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Post-op recovery min invasive TLIF day 9 recovery

anjuanaanjuan Posts: 236
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:25 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi all-

I haven't posted a lot or been on a lot just because I haven't always been able to find a great position to use the computer. I am 9 days out from my minimally invasive TLIF l4-S1. So far I am really happy with how things are going. I had a follow-up appointment with my surgeon today to have my stiches taken out (which thankfully was not bad at all). They were very happy with where I was on my recovery. I really noticed yesterday that I started to feel a little more like myself. They told me again that they don't want me laying around very much and how important walking was. They said I should listen to my body as far as length of sitting. I start physical therapy on December 22 (just under 3 weeks out), so I am pretty excited about that). I will be going 2-3 times per week for 4-6 weeks after which they will have me get an x-ray and go back to the surgeon. They have me using a bone growth stimulator for 4 hours a day for 4 months, which doesn't hurt but can be a pain because it is big. Thankfully it doesn't have to be 4 hours straight so I try to use it more when I am up and walking around.

I still have issues with pain, but I feel like things are on the right track (much more than after my laminectomy 5 years ago which had bad results).

One piece of advice, if you can have someone to stay with you a while, do everything you can to have them there. My mom just left today and I am a little nervous about not having her help now. :SS But DH only has 1 week of work before Christmas break so that will help.

I hope this info helps someone. If there are any questions that I can answer for someone, I would be very happy to do so. You all have been sooooo helpful for me. >:D<



  • So nice to hear some good results after surgery. You sound very positive about the whole post-op recovery and have such a great attitude about the whole situation. I am looking at a simular operation in the next couple of months, and you mentioned having someone to stay with you.... what is it that you need this helper for? I will be at home on my own for some of the time and may need to arrange for someone else to help me?
    Thanks and all the best with your recovery.
  • I am really working hard at the positive attitude, so thanks! (I do have to say that I have had momments of just bursting out crying with no control, but I know from others here that is typical so I am trying not to dwell on it).

    Good luck with your upcoming surgery! My mom did many things for me. I don't know if you have kids, but having an extra hand for my 4 yr old was invaluable (she was in daycare during the day). My mom made all of the meals, carried them to me when I sat in a chair, cleaned up around the house, helped me shower, and many other odds and ends. As I said, now I am getting better, but that first week I was so tired. I would lay down for a while and be out like a light. Sometimes even just getting up to go to the bathroom took a lot of energy. (I didnt get a toliet seat riser, so getting up and down took some energy). Another big thing that my mom did was just provide me support when I was feeling down and provided hugs when I needed it. She was amazing.

    Now 9 days out I think my DH and I can handle things. Getting up and down and doing other things aren't as hard as they were although I still am having ups and downs.

    So, if there is someone that can stay with you for at least the first week, I would strongly encourage it! This surgery is definately not a walk in the park. But I know for me this site helped me to prepare for things (including mentally).

    Again, good luck with your surgery and let me know if I can answer any othe questions. ;)
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  • It will get easier with each day. Today marks 3 weeks out for me. I still tire pretty easily if I try to do more than a little in regards to house work at waist level or higher. But, I am walking up to almost two miles now.

    One Love,

  • I wish you all the best and continue healing well. That is positive news that you're given some who are going for surgery. I wish you all the best for your healing and get better for the holidays. 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
  • First of all let me give you a big >:D< .

    I am glad to hear you're recovering well. The positive attitude really helps a lot. I am scheduled 1 week from today for a similiar procedure. I am having a Laminectomy with a Minimally invasive fusion for L4/L5. I have a question, how long was your surgery. My doctor is telling me I will be in surgery for an hour...don't get me wrong I would love only an hour, but when I read the different experiences it seems longer. In addition, how was your pain level when you woke up. I am trying to get myself mentally prepared. Any and all feedback is appreciated.

    I hope you have a happy and uneventful recovery. ;)
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  • Hi, my surgery, which was a two level min invasive fusion with lamenectomy lasted about 3.5 hours. So, if you are only having one level done it makes sense to me that it wouldn't take as long. I have heard that a lot also depends on your surgeon.

    I don't want to scare you, but my pain level was very high (8-10) when I woke up in the hospital and through the first few days. Basically, the pain management stunk. I don't know if part of it was because I had been on tramadol for over 5 years and then norco for a couple of months prior to the surgery, but my pain tolerance was low. I even stayed an extra day in the hospital (3 nights instead of 2) because of the pain. Just make sure that you have someone to advocate for you. They gradually made adjustments to the meds which did help keep the pain at a reasonable level.

    But once I got home my pain wasn't as terrible and every day has been a little better.

    This morning I am having a little more pain than yesterday, but from others on here I have learned that this is a very gradual process of healing.

    Good luck!

  • Julie,

    Thanks for the information. Every little bit helps. As the day approaches I am getting a little antsy :SS I hate being put under anethesia but I have no choice so I have to get over it quickly. I decided that I am going to stop taking my normal pain meds (vicodin extra strenth) so I can respond to whatever they give me. My pain has been so bad that my doctor switches me from Percocet to Vicodin every two week so I don't become immune to the meds. I am really looking forward to the day when I won't have to take anymore narcotic pain meds. Right now I feel like a walking pharmacy =))

    Anywho, I had my pre-op blood work done and they bursted a vein X( but I was able to go to the floor I will be on Post-op and meet the nurses who will be caring from me. They were really sweet and made me feel comfortable. Friday can't get here quick enough. I will post my experience as soon as I am sane enough 8}

    Take care and I hope you have a recovery that is smooth sailing.
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