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Looking for info on 360 fusion w/decompression

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,321
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:31 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi all,

I am new to this forum and I am shocked by how many people there are out there that are dealing with the same things I am. So here's a little about what I am dealing with.

I am 44yrs. old I am a foster parent. I love taking care of the kids. My sister and I have been raising the kids together for like 20+ years now, and I have adopted 5 so far, and I'm looking to adopt 2 more. He is 3 and she is 17 months.

I have been dealing with Pain in my neck, back, knee's, shoulder's & hips. I have a lot of thinks going on. I had a Total R knee replacement done Sept 08' I am still healing from that. It gets stiff and I can't straighten it out as well as I had hoped.

I finally found a good spine DR. I have had a EMG, a discogram, & CT and they have found that I have 3 bad disc's
L4-S1 I am going to have a 360 fusion w/ decompression. It sounds like fun :sick: I have been trying to find out what it is, what is going to be done to me as well as how the recovery time is for this.

I was very happy to find this forum and to see & read about so many people in the same boat. Everyone understands what you are going through. It's hard to explain what you are going through when they have no idea what it's like to be in pain every day.

So if anyone can give me so input about this it would be great. and again I am glad to have found this group.

Thanks so much,


  • If your case goes like mine did, plan on 4 days in the hospital. Once you come home, you should equal out your time at first between walking and resting. The more you walk, the faster you will recover - just don't over do it. Your body will let you know when it's time to relax.

    Request aqua therapy post op. It works really well to get your muscles moving again and the warmth of the water feels great!

    Don't try to do any bending, lifting or twisting (BLT) until your doctor tells you to start.

    You need to be in the right frame of mind because it is real easy to get down emotionally right after surgery. Once I was cleared to drive, I felt much better about life again.

    Make sure your family knows that you will need help for the first few weeks. But, as time rolls on, you will become independent again.

    You need to get a "grabber" thing, and it wouldn't hurt to get a toilet seat riser with handles. Usually, 360 patients have some rather uncomfortable digestive issues for a little bit after surgery. Your bowels don't like to be moved and they will be ticked! Start taking stool softners a couple days before surgery and eat a green diet prior to surgery.

    If you have any specific questions, feel free to PM me in my profile.

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2

  • Thank you for your input, I will keep these things in mind. I can use all the input I can get. I know this is going to be a lot different than my knee surgery. I could bend to sit on the pot. I am wondering what that going to be like... This group is great for input and info. I am so glad I get to talk to people that have had the same surgery's done. What did you get for pain management right after surgery? My DR. thinks 1-2 days in the hospital. I am praying this goes as well for me as it has for so many of you.

    Thanks again for your input,
    Have a Nice Day!
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  • Yes, it will be very different from your knee surgery! It is very important to understand what will be done to you and how long the recovery will take. Most doctors err on the side of brevity. If most patients knew how long it can really take, they might put it off or even change their minds.

    That being said, it is difficult for a doctor to give you an accurate time frame. They can only give you statistics and averages.

    Each person heals differently and each has a different attitude about how quickly he/she needs to recover. Some people really push and others are content to listen to their bodies and take it a bit easier. Some have surgeons who say you must walk 2 miles by X time, and some of us have surgeons who say do anything you want; if it hurts, don't do it.

    Some people do really well with a 360. Others are laid up for quite awhile with surgical pain.

    Just do your homework so you know what to expect. Be sure your surgeon knows what he's talking about and his experience in "your" procedure. Get your house organized ahead of surgery so it will be easier for you. You won't feel like doing much for the first couple of weeks.

  • Thanks for the input, that is so true. I have help for the house and the kids. I can work on healing and getting back on my feet. I am praying that this is what I really need to fix my back. I would like to get back to being able to do things with the kids.
  • Like it's been stated...everyone heals differently. This is a ROUGH surgery! I can't imagine that you'll only be in the hospital 1-2 days! The average is 3-4. I had a PLIF L4-S1 the 1st time, and recently a 360 for just L5 revision. 360's are particularly hard b/c you can rely on your stomach muscles to help move you with a PLIF (through the back only), but a 360 takes the abdominals away too. My OS did tell me that there is a higher success rate with 360's. I took Opana 30 mg 2x/day pre-op, and bumped to 40mg 2x/day after surgery. I also changed from vicodin to percocet for breakthrough. I also relied on muscle relaxants a lot because your back wants to spasm and tighten. I came back down to my usual meds about 2 weeks after surgery. This time (the 360) was easier b/c it was 1 level and I knew what to expect. I also advocate for walking as tolerated. Ask your doc now what his post op orders will be (so you have them in your head). I felt better standing than sitting or lying down, so I was glad to walk. Also, be aware that you'll wake up typically with a central line (IV in your neck or chest), and a catheter. The catheter is only in (typically)a day or so...so you're up to the potty quick. Take it easy and let people take care of you!! Feel free to PM me for any questions!
    Best of luck!
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  • 1-2 days is not enough time in the hospital after this procedure. I was ready to go home on the 4th day, but I couldn't imagine being home before then. My doctor wouldn't release me until I was able to have a bowel movement. Make sure PT comes to your room to show you the correct way of getting in and out of bed. Take a house coat to wear while walking in the hospital. Some folks are a bit shy about their tush hanging out of the hospital gown!

    Meds after surgery for me consisted of 20 mg Lortab every 6 hours, 10 mg Flexeril every 6 hours. I stayed on that for two weeks and then dropped back to Darvacet. The pain meds will most likely complicate your ability to have a bowel movement, so you want to get off of them as quickly as possible. Stool softners and metamucil were my best friends for a while.

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • I went home the day after my surgery. It was of course a bit rough getting home - I had an hour and a half ride home. I had good pain control with meds at home so it was not that bad. I was prepared, had a hospital bed, grabbers, toilet risers and help the first 2 weeks. The worst part was moving around and worrying that I would "hurt" something. My doctor told me no REPETITIVE bending, lifting or twisting. He feels that your back muscles will be stronger if you continue to use them, with caution of course. I had a regular IV, pain meds were given to me orally and via a shot. No IV meds, my particular doctor wanted me up and moving the evening after my surgery - yep. I made it halfway around the floor with a smile on my face. I have had my share of postop problems and complications, but overall I am glad I went for the 360 and hopefully will only go through this once as the success rates are higher. Good luck to you and feel free to PM me also anytime with further questions.
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