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posterior fusion T10-Pelvis

On 2/11 I'm having a posterior fusion T10-pelvis, I posted once before about being nervous (and being super anxious) and going for the second opinion (which is silly for me when I can barely decide what to eat for dinner!).

Well after talking to several people/physicians in the area I've decided to go ahead and go with the surgery and the NS I saw based on our area and their reputation.

Can anyone that may have had a comparable surgery tell me anything about it? Realistically the pain after? The time off work (I work a desk job). How much you really needed help once at home.

Any "must haves" to take to the hospital?

Thanks so much!!
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Comments

  • AllMetalAAllMetal Posts: 1,189
    edited 01/20/2014 - 2:51 AM
    Pain... terrible... (sorry but true), but the thing to keep in mind is that surgical pain is temporary. I returned to work at 7weeks. One thing I REALLY learned to embrace.... a crock pot! I also really used my shower chair. If you have any specific questions, feel free to inbox me. The anxiety can be overwhelming. I found preparing frozen dinners and reorganizing my kitchen, closets etc (to minimize bending etc) helped me feel more prepared and in control.
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
  • Thank you... the anxiety is getting me more and more everyday.

    Work is wondering how long I'll be gone and hoping I can come back p/t by the end of week 2 or beginning of week 3. I'm assuming that seems unreasonable.

    My husband has limited time off of work so is planning to work some half days when I come home. The hope is that I'm just sleeping while he's gone.

    But I'm in panic mode trying to think of what I should get done now and what I should have packed and ready to take w me to the hospital.
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  • Not to scare you, but that is unreasonable to think you can be back at work that soon. My issues were different as I had to have two surgeries because things had to be removed, repaired, and then fused... but still... I went back to work on a walker at week 7 (desk work) then week 8-9 desk work with a cane, then back in the classroom with a cane. I don't want to "compare" as our issues were different. I believe my success was based on 10days in ICE, 2 total weeks in hospital and 3 weeks inpatient rehab.... I would strongly suggest that if you aren't able to go to RR by yourself completely (now obviously under supervision with hubby/family/nurses) when you leave the hospital that you request going to an in patient rehab. Most work on "weekly" basis, so you don't have to stay 3 weeks. I truly believe that made a tremendous difference in my recovery. As far as the hospital... all I can do is laugh... I'm a chronic over packer.... For example, if I am going to spend one night from home I pack a minimum of 5 pairs of underwear....lol. I do suggest taking your favorite type of lotion and chap stick as the hospital will have that, but not in your "favorites".
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
  • I'm the same way when I leave home! I take the house... already planning to take several of my own blankets and making a bag now (still 3 weeks away!).

    I agree that I think it's unreasonable to be back that soon, but I told them we'll just have to see how I feel. I work in the medical world (for a surgeon, not a back surgeon), but still... they should know/understand a little more.

    He didn't mention anything about rehab so I will have to ask (even though I'm already upset at the thought of leaving my dog for the hospital stay!).

    It's odd it seems like my back somehow "knows" what I'm about to do b/c the pain has been so much more intensified and I'm constantly uncomfortable.
  • RubyTuesdayRRubyTuesday Posts: 195
    edited 01/20/2014 - 10:55 AM
    I didnt have the same surgery as you're going to have (single level fusion at l4-l5), but my absolute must haves are ear plugs and chapsrick. The hospital never sleeps, so earplugs are a must. I also asked everyone to close the door behind them too.

    And chapstick was lifesaver. My mouth was dryer than the Mojave desert because of the meds. I couldn't make spit if I wanted to. Definitely take chapstick.

    My husband stayed home with me the day after I got home from the hospital, but not since then. I'm 3 wks post op now and I still need him to put my socks on for me, but that's it.

    I agree with everyone else about going back to work after 2 -3 weeks. I'm 3 weeks out and also have a desk job and there's no way in heck I could go back at this point.

    Good luck to you!
    Synovial cyst removal in 2008. L4-L5 facet joint.
    Lumbar fusion at L4-L5 in December 2013. TLIF posterior entry
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  • Thank you for the advice... I'm terrified!!

    I'm starting to collect things for my bag now, rather than waiting until the last minute and panicking so I will certainly make sure there are ear plugs and chapstick!

    Did you stay alone in the hospital or did your husband or someone stay w you? I feel like I want my husband to stay, but everyone is thinking I'll be so out of it and tired that I won't care or want him there. He has limited time off work so the following days after the surgery while I'm still in the hospital he's going to work, since the hospital staff will be there, but then he will take a few days off when I come home. I think I'm more so scared to be alone all day and basically all night (after he left) in the hospital.

    I hope all is going well with your recovery. If you're 3 weeks out now and work a desk job do you have a time frame in mind that you think you'd be able to go back? Another few weeks?
  • texasgirl said:
    Thank you for the advice... I'm terrified!!

    I'm starting to collect things for my bag now, rather than waiting until the last minute and panicking so I will certainly make sure there are ear plugs and chapstick!

    Did you stay alone in the hospital or did your husband or someone stay w you? I feel like I want my husband to stay, but everyone is thinking I'll be so out of it and tired that I won't care or want him there. He has limited time off work so the following days after the surgery while I'm still in the hospital he's going to work, since the hospital staff will be there, but then he will take a few days off when I come home. I think I'm more so scared to be alone all day and basically all night (after he left) in the hospital.

    I hope all is going well with your recovery. If you're 3 weeks out now and work a desk job do you have a time frame in mind that you think you'd be able to go back? Another few weeks?
    I stayed alone in the hospital alone nights, but I'm probably older than you (62) and don't mind being alone. He came back the morning of the second day for just a bit, then I was alone the rest of the day and night, then back the next day to pick me up and go home. Oh, that reminds me! Put a trash bag on the passenger seat....it makes getting in and out of the car easier. Okay, back to stayjng in the hospital.....another reason I didn't want him to stay is because there's absolutely nothing for him to do. And believe me, you're not going to feel like entertaining him. You're not going to want to anything more than sleeping.

    As for my schedule for going back to work, I told my boss it would be 4 weeks, which is the low end of what my NS said. My 1st post op appt is on January 30th and he'll tell me if I'm ready. I plan to start back part time at first.

    Good luck to you. I'm sure you'll do fine!
    Synovial cyst removal in 2008. L4-L5 facet joint.
    Lumbar fusion at L4-L5 in December 2013. TLIF posterior entry
  • Thanks for the advice... you are a bit older than me :) I'm 30 and terrified to stay alone. I've had other surgeries before, but nothing this major, just a few day surgeries.

    Thank you for the advice on the trash bag.

    I was assuming all I'd want to do is sleep and not entertain anyone, but I also didn't know if they bug you (the hospital staff) so much that you're awake.

    I hope you post op goes great!
  • AllMetalAAllMetal Posts: 1,189
    edited 01/21/2014 - 11:03 AM
    Every time I've been left in the hospital by myself post spine surgery I've had TERRIBLE AND I MEAN TERRIBLE experiences. Sad but true. I suggest if possible having someone stay with you.
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
  • I'm 24 and was by myself in the hospital. My parents came for a few hours during the day, but that's it. I had nurses coming in every few hours 24 hours a day to check my blood pressure, temp, empty my drains, etc. Then every morning around 6 or 7 they'd take blood and my surgeons would pop in either in the early morning or evening. Plus PT and OT visiting every day.

    Only stuff I brought to the hospital with me were my back brace, clothes to go home in, a crosswords book, and toiletries. I had my parents bring me my cell phone and tablet each day, I wasn't comfortable having them with me all day even though I had a private room.

    My surgeon wanted me out of work for 3 months - most will want you off at least 6-8 weeks. I work from home though and started working part-time once I got home and by week 4 or so I was working full time. I work a desk job too, but sitting too often after surgery is not good for you, so frequent breaks to get up and stretch are needed.
    10/28/13 - ALIF, PSF, decompression at L4/L5 and L5/S1
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