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Very Difficult Recovery

ldavis2333lldavis2333 Posts: 108
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:00 AM in Chronic Pain
My Laminectomy L2-L5 was done 3 weeks ago today. I put this surgery off well over a year and see now I suffered longer than I should have. I was almost completely bedridden due to pain in my back. I had Cauda Equina Syndrome.

I had had a previous Laminectomy L5-S1 several years ago. I also had a fusion with cages at the same level about 5 years ago. All was well for several years. In the Interim I have had a Cervical fusion C3-C7 with rods and screws 3 years ago.

The surgeon said he had to shave off a lot of bone and get down into the facet joints to get at the bone spurs. The surgery lasted about 4 hours. I was leaking spinal fluid and he had to put in a stitch to stop it.

When I woke up, needless to say, I was in a lot of pain. The nurses then told me I had to lay flat on my back for 48 hours to stop the leak. This just compounded the pain. Finally after 2 days I was able to get up. The pain control I thought was terrible. They were giving me oral meds. Finally after a lot of complaining they added the pump the second day with dilaudid. It was very hard to sleep. The surgeon wanted me to stay one more day. The nurses started pushing me out as soon as I started walking. I was better off anyway.

Two days after I got home, I was having a nightmare and fell out of bed. Luckily, I fell face down and the table beside my bed broke my fall. My bedroom is on the second floor so I came home with a commode and I hated it. Going up and down the stairs was harder than I had expected. Two weeks after surgery, I fell down the stairs. I had to lay there for a minute to see if I was still in one piece. They are wood stairs and I fell hard. I don't think it caused additional damage other than additional pain.

I am feeling better. The pain in my legs before the surgery is gone. Much of the hip pain is also gone. I am so relieved. I am taking it very slow. Standing for more than a few minutes is hard. I can sit comfortably in a comfortable chair for at least 1/2 hour. Haven't been out of the house. I tried to go for a little walk the other day and it was too much.

I am not sure where I should be in my function level at this point. I just think slower is better. I am so relieved it is over and I can see improvement.

Lastly, the most recent MRI of my neck is not good and I was told a few days before surgery that I had a stroke I was not aware of and now taking aspirin. All of this is so incredibly overwhelming.

Thank you for all of the support I have been given from my friends here. It makes a huge difference coming from people who know how I feel. :)


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1

Comments

  • ldavis2333 said:
    My Laminectomy L2-L5 was done 3 weeks ago today. I put this surgery off well over a year and see now I suffered longer than I should have. I was almost completely bedridden due to pain in my back. I had Cauda Equina Syndrome.

    I had had a previous Laminectomy L5-S1 several years ago. I also had a fusion with cages at the same level about 5 years ago. All was well for several years. In the Interim I have had a Cervical fusion C3-C7 with rods and screws 3 years ago.

    The surgeon said he had to shave off a lot of bone and get down into the facet joints to get at the bone spurs. The surgery lasted about 4 hours. I was leaking spinal fluid and he had to put in a stitch to stop it.

    When I woke up, needless to say, I was in a lot of pain. The nurses then told me I had to lay flat on my back for 48 hours to stop the leak. This just compounded the pain. Finally after 2 days I was able to get up. The pain control I thought was terrible. They were giving me oral meds. Finally after a lot of complaining they added the pump the second day with dilaudid. It was very hard to sleep. The surgeon wanted me to stay one more day. The nurses started pushing me out as soon as I started walking. I was better off anyway.

    Two days after I got home, I was having a nightmare and fell out of bed. Luckily, I fell face down and the table beside my bed broke my fall. My bedroom is on the second floor so I came home with a commode and I hated it. Going up and down the stairs was harder than I had expected. Two weeks after surgery, I fell down the stairs. I had to lay there for a minute to see if I was still in one piece. They are wood stairs and I fell hard. I don't think it caused additional damage other than additional pain.

    I am feeling better. The pain in my legs before the surgery is gone. Much of the hip pain is also gone. I am so relieved. I am taking it very slow. Standing for more than a few minutes is hard. I can sit comfortably in a comfortable chair for at least 1/2 hour. Haven't been out of the house. I tried to go for a little walk the other day and it was too much.

    I am not sure where I should be in my function level at this point. I just think slower is better. I am so relieved it is over and I can see improvement.

    Lastly, the most recent MRI of my neck is not good and I was told a few days before surgery that I had a stroke I was not aware of and now taking aspirin. All of this is so incredibly overwhelming.

    Thank you for all of the support I have been given from my friends here. It makes a huge difference coming from people who know how I feel. :)


    (I always tell myself "Just don't give up.")
  • my general statement according to my doctors
    after major back surgery, no lifting over 5 lbs for 9-10 months. i also wore a girdle to support my back. sometimes pain never gets better, stays the same or gets worse. they can take out rods etc after 2 years to see if it helps pain. don't do anyting strenuous for about a year. it takes time for bone graph to heal if you have a fusion. by the way, narcotics will cause nightmares. did you have the pain pump in hospital?
    so all i am saying it takes time about a year to recover and sometimes one does not fully recover from major back surgery. depends on the patient. work with your surgeon and hope you have a pain doctor to monitor pain.the rule is one third get better, one third stay the same and one third get worse statistically with respect to back surgery
    good luck
    jon
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
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  • I had 1 follow-up appointment with the surgeon a week after I got home. He showed me the xrays. I have to say the xrays looked very good. He said he didn't need to see me for another 6 months. Doesn't sound like much follow-up to me. It feels like an assembly line. Get them in and get them out. I didn't particularly care for his personality. For some reason though, I trusted him. My last Orthopedic surgeon did the first three surgeries. He screwed my neck up and decided he didn't want to treat me anymore and I was heartbroken. Go figure.

    I do very little bending, lifting and twisting. It still hurts too much. I've always been the type that bites off more than I can chew and then pay for it. Not this time around. It's not worth the pain.

    I will need to go back to my Primary Care for pain meds. So far, she has been pretty good to me. Doctor shopping just to find some compassion was hell. The surgeon told me from the start that I might not get any relief from the back pain. He did the surgery based on my leg pain only. I don't expect miracles. Like mostly everyone here, I have been going through this for almost 10 years, 4 surgeries and more on the way.

    Hope you are well.

    Lorraine
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,746
    I had 2 fusions and an open laminectomy on 11/29/11. And my progress is so slow that sometimes I wonder if I'm making any at all! He just ordered a bone growth stimulator to try and speed things up enough that I can start some P.T. But it dosen't look like He'll even consider it till 6 mos. I have so much pain from the lami that I don't even feel pain from the fusions.
    The lami was on previous work at L-1, L2. And L-1, T12.
    The lami was at L-5-4-S-1 and took over 5 hrs.
    He warned me that I was in for a very long haul! And believe me he's right. In fact sometimes I feel like I'm in reverse!
    JIM
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • Glad to hear from you, I have been wondering how you were making out. So sorry to hear about your fall from bed and down the stairs! Do you have anyone with you at home to help you out? Do you know what happened when you fell down the stairs, trip, dizzy? Did you see a doctor after your fall to make sure that everything was okay with your back, and to rule out reason for fall if unknown( such as tia...miny stoke, low blood pressure,dizziness)

    Recovery is a marathon, there are quite a few of us going through this together. With each others support, time,being careful with our restriction, we will get through this.

    Glad to hear that you are feeling better.
    >:D<
    Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
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  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,746
    The fusion was at L-2 to L-1, and L-1 to T-12
    And the lami was on previous work at L,4,5, S1
    Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • Hi Jim,

    Thanks for your feedback. I had a fusion at L5-S1 with cages. This 3 level lami is really uncomfortable. I had nerve impingement at all 3 levels and on both sides. I also had bone spurs in the facets. Surgeon said he did a lot of shaving off the bone. I also was leaking spinal fluid and had to lay flat on my back for 48 hours after surgery and that was horrible. I know you've been through hell also. I am relieved to hear that I am not alone. I will keep you posted.
  • The stairs are wood and I didn't put my whole foot on the step and it went flying out underneath me. I have been having balance issues for a few years now. I saw the Neurologist the week before surgery and he told me that I had had a small stroke that I was not aware of and don't know when this happened. Ironically, my blood pressure was very low in the hospital 82/55 in that range for a few days. My husband is also disabled and he is home most of the time with me. This can be a blessing and a curse. He was here at the time. Don't know what I would do without him. He is going to be needing surgery in the next 4 weeks and will need a lot of help. When it rains,it pours.

    I see your having more surgery. Sorry to hear it. I hope and pray you get some relief and a smooth recovery. Do you know why the last surgery was unsuccessful?

    >:D< >:D< >:D<


  • My mri showed a herniated disk at T12-L1 with impingement and he could have done work in that are as well. I was concerned that he wasn't going to be adding hardware because my spine can't be very stable after all of these surgeries. Now, after falling, I am glad he didn't. I would have been more upset if there was hardware involved.

    Hope you get some relief soon.

    :)))
  • pour sometimes doesn't it? Hope that you guys can get some help for when your husband has his surgery.
    I am glad that you are okay after your fall. I know what you mean about the having hardware and worrying about it. I just had my adr surgery 11 days ago and I am obsessed with not bending,lifting, twisting, to hurt or move my new hardware... which is why I cringed so much when I read your post.Glad your husband was there.

    Having my husband to help me has been the best,don't know how I would manage physically or mentally without him.

    I had my disc/lami of L4-s1 last July and never experienced any relief and actually got worse. Am more hopeful this time.
    >:D<
    Karen


    Hang in there, here's hoping there are brighter days ahead for all!
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
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