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AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:24 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi you fellow travelers! Had L2 to L5 fused with laminectomy last September 4th,and they sent me straight home after 5 days. Because I am a Medical Professional I had the house ready with everything and friends helped with food. Pain was the only problem.

I now have total "FAILED BACK SYNDROME WITH PSEUDO ARTHROSIS L2-L5. The screws that they put in L2 to L5 came out and are pushing through my skin. All of he T vertebrae are fused with my clacium due to carrying a very heavey pack off and on for 30 years. New screws will be put into L2-L5 and screws will be placed in T12 throuh T11 or higher... he will reevaluate after he has my back open and they can see it all. Then Two very long rods will be placed on the screws. He told me I will have no pain when I go home since he will place an Intrathecal pump. I know this man for many years in the Army and I trust him.
I don't mind a private Nurse or Private PHYSICAL THERAPIST.
But I refuse to go to a rehabilitation clinic where you sleep over.
My home is my "only place where I feel safe", some of you will understand and some of you won't. PM me if you want to know.

I need help and support here.
Have any of you gone strait home after "big" spinal surgery. There is a list on this site of what to have at home after spinal surgery and I have all of it and then some due to my experience with my first operation.

Love you all! Eric
P.S. The surgery is on Monday


  • that you're having to go through this.
    Believe me I understand why you would want to go home.I have been a CNA for 15 years which some of that time spent caring for people at a nursing home. It doesn't matter how many wonderful CNA's are help caring for you there is never enough staff on hand.
    I too maybe having another big surgery, waiting for my Ortho Doc to get back from vacation. (Not nearly as big of surgery that awaits you though) I have been fused from C3--C7, I starting having alot of pain and other symptoms so my pc had an MRI done.It shows disc extrusion c3-4 and C5-6 with fattening of the cord so Iam not sure what the next step will be but I do know Iam scared to death.
    It is a very good idea to have a private nurse for awhile with the surgery you are going through. I really wish the best and feel for you to have to go through such a tough surgery. But, it sounds like your well prepared and have trust in the surgeon, I think that's the most important part right there....
    Please keep us posted as you can and my thoughts and prayers are with you,
  • How many days will they keep you in the primary hospital? I understand your desire to be home and not stay anywhere else, but is that really the rational or logical thing to do? There's only so much that you can prepare your own home with and the kicker is not having anyone there to help you until you are able to take care of yourself.

    Since I had to travel 7667 miles to the hospital, turning around and coming home afterward wasn't possible. So I wound up living in a small hotel like facility right across from the hospital for one to two months each time. This gave me access to the doctors, physical therapy, etc... The telephone and Internet gave me access to my husband and friends. It allowed me to focus on my rehab without the common distractions of being at home.

    I have a friend who's father at 53 had a massive stroke and wound up in a rehab center. It wasn't a place he wanted to be, so he made great progress in a short amount of time so that he would be released to go home. So in his case, it worked out well for his rehab and for him.

    Just don't let ego, pride and the desire to be alone drive you to make a potentially foolish decision.

    Since you trust your surgeon, why not ask what his advice is and what would make him feel better.

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  • If you have help at home and you are comfortable with your pain levels and you have the title Doctor in front of your name is seems to me that they would be more accomodating to you than most other people. Will your son spend some time with you after you're home or only the hospital? I never rest at hospitals. I came home within hours of giving birth twice. I wanted bonding time with my newborns not my newborns and the nurses. And many years ago there were no hospitals in which to give birth. So I can completely relate to your request to be released. I know how strong willed you are. But please be the patient. I don't know what the rehabilitation hospital is like there but if it is good and they will offer genuine help for you then please at least give it a try. If however they are not then I hope you assert yourself until your doctors agree with you and allow you to go home. I am hoping that the new meds and hardware will make you ambulatory once again only minus the pain. Of course as always you will be in my thoughts today.
  • About the 53 year old stroke patient and not liking his surroundings. I hadn't thought about it like that. Perhaps the Rehab hospital should you really not like it may just become the impetus for a quicker recovery than if you were at home in your comfortable place.
  • Exactly. He couldn't stand the staff and the place, so he worked harder to get to the point they would release him to go home sooner than scheduled. He still can't speak or walk without assistance, but he's home.
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  • That is quite a surgery. I TOTALLY understand where you are coming from. I wouldn't want to go, either. Home is where we feel most comfortable, and psychological aspects are just as important as the physical aspects when it comes to healing. I don't blame you.

    I can't imagine how rough it's going to be, though. I'm sorry you have to go through all of that! :(

    I wish you the best. Good luck with your surgery!
  • After my surgeries in 2006 and 2007, I spent a few weeks each time in a Rehab hospital. I was lucky, it was a real Rehab hospital, not a nursing home with a few rooms they call a rehab center. I understand you not wanting to go to a place like that. In my case, my life was saved being sent to The Spaulding Rehab Hospital in Boston, affliated with Mass General Hospital. This was especially true after my 2006 surgery. Due to my spinal infection, I hadn't been able to walk for almost a month. They got me from a wheelchair to a walker to a cane all in two weeks, something I know wouldn't have happened if I was sent straight home.

    Emergency surgery in March of 2006 for spinal infection of L 2 and L 3. During surgery, discovered I had Cauda Equina Syndrome. Spine became unstable after surgery and had 360 fusion with 10 pedicle screws, plates and rods in April of 2007.
  • HELLO C,
    Well I have organized one friend per day so I never will be alone during the day. A door to door neighbor will do anything day or night. The Lady 2 flights up offered to help and she did last time when I was in my worst pain. I just asked her to talk bout anything, and she was thrown by that, so I suggested her childhood and I got some amazing history of a little red headed Jewish Girl fighting to live in a Polish anti sametic environment. And then came the Germans. She shook as she told her story. But the entire time she talked I felt no Pain ( for me. Just Heart Break for her!)!
    I will ask the surgeon what he thinks and since he was my commanding officer for a long time and he knows my capabilities, I would trust him with my life as I have done many time before.
    so that's about it except for my ex-wife , son, and daughter who want me in rehab, "just like everybody else". I am NOT LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE and this was the crux of the divorce in 1992. If my family wants to complain about how God made me they should speak to the manufacturer when they pray!
    The last thing I need now is pressure from my children instigated and orchestrated by my ex wife.

    I might have to send all of them packing, but I will survive this, God willing, using any method that will take pressure of of me.

    As you and anybody else who has had back surgery knows: dealing with the new sensations, limitations, and pain during the first days after you wake up is a full time job, an the inevitable pain that fills your whole world leaves no room for three adults trying to enforce their agenda on you.

    The Surgeon picked up on this when Daniella asked him some things which were way off topic. He politeley answered her, and gave me a wink.
    So Thank you so much for the quick advise. I admire your incredible courage and fortitude that you have shown in dealing with your numerous spine problems. There should be a Medal for people like you, really.

    Thanks from the bottom of my heart (also) for telling me your story, and giving me your WELL THOUGHT OUT ADVISE.

    NO PAIN PLEASE, Love, Eric
  • How are you today? I'm sorry to hear about your complication and I can understand wanting to be home in your bed, and not having people in and out and listening to all the hospital noise. I turned down the offer to go to the rehab wing post discectomy last year. I was in the hospital 3 days.
    It was hard at home, but you are with your family and I think it makes a difference. This time with my fusion, I was in ICU 5 days and it was mostly a blur. I did have a PCA of course, and developed a spinal headache. Man, I did not know what I got myself into :O But it was a success. I'm still waiting to reap the reward, it's been 5 months and I still struggle with back and nerve pain. Cymbalta was added to my long list of meds, and my surgeon gave me the pump or stim option if necessary if I don't improve.
    I hope the best for you and your family, and heartfelt wishes of success in your recuperation. :H
  • I had lower back surgery in late 2004...I entered the hospital with a really positive attitude...I simply knew I was going to die on the table. When I awakened eight hours later...I thought they'd decided not to do the surgery...but my nurse told me I'd been "up there" for the last seven and a half hours. I have two rods, four screws and clamps on my lower two, three and four. My surgery was in the Spine Center at St. Francis in San Francisco and I was blessed with very successful surgery...I went home in 7 days to a house totally renovated for me by my family. My doctor told me I could stand up or lie down...but no sitting of more than three minutes for a month. Our living room contained my desk, lifted on upside down buckets, to standing height, my bed was right in front of it. I had two phones, my computer on the desk and the love and care of my spouse...and recouperated at home for a month. My problem became my BLT rule of no bending, lifting and twisting...and that's still a situation I deal with constantly four years later. If you don't bend, lift, and twist, there's very little you can actually do in life...try straightening the bed, taking the dog out for a walk, or simply working in a kitchen without doing any of those things. Well, I've adjusted and have devices that help me. My problem however has become the arthritis in my knees, which prevents stooping, my right elbow and shoulder, which makes the alternate things I do to BLT even more difficult. I have been very lucky in that pain has been minimal, but I do use Hydrocodone (generic Vicodin), 50 mg Tramadol and even over the counter Aleve more for my arthritis than my back.
    My advice...go home...heal at home...and be at home. I think if I had been anywhere else, I would not be in the place I am today. Bless you and the best on your coming visit to the hospital. I will be thinking of you and hold the best thoughts for your speedy recovery.
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