either. I have 1 incision just to the left of my spine that is about 4 inches long. They had to look at my L4-L5 disc while working on L5-S1 too, so that accounts for some of the length of mine. I also have a very small (so small I almost didn't see it) incision on one of the dimples where your back meets your behind from the bone graft removal. If you have no complications I think you could be released on the 3rd day after surgery. All surgeons are different though. The physical therapist who I saw in the hospital said I could go up a few stairs as soon as I felt like it. I have no stairs though. Be sure the PT who sees you knows your situation with the stairs. Hope this helps. Please ask more questions if you need to. I had many questions and not many answers!

Rn32mb (not verified)
Title: Member
goodbyebackpain~~ TY and hope you feeling better

Thank you for replying, I am sorry to hear about your pain, I hope that rest is giving you relief!! I went for my pre op blood work and chest x rays today. Did you have to give blood prior to surgery? They want me to come back on Friday and give 2 bags of my own blood for just in-case purposes. Also I watched another member's you tube video and he was fitted with a full corset, did you get one as well? I know all surgeons are different, my mother in law had a 3 level fusion about 5 years ago and she never had a corset, physical therapy or anything afterwards, she was back to work the 2nd week (at a deli/sandwich shop) and she was and still is a heavy smoker but somehow had a successful fusion, here I am trying to be as healthy as possible so that I can heal nicely afterwards....

goodbyebackpain
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Last seen: 2 years 1 month ago
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Joined: 11/09/2011 - 5:27pm
The pain is much better

The pain is much better today. Just in case, my Dr. Ordered a steroid pack and neurontin. I did not have to give any blood for a possible transfusion, but I suppose if something did happen I would rather have my own blood back. I do have a corset style brace. I feel a little unstable without it. I was told just to walk every day, no PT outside my hospital stay. Please keep me informed after your surgery. Good luck and I'm always game for any questions.

Rn32mb (not verified)
Title: Member
thank you, it is more

thank you, it is more comforting being able to communicate with people who have had the same surgery, I appreciate it greatly Smile I will most definitely keep you updated!! I am glad your pain it better today. I have been taking neurontin as well along with lidoderm pain patches, unfortunately I am allergic to both vicoden and percocet so his plan is to have me on a morphine pump in hospital and send me home with tylenol 3..

goodbyebackpain
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Last seen: 2 years 1 month ago
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Joined: 11/09/2011 - 5:27pm
I have heard some bad things

I have heard some bad things about neurontin. Have you had many side effects? Sorry you're allergic to those painkillers, I found out in the hospital that I am allergic to morphine! I broke out in hives and my veins in the arm the iv was in began to swell and turn red. They had to give me a massive dose of benadryl to counteract it. From then on I took Demerol.

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