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Anterior- posterior 3 level fusion

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:34 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
September 3rd, 2009 is my day. I'm having an anterior posterior 3 level lumbar fusion. I scared and excited at the same time. Just trying to prepare myself and my family for the day. Mentally i'm trying to stay focused at the long term result. I will have my life back.
I'm following everything the doctor is telling me to do to prepare and taking all the tips and trick everyone has posted. I want to thank everyone for being so open about their recovery it has helped alot.



  • Sorry for the reason you found us. As you know by now, you will be having a BIG surgery that will require a long period of recovery.

    If at all possible, take this time to get in the best shape you can. Try to take a walk several times each day if your condition allows it.

    Did you see the "stickie" post on the top of this page entitled "Post Surgery Must-Haves"? It is a very complete list of things others have found helpful to have during recovery. It covers many things that are not necessities, but it gets you thinking about things that may not have occurred to you...things like rearranging your kitchen so that the things you need all the time are readily available without reaching or bending.

    You will not be able to bend for many months after surgery...whether you wear a brace, or not. Be sure to buy a "grabber" if you don't have one yet.

    There are many posts on here pertaining to fusion that you can read through to get some idea of the types of questions that arise after surgery.

    Will you have someone to help you when you first get back from the hospital?

    xx Gwennie
  • Yes I will have alot of help. I have a wonderful support group behind me. Since my surgery is scheduled just a few days before school start my children will not be home during the day to help me (they are 15 and 17), and my husband has to return to work. My husband and 2 best friends are in the process of making a schedule for the first 2 months so I am not left alone. We are not sure how long i will need someone home with me all the time so they thought 2 months is a good starting place.
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  • I'd be really surprised if you needed someone around that long. With your kids being older, they can help run the house, do laundry, etc.

    My son came during the day for the first two weeks. It was nice to have the company and to have someone let the dogs out. I mostly slept the first two weeks...I'd try to watch a movie but would nod off almost immediately. He came a third week, but by then I could manage nicely on my own...and I insisted he did not need to come after that.

    I didn't drive until about 9 weeks, so it was nice to have him to run errands, and drive me to my doctor's appointment.

    I had no trouble taking care of myself. No one ever helped me...but this varies from person to person. I used the walker some the first week, but didn't use it again except when I went to my doctor's for the first check-up. (I thought it might matter to him!)

    I had spent so much time reading forums like this for at least a year prior to surgery and was completely terrified by the time I had it. I was absolutely expecting the worst. The reality of the surgery was easier than what I was anticipating. The first couple days are bad, but after that, little by little, you'll start to feel better.

    I think the mistake many people make is not realizing that this is a BIG surgery, and it takes a LONG time to fully recover. Your friends, co-workers, and family will expect you to be "back to normal" long before you actually are. The trick is to take it in stride, and not let it get to you.

    You are having a three level fusion and you will want to get it right the first time -- no repeats. So get mentally prepared to follow your doctors' orders exactly, work hard when it is time for physical therapy and make yourself the number 1 project for the next six to twelve months.

    It is important to maintain a positive attitude. Whenever you have a question, are feeling down or discouraged, come here to find support from people who understand what you are going through. We have been down this path and are a few steps ahead.

    Take care,

    There are some excellent articles and even little videos on the web that explain the fusion process. You might want to share them with your family, so they will understand what will be happening to you.

    There is excellent information on the Spine Health site and I also like the following because it has great illustrations: http://www.eorthopod.com/public/patient_education/6553/posterior_lumbar_fusion.html
  • Hi people,
    I am a 72 year old widow who has had so many back issues and tried everything to avoid this surgery, but I cannot walk a 1/2 block without having to sit and even then it is very hard. I hurt a lot. I am an outdoorsy person who loves my garden, horses, and dogs, family and life in general. I want my life back and feel I have a few more good years left. That is the good stuff. The bad stuff is I am so frightened of this procedure and pain that I don't know how I will get through it. I guess just do it! My adult daughter will stay with me and our four dogs. I just want this to be a success. Any older folks or younger who have had this done? My surgery will be staged 6 weeks apart, back first, then front. I wish I could get it all over at once instead of twice, but doctor feels this is best. Also concerned about fusing. Will it take at my age? Any support from anyone will be greatly appreciated. Also tips for survival welcome from any age.
    Thanks a mil. Anne
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