Here is some background info.I am 22 year old female with no history of back pain, no sports, or accidents. I was rear ended in August (I went to the urgent care that day)and about 24 hours had pain in my back. Over the next 3 days I started having numbness and debilitating pain. I got x-rays and everything looked fine. In October I was still having issues so my doctor ordered an MRI. Saw an 8mm disk herniation. My Dr referred me to a pain management dr. I received 1 epidural steroid injection that I had an awful reaction to and provided no relief. In fact I began to have more weakness and numbness after. My Pain Management doctor referred me to a Neurosurgeon. When my Neurosurgeon came in and saw my MRI he said "oh shit that is big". Then said that I needed a surgery soon and that my disk was going to collapse if it had not already repaired its self.
So I had a TLIF at L5-SI last Friday February 24. It was originally supposed to be on Thursday the 23, but my doctor got stuck in surgery.
I came in at 6am on Friday. They took me back to my prep room. They gave me a gown, compression stockings and pump/massages for my legs. Then they took a urine sample and got my IV started. I asked for pain medicine (since I had to sit or lay down my back and legs hurt terribly). I actually personally knew my surgery nurse, she helped keep me calm. I met my anesthesia doctor and got more details about the specifics of my surgery. Then my surgeon came in signed a paper let me ask questions and tried to help calm me down. I was given a warm blanket and warned that the surgery room was very cold; then they wheeled me off to surgery.
I woke up in the recovery room laying in a med with oxygen on, my iv and a catheter. I have asthma and had issues breathing when I woke up. I had sharp pains every time I would breath deep (which they really want you to do). I was given a breathing treatment and then when my oxygen monitor would stay above 95 they took me to my room. I got to my room around 3pm and my surgery began at 8am.
I was very nauseous and felt a lot of pressure on my back. I threw up a few times. The nurse started the pumps on my legs (to prevent blood clots). She also gave me some meds in my iv and explained how my PCA worked (I could get pain meds every 10 minutes). I cried every time I moved that night and was very thirsty, but even a tiny ice cube made me sick.
My nurses changed around 7 and I got about 7 pills. A mix of pain pills, stool softeners and antibiotics. I ate half a sandwich around 11:30pm and kept it down. As it got later I felt better and started shifting around in bed.
The next morning my physical therapist came in. She got me to stand and walk. I am not going to lie, it hurt bad. But, it was worth it. They took out my catheter so I started having to get up to use the rest room. I sat up in a chair and ate lunch. Took a few naps and walked later in the day with my walker and nurse. They started giving me laxatives
that night as well.
The next morning Sunday the 26 (3rd day)I walked around my floor 6 or 7 times with no walker. my doctors PA came in removed my dressing and let me see the wound (a picture) it looked nasty. He said I wI got more pain meds about 6 prescriptions and was sent home with a walker and potty.
My first night home was odd. We went out to dinner (my PT encouraged trying to). After that we went home. When I got in bed I cried for a few hours, it was much harder to get in bed and comfortable at home. I wanted to go back to the hospital.
Every day since then has gotten better. I am spacing my pain meds out more. I did have to call my doctor though. I was having leg pain in one spot that the pain meds weren't helping. He gave me steroids and told me to rest more and walk less.
I feel better walking hurts and sitting makes my legs hurt. The throb with pain after about 15 minutes. I think I can feel my hardware moving in my back. It doesn't hurt, it just feels odd and when I get cold it almost aches. After reading everything on these boards I expected to hate my doctor and regret my choice for at least the first 2 weeks post op. But I don't I am so happy I made this choice, my pain is so much better now. It is still intense pain, but it is more manageable.
My balance is a little off and it is hard to remember not to twist, bend or turn. I still have not had a bowel movement (last one was February 22) I am concerned about this, but my doctor was not really. He just told me to take some laxatives (which I will in the morning) and try prune juice. If anyone has advice on this it would be greatly appreciated!