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This is my second post, but under different topic hope this one is not to long also. I had a XLIF L2/L3 and L3/L4 done on Fri/Jan 8, 2010. (PreviousL4/L5 fusion 1990 and 360 in 1991) I was in hospital till Sun/Jan 10, it was a nightmare as for as nursing staff. I am allergic to anything with codeine so they gave me Darvocet, well had reaction and it took my husband pointing out I was hives and swelling, finally gave me Demerol.
Went home with all the usual restrictions and sister came next day and stayed, this was a God send! Spine surgeon only had me were brace for 3 weeks and I never felt better at all.
Each visit they took an x ray and said it was not fusing and give it a couple of months and maybe have a repeat MRI to compare. Also was told to walk as much as I could. All I can walk is maybe 15 – 30 mins, could do an hour if I had basket or sat down every now and then.
At 4th month visit and he said he wasn’t sure why they were not fusing. He said usually the cage with the stem cells helps (not exact medical term). By this time I was hurting a lot like 10+ and numbness was going down my right leg. Oh yes by now I have found I cannot take just about all the pain meds that are not controlled finally got Duragesic patches. All he said was stop pain meds and give it 2 more months.
At 6th month visit my hubby went with me. After this x ray the doc said looks better. Told him no change on pain and asked about PT and he looked at me and said, well what do you think?? He never said yes but he said since I am not walking like he said why he should give me an RX. I never got a chance to mention the numbness. Hubby said doc she walks as much as she can and usually gets to where she cannot function. Never got a real answer from him, he wrote a RX for PT. We I would need to make the PT was a network facility well he didn’t. We asked when and if I could return to work and again he looked at me and asked well what do you think. Well if I cannot sit at my computer desk at home how could I work? My husband said we were used to surgeon’s even doctors telling us what we need to do and giving us the steps you need to take to get to this point. All he said was give it 2 more months and maybe then we will do MRI
After the appointment in the car I was crying and hubby was really hot under the collar. He said I was going to find someone else to re-evaluate me. To make a really long story short I found a neurosurgeon, and he order a MRI and compared to first MRI and he said the fusion of the L2/L3 and L3/L4 had fused. Then he noticed that I have severe spinal stenosis at both level and he showed me where I had pinched nerves at both levels. He said this could have been fixed with my surgery in Jan. But not with an XLIF, so I said I want to be able to at least function more if I can, (the pain is much worse and numbness more often) so I am having laminectomy with faucet screws and it will be an extension of the previous fusion. I wanted it done before the end of the year, Dec 7 at 11:00 am and was told to bring my brace to hospital.
My question is I think he is going through my back and how will the previous two surgery scars affect this surgery and what is the usual time in hospital and recovery. Doc said no less than 2 days but his nurse said the next morning. .