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L2-L3-L4-L5-laminectomy and fusion--help

Hunter11HHunter11 Posts: 7
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:52 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi everyone I am scheduled for a L2-L5 laminectomy and fusion with instrumentaion on April-25-2011 I am looking for some help with what I will experience and need before and after surgery... I had a 3 level laminectomy l3 l4 l5- 8 months ago on this area so I have experienced the pain and what to basically expect if you can help with any tips that would be great...Also I am having a bone graft I am not sure if it will be from my hip or pelvis I will find out next week at my pre-op...Is the bone graft painful or does it all just basically suck..lol

Thank you all for helping, Bob


  • the bone draft no it dont hurt you want even know,maybe just a little sore,the whole want be no bigger then ink pen tip.a walker would be nice to use after surgery.are they doing it from the back or going in from the front?and after with the pain pump you should be alright it helps out big time,and dont let them send you home with nothing less 10 milgram of pain meds, i had alif l4-l5 and bone mass taken out jan 4 2011,wasnt near as bad that i had read on here...the morning i got there i got the nurse give me pain med and nerve med and was good to go.keep us posted and gl with it..
  • Bob,

    I had the same thing last July. I wrote a blog during the surgery and recovery. Just remember that everyone is different. I didn't exactly have the greatest time, or success. But it will give you an idea. Good luck with your operation!


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  • Welcome to our forum. :)))

    There are two stickies at the top of this section called Post Op Must-Haves and How Long Will It Take. Would encourage you to read them because there's some wonderful advice. You won't need everything in the Post Op Must Haves, but write down the items which are relevant to lumbar surgery. Good preparation prior to surgery is one of the keys to helping with recovery.

    As you're aware, this surgery will be a much bigger one than the laminectomy, but I'm sure you'll be totally committed to getting well again.

    I found the grabber was my "best friend", and also a dressing stick which had a hook on one end for pulling up my pants, and a "rubber thumb" on the other end for turning the power points on and off. A long handled shower brush helped a lot because you can't bend over to wash your legs and especially your feet.

    Like with your first surgery, you'll be given medication to take home with you, and if/when you need more, then contact your doctor. It's important to take your pain meds on time to keep ahead with the pain, even during the night.

    The bending-lifting-twisting restrictions are very important until your doctor says you can do more.

    I didn't have a bone graft (I had BMP) so can't help you with that.

    Be prepared for a LONG recovery period - initially lots of rest and short walks, and the doctor will let you know when you can increase the distance. You'll get bored and restless at times, with good days and bad days, but for most of us, we eventually get a good degree of pain relief.

    Hope all goes well for you on the 25th, and when you're able to, do post again and let us know how you're doing.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • Thank you Trish, I will post as soon as I can after my surgery I have a shower seat and raised toilet seat if I need them and I have a good grabber my Dr. said I will be fitted for a brace and get a walker before I leave the hospital plus my 6 yr old son who will do anything that he can for me..lol..I just worry way to much my wife tells me to just relax I am not worried about all the pain as I have experienced it somewhat with the last 2 back surgeries I worry about being ok during and right after the surgery and then I just pray it helps me as I have suffered for 3 yrs now and my life has basically sucked...lol...I just want to be able to do things with my wife and son again and not be in agony like so many of us who suffer from bad backs I feel for everyone who goes through this type of injury/pain...

    Thanks again, Bob
  • You're really well organised and that's good. It's very normal to feel anxious about getting through the surgery, especially with a 3 level. Continue putting your confidence in your surgeon and anaesthetist.

    I'll be thinking about you on the 25th (that's Anzac Day here in Australia)and hoping for a really good outcome for you.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
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  • I had a 2 level fusion and will be having a 1 level fusion on the 21st of this month. This will be L3-S1 when they are finished. I'm not looking forward to those first 2 weeks because fusion surgery is major and was alot more painful than the minor surgeries I had before getting fused. After 2 weeks things will start to get better every day that passes. In the end it was worth it and I said from the begining that I would do it again in a heart beat. Now here I am and just looking past surgery to get relief. I rented a hospital bed and put in the living room which helped me alot. Insurance payed for the bed so think about it. It gets old laying in your bedroom all the time. Hope to be coming home when you go in for surgery. Stay positive and take it slow and easy and listen to your Dr. This website will always be here to help you through it. I was on here everyday and it was much help for me during my recovery.
  • Thanks for the reply can you tell me your pain symptoms ? I had a fall at work 3 yrs ago and had some herniated disks and nerve damage and the doctors said the fall which was a compression trauma to my lumbar area made my DDD worse thus the reason for my severe back pain that goes into my left butt - hip - lower leg and my toes which are always numb and tingling with nasty sharp pains in them it sucks. After my l2 l3 l4 laminectomy it did not get better it has been getting worse thats why I had the 2 other oppions and they all said I needed this l2 l3 l4 l5 fusion I pray it helps...please let me know what your pains were and how you felt after the 1st fusion? also I will be having a bone graft how was that if you had one ? and when I get home from the hospital will I be ok to get up and do small things as we have a 6 yr old son in k-garten I hope I can at least help out ??...luckily my mom is flying home from Florida for a week to help. How long were you in the hospital ?

    Thank you, Bob
  • I was instructed to not lift anything heavier than a half gallon of milk. I was of no help to anyone till maybe about the 3rd week. Once I began walking twice a day and getting around better I was able to cook supper for my family. They had to make sure all the pots and pans were on the counter and not in the cabinets below. My Dr. used the bone bank so that he didn't have to take it from my hip. Some say that area hurts worse than their back afterwards so I chose the bone bank. Most of my pain was in the beltline area and down into my left buttocks and my left 3 toes were numb. Now I have pain in my right buttocks and beltline. Since surgery my pain has all moved to the right side and before it was on the left. I work 12 hr shifts and on my feet most of the time. After 8 hrs my back pain gets worse and the more days I work in a row the more meds I need so I have to do something with the next level. I was in the hospital for 4 days I believe. This time he said 3-5 days. I was just having a hard time setting up in bed so I stayed a little longer. I thought I was pretty macho but this surgery really surprised me. You will sleep alot after surgery. Maybe from constantly taking my meds every 4-8 hrs. Keep a log sheet and take your meds when they say you can so the pain doesn't get ahead of you. Even set your alarm at night so you don't miss any doses until you get to feeling better. If you have a bad day and you think you did something to your fusion, its probably cause you over did it the day before. Like you read on here, take baby steps for the first 6 weeks or so.
  • Hi,Im having a Lumbar Laminectomy and Fusion L3/4 L4/5 L5/S1 has anyone here had the same operation,in Australia (Melbourne),or else where,if so how long did it take to recover,Im 53yrs good health(except Back).Any advice or Tips, would be great with dealing with my recovery,
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