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Newbie

nursedina001nnursedina001 Posts: 234
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:25 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi all. I am totally new at all this. I am a 40 year old mom of three teenage boys and an RN by trade.

On Sept 28th I developed some sciatic pain down my left leg. Got a little better after two day and I returned to work. On Sept 30th I was bending over a patient ad blew out my L-5/S-1 in a big way. The pain was UNBELIEVABLE !!

Since that date I have had the MRIs the Xrays, steroid shots etc..I am now scheduled to L-4/L-5/S-1 fusion (PLIF) on DEcember 10th. Due to numbness drop foot on left side.

I am soooo scared and very unsure about what to expect. I have been doing lots of reading and trying to inform myself.

Any words of advice ? Big day is in 3 days!!



--Take Care,

Dina

Surgery sched for Dec 10th 2008 = PLIF l-4/l-5/S-1
Meds: Percocet 10/325, Zoloft 100, and Triamterene/HCTZ 37.5/25





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13

Comments

  • I have L5-S1 herniated disc and tear and I had foot drop and with excercise & injections it's better but it's taken 10 months. I haven't had surgery but if the pain is still bad then in January when I see my 2nd opinion Ortho I'll go for surgery maybe. I'm an RN too and it's tough more Nurses are getting back injuries because of cutbacks. Well that's why I'm sure my back went out anyway. There is a section here preperation for surgery. I hope all things go well for you and we're with you. Keep us up to date on your progress. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Hi Nurse Dina, I am an RN as well. I had PLIF L4-5 in August. I went back to work 2 weeks ago, so far so good :) This is a very big surgery with a long slow recovery. I was terrified as well, but knew it had to be done. I think being a nurse almost makes it worse, cause we know too much. I almost changed my mind a hundred times. I would say expect a lot of pain post-op, but it is controllable with meds. I was on Tylenol #3 a couple times a day pre-op and needed Norco 10 X 2 every 3 hours post-op (once off dilaudid PCA on day 3). Of course everyone is different in their recovery, but reading here can give you some insight. You might look back for the August/Sept recovery thread for some insight. Also at the top of the surgery forum look under post-op must haves for some ideas to prepare for surgery. This is a long list compiled by various Spineys. Of course much of it isn't necessary but pretty much gives you a vast array of things that helped others. For me things began to get better at 2 weeks out, just as my surgeon predicted. Now I have occassional sciatic pain and a tightness in my spine, but thankfully I no longer limp and my spine no longer crunches with every slight movement. Just be prepared for a slow recovery. Often the surgeons underestimate recovery. Mine said 6-12 weeks. I was off 15+ weeks and am still recovering. It really is more like 1-2 years from what I hear until we feel somewhat normal. I do not regret the surgery at all, and I have hopes for a healthy spine future. Take care and let us know how your surgery goes when you are able. >:D< Cali-Sue
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  • Thanks Charry :)

    Seems like this is a regular thing for nurses. ..we use our backs too much!!

    I do have DDD throughout my entire spine and worse through the lumbar area.

    I am so scared of surgery. I am worried about pain levels, recovery time. If I will be able to go back to work doing my old job? Should I have someone else besides my live-in-boyfriend help me? ugh..so many questions!!

    Since this happened at work, right now I am on Workman;s comp...I am sure there wil be WC problems to follow ..
  • Thanks Charry :)

    Seems like this is a regular thing for nurses. ..we use our backs too much!!

    I do have DDD throughout my entire spine and worse through the lumbar area.

    I am so scared of surgery. I am worried about pain levels, recovery time. If I will be able to go back to work doing my old job? Should I have someone else besides my live-in-boyfriend help me? ugh..so many questions!!

    Since this happened at work, right now I am on Workman;s comp...I am sure there wil be WC problems to follow ..
  • The only advice that I can think to give you is to take a look at the post op must haves that is listed at the top of this subject. It is amazing how limited you will be with no BLT (bending, lifting, twisting) Things will go much better if you have everything that you need and are prepared. Good luck and please keep us posted.
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  • Hiya >:D< Welcome To Spine Health :D I hope we will help you through your recovery :D We will share all your highs and lows, as we understand your pain and what you are going through O:) . GOOD LUCK FOR WEDNESDAY :) , LET US KNOW HOW YOU ARE GETTING ON :H .



    Angie >:D<
  • Good luck with your surgery.....
  • Just wondering if you tried any alternatives before surgery, it seems you were just diagnosed in Sept,have you had shots? or physical therapy?i had an L-4 L-5 S-1 back in nov 06. i got hurt in 2004, tried everything, Surgery was a last resort,
    I mean the Surgery was a sucess, i started walking and driving right away, But now worse than i was before , I have to do a revision with a 2 level fusion... The pain is getting worse can hardly sleep, my hip the burning ect ect, a yera and half later after all kinds of testing I have to have now a reconstructive Surgery, it was nothing i did, but i am sure there was error on the Surgeon part but no doc will say that exactly.. good luck and most of all be positive
  • I went through two cortisone shots but no physical therapy. They (two neurosurgeons) and a neurologist all agree that I need surgery as quick as possible. There is apparently a VERY big piece of the disc that blue out and is resting on my nerve. I have a persistent left foot drop with numbness and loss of feeling on My left thigh, calf, foot and toes. They are not even sure if this will resolve the drop foot since it has been three months and it may have done permanent nerve damage already. Also, my L-4 is totally out of line with the rest of the vertebrae.

    I had the EMG done and it showed not only L-5 on the left, but also S-1 bialterally and L-4 on the right.

    I have also developed soem serious neck pain and limited movement that has also come out during this time and have had an MRI and ofcourse I have a herniated disc there too but that wil have to wait till after this surgery.

    Good thing I do not have a lot of pain anymore in my leg. Mostly back aches but according to the neurosurgeon and the neurologist, they are surprised I can walk at all and are surprised that I have not lost any bladder/bowel control.

    I am going to make a little table today for all the post op stuff so It will be ready when I get here. Although I love my boyfriend, I don;t know good he will be to take care of me.

    I hope he comes through, because I have a feeling that I will need lots of help and usually I don;t get it when I need it.

    thanks for everyone's support !!


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