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Staying home alone after TLIF surgery is it possible?

I am going for TLIF surgery L5 S1 surgery, soon. My biggest concern is Would I be able to stay home alone after?
Tiny 40 years old woman farmer, TLIF L5-S1 surgery April 9th 2014
On my way to have my life back!


  • I had a totaly different surgery- 2 level 360-
    And there was no way I could stay at home alone.
    My drs office said after 1 week but I went home after about 10 days.
    I've had to have help taking out the trash, help with my cats, and depending on your shower that can be a little difficult.
    My shower isn't separate so the knobs are low, can't bend down to turn them on.
    You will need ready made meals, I couldn't drive until 6 weeks.
    Others that had your same surgery might say something different.

    99/00 L4/5 & L5/S1 herniation
    2001 L5/S1 microdisectomy age 25
    severe DDD at surgery level
    2011 pars
    2012 RFA L/3/4/5
    7-02-13 L4/5 l5/S1 360 fusion ALIF PLIF
    DX spondylitis , DDD, scoliosis, and slight kyphosis
  • Claire12 said:
    I am going for TLIF surgery L5 S1 surgery, soon. My biggest concern is Would I be able to stay home alone after?
    I would highly recommend that you NOT! I was in the hospital for 7 days after the surgery. When I got home I was restricted to a single floor because I was unable to manage any stairs. I could only even stand for 5 or 10 minutes at a time for about the first two weeks. Trying to cook would have been impossible. Heck, even dressing was almost impossible on my own. You might be able to manage things if you had someone coming to help or check on you daily, but I really would not try and do it all on your own. BAD idea. Also, many hospitals/clinics may refuse to release you unless you have someone who is able to stay with you for at least the first 24 hours after you are discharged.

    Just my opinion, having had similar surgery.

    48 year old freight handler. Bilateral foraminotomy, decompression of nerve roots and reduction of spondylolisthesis at L4-5 with open PILF and autogenous bone graft from left hip - June 13, 2013
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  • I would also say no. I had a minimally invasive PLIF and was in the hospital for 3 days. Afterwards, I needed help remembering my pills, getting ice, getting up and down to use the rest room and even in and out of the shower. I had a faster recovery than an open procedure, but I was so tired, sore and weak for at least a week or 2.
    37-HS Science Teacher, Mother of 2 (8 and 11)
    L4/L5 Disc compression with spondylosis and severe arthritis in both discs
    PLIF on 6/11/13 (minimally invasive technique)
  • Claire12CClaire12 Posts: 32
    edited 08/19/2013 - 6:41 AM
    That's mean we need someone 24 hrs a day? for the 2 weeks? I hope not
    Tiny 40 years old woman farmer, TLIF L5-S1 surgery April 9th 2014
    On my way to have my life back!
  • I had plif L5/S1. I would recommend having someone for the first week at least. I stayed 4 days in the hospital. when i got home I could manage stairs, showering and dressing. That's about it! I made and froze about 2 weeks worth of meals before surgery. Unable to do laundry, dishes or any housework. Keep a med journal and set your alarm for meds if you have to keep track of it yourself. It's easy to get them mixed up if you don't write them down at first. You will be instructed no bending, lifting or twisting and just getting out of bed the first few days is hard! Good luck! My surgery was totally worth it. Oh, I would also recommend having someone with you at the hospital after surgery to speak up for you and your pain levels... Some nurses are much better than others.
    PLIF L5/S1 fusion 6/12/13
    ACDF 5-7 7/17/13
    44 year old Mom of 10 and 12 year old girls, full time veterinary technician.
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  • Thanks for your helps. My surgery will be for the best to, I do not want to beleive anything else. It is fun to read that people get better after. I am having my surgery done 7 hrs drive from home, and the doctor is sending me back by car, so I will push to be put on a plane. I have a hard time believing making that trip home even if I am not driving! And whith your advise it give me time to find myself a babysister!
    Tiny 40 years old woman farmer, TLIF L5-S1 surgery April 9th 2014
    On my way to have my life back!
  • My husband was an over the road truck driver when I had my fusions. I had to learn how to do everything by myself. I was alone after my second day out the hospital. So yes you can do it alone if you are disciplined. I also had two cats to care for and two big greyhounds that had to be walked. Its a good thing that the dogs were very well behaved on a leash. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.
    Discectomies 05/08 and 04/11, fusions L4-5 Feb 9,2012 and L3-L4 June 28,2012, Staph infection washout 3/2/2012, Bulged L5-S1. SCS trial on January 17th, 2014, which was a success! Permanent SCS on February 20th.
  • I'm a widow with grown children. Feel really bad that my kids have had to put some things off to help out but there is no way I could have gone home from the hospital 4-days after an ALIF and PLIF, 2 level. Even after 2 months there are still a lot of things I can't do: pick up a load of laundry, mopping, vacuuming, pick up a heavy cooking pan, etc. Shopping has its own problems. I have cats and dogs so buying a large bag of food and then placing the bowl on the floor is a no-no.

    Wish you luck. If you have no choice but to be alone, I hope you have the option to look into some sort of home care where they visit you however many times in a week you need the help.
    Isthmic Spondyliothesis Level II - III
    ALIF/PLIF L4-L5-S1, 2 cages, 2 rods, 6 screws (6/10/2013)
  • inchwormiinchworm Posts: 695
    edited 08/21/2013 - 8:29 AM
    Claire - whether or not you can manage at home alone post-op has a lot to do with you and the kind of personality you have, not to mention the severity of your surgery. I had a huge back surgery 5 weeks ago today and was in the hospital for 12 days due to a spinal fluid leak during surgery. That meant 12 days in bed without being able to even lift my head, so I was extremely weak and had to take it very slowly when they first got me out of bed. When I came home I was alone during the day while my hubby was a work. It was not a problem for me because I've done the post-op routine alone for many major surgeries over the years. For this surgery my husband would see to it that my socks were on and that I had everything I needed before leaving for work. He would check with me periodically during the day and I always carried my cell phone when moving about the house, then especially while walking outside to gain strength. If there was something I can't do, it waits until he comes home. So far there hasn't been a problem. I can now shower on my own, where he had to help me into and out of the shower at first and remove and assist in getting back into my brace at first. I'm now out of my brace and doing great. I have a kitty and we make sure she's fed before he leaves but I can do light housework, laundry, watering grass/plants in the yard, etc. Am also driving again, although it isn't the most comfortable thing to do and I don't stay out very long. I still get to feeling "puny" as my surgeon coined it--fatigued, sweaty, headache, heart racing (first couple of weeks), etc. Have decided I am probably somewhat anemic and am going to add some iron to my diet.

    You should ask your surgeon what you will be allowed to do post-op. I believe that many doctors dictate what activities their patients can engage in, so you may find your answer there. My surgeon (thank goodness) lets me decide for myself, with the comment to my husband that my activities will be "self-limiting". As for driving, you of course know that you musn't drive while on narcotic pain meds. Hope this helps some. :)


    2009 Foraminotomy C6-72010 PLIF L4-S1Multi RFA's, cervical inj, lumbar injLaminectomy L3-4 and fusion w/internal fixation T10-L4 July 17Fusion C2-C5 yet to be scheduled
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