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TLIF L5/S1 with complications

I had my surgery on January 30, 2014. Then 2 more lots of surgery on February 4. Today is February 13.
I am still on endone and lyrica. Still have quite a lot of extremely annoying nerve pain. I know that the nerve pain is more likely a result of operative site inflammation.
Original plan was PLIF with TLIF minimally invasive. My unique anatome made it very hard so my surgeon had to expand to a vertical incision. My S1 is somewhat narrow in depth so normal length screws were too long. The next size down screws were placed and off to ICU I went.
CT on Feb 1 showed the screws were still too big and I would have to go back for more surgery to place smaller screws. On Feb 5 at 5pm I wnt into the OR for 20 minutes expected surgery. The new screw sent off for were placed with difficulty and fina.lly I was sent into recovery. Whilst writing up the Op notes my surgeon decided to do a CT scan right then just to make sure all was now correct. Nope so back into OR again,more surgery. Finally after looking through 'hardware' meant for other osteo type surgery, he found a small enough screw which by now had to be thicker as the hole in the S1 was now a bit larger.
I made it back to ICU around 11pm.
My surgeon said that in his 15 years of nurosurgery he has NEVER had to use screw that tiny for a TLIF L5/S1. My S1 for some reason, although apparently very normal and healthy bone, is small in structure.
My recovery is expected to take a bit longer and hte nerve inflammation pain is hell. I have increased my lyrica and tried to decrease my endone ( morphine) as you only are allowed 20 tablets to take home and need to see GP every 3 days to get another script.
I have my first physiotherapy appt on March 6 and until then just have to do gentle walking 10-30 minutes followed by 30-60 minutes lying down. Sitting preferably for no longer than 10 minutes but can build up a bit, pain deciding, up to 30 minutes. No housechores at all
This time I am following orders. I do not ever want more surgery and at most would consider nerve blocks to handle future pain.
I am rather sore and bruised after 3 lots of being cut open and having drains, drips (both arms and up to 3 bags each line), catheter, oxygen (nasal prongs) for 10 days... just wish I could now get comfy in bed with my legs and arms now falling dead painfully asleep within 10 minutes of rolling onto either side and worse left foot nerve pain if lying on my back. I came earlier than they wanted me too. Came home on Feb 12 so 14 days in hospital. It had been suggested I spend another week in hospital then move to a rehab facility for 2 weeks.
Judy 50
microdisectomy L5/S1 February 13 2012
PLIF L5/S1 January 31 2014; TLIF L5/S1 February 4 2014; 3rd surgery revision of screws L5/S1 February 4 2014


  • AngelicdragonAAngelicdragon Posts: 16
    edited 02/12/2014 - 8:09 PM
    Please excuse any typos,it is hard typing on a Tablet in bed.
    Has anyone else out there ever had experience with part of the lower spine being a different size to normal?
    My surgeon said how most people having the L5/S1 surgery typically after 5 yrs need the L4/L5 joint then fused. I intend to be very careful with not only recovery now but long term moving/weight lifting posture and all that so I will not need any more surgery.
    Thank you for reading this far.. oh to touch things off my 50th birthday was February 3 so the lovely nurses in ICU arranged a birthday cake and then surprised me waking me up singing Happy Birthday.
    Judy 50
    microdisectomy L5/S1 February 13 2012
    PLIF L5/S1 January 31 2014; TLIF L5/S1 February 4 2014; 3rd surgery revision of screws L5/S1 February 4 2014
  • Wow that is some ordeal! I will be having an ALIF L4-S1 w/posterior screws hopefully sometime soon if the insurance company ever gets there act together. I have not experienced any of the spine problem you have but I just wanted to extend some words of encouragement and hope you recover fully.
    Also happy belated birthday!!
    alif l4-s1
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  • thank you mjd and I hope when you have your surgery, all goes well for you.
    Judy 50
    microdisectomy L5/S1 February 13 2012
    PLIF L5/S1 January 31 2014; TLIF L5/S1 February 4 2014; 3rd surgery revision of screws L5/S1 February 4 2014
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