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Had L2-L3 fusion with L4-5 decompression May 18th

Hi, was just looking for someone to compare notes with that had similar surgery the same day.  Hope to find a recovery friend.  I hope everyone who reads this is doing well.  I had my surgery the 18 th of May. Not doing to bad in recovery.  I'm still on pain meds reduced to 1/2 the dose and every 6 hours now.   I'm moving around pretty well but I know when is time to relax. 2 week post op visit was told everything looks good.  I did have some incision leakage 4 days after and went to ER and was put on antibiotics for 10 days.  The results was a isolated bacterial infection.  I have a burning soreness in my right lower leg that started with the leakage,  it has gotten better and I did tell the doctor about it at my visit.  He said to just keep an eye on it.  I'm worried it's a blood clot,  but there's no discolouration in my skin,  no swelling and no hotness. It does go away but comes back.  But it has gotten better.  I'm wondering how long I'll be on pain meds,  and how long until I know if the fushion is a success. Has anyone started doing dishes yet? I must admit since I was told I can lift a gallon of milk I have done dishes 2x. I don't twist, bend,  or lift anything heavy.  I'm just ready to be back on my feet again.  Hope I can find someone to talk with. It gets boring laying in bed all the time and everyone here is busy so I'm pretty much in a room by myself.  Have a great evening.  :)
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  • DevilwearspaulaDevilwearspaula Braintree, MAPosts: 14
    I'm having a L3-S1 spinal fusion with a decompression laminectomy on june 15. I'm very nervous! I have had 4 other back surgeries. How did you feel when you woke up? I'm glad you are starting to feel better! 
  • In alot of pain, but they gave me meds. I was up walking that night though.  What other surgery on your back did you have? Hope everything goes well for you. 
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  • Hi Jules, good to hear your recovery sounds to be going pretty well (except for the infection).  I'm glad it wasn't serious!  I go in June 22nd for fusion of L4-L5, and to fix some hardware issues from my prior fusion of L5-S1.  I would be very careful doing dishes - that is one thing I waited a long time before doing because of the natural twisting/bending (even if slight) required.  Is there someone that can do them for you?  Are the pain meds doing a good job of controlling your pain?  It will be a while before your dr can determine if you fused - I believe usually 6-9 (or even sometimes 12) months. I had a CT scan 5.5 months after my first fusion - and it showed bone growth, but I wasn't completely fused at that time.  Has your surgeon given you instructions regarding walking or any other activities to do post-op?  I am not in the same spot as you recovery wise - but can relate because I have been through it once, and get to go again in 2 weeks!  I'm happy to answer any questions, although my recovery was not normal as there were some problems with the hardware placement that I learned about last month when I got a second opinion, so I never really recovered.  My new surgeon also said he would have done a multi-level fusion the first time around to include L4-5, so he will go in and fuse that and fix the first set of hardware.  The cage was not put in far enough and is impinging on my nerves, leading to horrible nerve pain.  The top screws are also impinging on my joints, so he will be removing those, and shaving down the cage.  Good luck with your continued recovery!  When do you plan to go back to work?
  • DevilwearspaulaDevilwearspaula Braintree, MAPosts: 14

    jules8192 said:

    In alot of pain, but they gave me meds. I was up walking that night though.  What other surgery on your back did you have? Hope everything goes well for you. 

     Were you nauseous at all when you woke up?  In feb 2010 i had a Laminectomy on my L3-L4 L4-L5, and then december 2010 i had the same surgery on the same discs. April 2013 i had a microdisectomy on my L-5 S-1 and then September 2015 i had a Hemi-laminectomy on my L3-L4 L4-L5 and now june 15 i will be doing the L3-S1 fusion with the decompression laminectomy. Through all of the years my surgeons have told me i needed this but they were going to avoid it for as long as they could. When i had my surgery in september i felt fine for 2 weeks and 2 weeks only and instantly had the same symptoms but worse.. i went back and he did an MRI and hr didnt even read the results to me and sent me on my way saying there was nothing wrong... When i found a new doctor she said there were so many issues and she was mad that he didnt read the results. I was pretty much back at square one... I had a feeling he knew it was time for the fusion but didnt wanna do it... Which i totally understand but he should have just said that. you know?? (sorry to write this novel, lmao) 

    Thank you so much for responding. I have been trying a few different websites to post about the fusion and get people to tell me their experiences and not many have. So i really appreciate you writing back. I hope you feel better and everything works out :D 
  • Hi Devil,
    Wow - you've been through a lot!  When I had my first fusion, I woke up in pain but I wasn't nauseous.  I was really out of it that first night (my surgery was at 3:00 PM), but a little better in the morning.  I was able to get up and go to the bathroom the night of surgery, and walk around the next morning.  Getting in and out of bed was definitely the hardest!  I have a hospital bed rented to use at my house when I return.  Good luck to you & keep in touch - I will be a week behind you!  How long did your dr say for recovery?  Mine said three weeks home from work.  I was home four weeks for my first surgeon, and then back part time.
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  • I guess I'm trying to much to be "normal" again.  Thanks so much for telling me about the dishes.  Yes I do have ppl here to help me,  I'm just so used to being independent.  

    When I woke up in wasn't nauseated or anything.  But I do remember crying bc the pain I was in.  I was awake and walking that night.  Home the next day.  I must still had the anesthesia in my system bc I don't remember alot of the drive home.  I live an hour from where the hospital was. 

    I've started reading about failed fusions and now I'm worried. Doctor didn't say much.  I asked when I could travel to Missouri for vacation he said anytime I'm ready but wr must stop every hour for me to walk around. I'm hoping by August we get to go.  We have triplet grand babies there.  He also says I'll have to start therapy at 6 weeks.  Today marks 3 weeks.  So not sure about what is involved with that. 

    As for work I am currently on disability was just accepted for it in December 2015 after fighting it 3 years.  I couldn't work bc the pain I was in.  I couldn't stand,  sit,  or walk more then 15 minutes at a time before lying down to relieve the pain.  I must say atleast over noticed that pain gone.  But the surgery pain is still there.  Not the bad 8-9 like before but without the meds I'd be a 5-6 I think.  I can definitely tell when is due in 6 hours.  

    Hope all goes well.  Sorry to hear of all the issues you've both had.  My surgeon/Specialist has a 98%success rate and over 23 years of doing these minimally invasion surgeries.  Hopefully I'm in his 98%
  • DevilwearspaulaDevilwearspaula Braintree, MAPosts: 14

    duckgirl said:

    Hi Devil,
    Wow - you've been through a lot!  When I had my first fusion, I woke up in pain but I wasn't nauseous.  I was really out of it that first night (my surgery was at 3:00 PM), but a little better in the morning.  I was able to get up and go to the bathroom the night of surgery, and walk around the next morning.  Getting in and out of bed was definitely the hardest!  I have a hospital bed rented to use at my house when I return.  Good luck to you & keep in touch - I will be a week behind you!  How long did your dr say for recovery?  Mine said three weeks home from work.  I was home four weeks for my first surgeon, and then back part time.

    Hello duckgirl,

    Thank you for responding! It's been a tough 10 years! my surgery is at 730 am and is scheduled to go until 230 hopefully without complications! Was walking really hard? I have heard that getting in and out of bed was really difficult. I think i'm mroe nervous for this surgery because this is a bigger one than my others and i didn't get hardware put in my body for those ones. Good luck to you as well! Thank you so much! My doctor said I probably won't start to feel better until 4-6 weeks later and could take 12-18 months to fully heal. I'm a stay at home mother for now, i had my son last year 4/8 and then had a back surgery in september 2015 and now 9 months later going back in. it's been a struggle trying to function. I cannot wait to feel normal again an be able to work! Please keep in touch as well! <3 
  • DevilwearspaulaDevilwearspaula Braintree, MAPosts: 14

    jules8192 said:

    I guess I'm trying to much to be "normal" again.  Thanks so much for telling me about the dishes.  Yes I do have ppl here to help me,  I'm just so used to being independent.  

    When I woke up in wasn't nauseated or anything.  But I do remember crying bc the pain I was in.  I was awake and walking that night.  Home the next day.  I must still had the anesthesia in my system bc I don't remember alot of the drive home.  I live an hour from where the hospital was. 

    I've started reading about failed fusions and now I'm worried. Doctor didn't say much.  I asked when I could travel to Missouri for vacation he said anytime I'm ready but wr must stop every hour for me to walk around. I'm hoping by August we get to go.  We have triplet grand babies there.  He also says I'll have to start therapy at 6 weeks.  Today marks 3 weeks.  So not sure about what is involved with that. 

    As for work I am currently on disability was just accepted for it in December 2015 after fighting it 3 years.  I couldn't work bc the pain I was in.  I couldn't stand,  sit,  or walk more then 15 minutes at a time before lying down to relieve the pain.  I must say atleast over noticed that pain gone.  But the surgery pain is still there.  Not the bad 8-9 like before but without the meds I'd be a 5-6 I think.  I can definitely tell when is due in 6 hours.  

    Hope all goes well.  Sorry to hear of all the issues you've both had.  My surgeon/Specialist has a 98%success rate and over 23 years of doing these minimally invasion surgeries.  Hopefully I'm in his 98%

    After surgeries i'm usually out of it for the day or the night. I hope you are able to go travel! Wow, triplets! :D :D I hope you are the 98% and best wishes to you! <3
  • I wish you both well - I hope Jules is able to travel!  Triplets is very exciting.  I too hope you're in the 98% - that is a very good record!  I definitely think you should be careful re: housework.  I was able to avoid laundry, dishes & cleaning for quite a while.  I felt really bad and lazy, but it is much better than jeopardizing the fusion and your recovery!  I have had to get used to not being as independent as I was.  My dad has been so extremely helpful...I just moved in w/my parents until I recover.

    Devil - my first time walking wasn't so much pain, but I felt weak and unstable.  I think it was a combo of pain meds/recovery from the anesthesia/lack of sleep/lack of food.  So my first walk around the nurse's station, I had to take a break and sit in a chair as I was feeling very faint.  That was the morning after surgery.  I am really nervous about this surgery too, as it is bigger than my first since it is a fusion + a correction of the other hardware.  Also, this new surgeon didn't like my first surgeon's approach.  He said it was semi minimally invasive (even though PLIF).  This surgeon said he has to cut my muscles, so I will be in the hospital 3-4 nights, instead of the 2 nights for the first surgery.  Do you have someone to stay and help you and your baby after you get home from the hospital?

    Best wishes to you both!  I look forward to hearing progress!
  • Thanks for the well wishes from you both. Hoe are you all doing now?
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