Spinal Disorders & Back Pain For discussion of all spinal cord injuries, spinal issues, back-related pain or problems.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-02-2009, 06:17 PM #1
Spillary Spillary is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 6
10 yr Member
Spillary Spillary is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 6
10 yr Member
Default Lumbar Fusion Success Story

Hi, I am a 24 year-old woman in Seattle who is 3 days shy of the 3-week mark of getting anterior/posterior lumbar fusion surgery. My story is that in June 2008, I began was experiencing excruciating and constant pain in my left hamstring. From June to July I tried yoga and stretching, at the end of July I began physical therapy. My physical therapist said my pain was probably due to a herniated disc so in August I got an x-ray and an MRI, which showed a disc herniation due to a lumbar spine condition called spondylolisthesis.

I then began chiropractic sessions, and when those didn't help I had an epidural steroid injection. I was also being prescribed stronger and stronger narcotic drugs, and by November I was completely suicidal. I had gone from being an active, healthy, hard-working, energetic girl to someone who was always late or missed work, couldn't walk without using a cane; I couldn't do my own chores or grocery shopping and I was completely desperate. The pain was poisoning every aspect of my life. After considering surgery long and hard, I decided to go through with it. I had the surgery on February 12th and am ecstatic to say that the pain in my leg is now a distant memory and I think I'm actually going to be back to normal soon! It was anterior/posterior lumbar fusion so I have two incisions: one in my lower back and one below my belly button. I was in the hospital for 5 days after the surgery and then went home with my parents to their place for the required 4-6 weeks of recovery time.

I went back into the hospital after 8 days of being at home because I had made the decision to get off the narcotic painkillers cold turkey once I was released from the hospital. Thus, I went through some crazy withdrawal and was admitted overnight. Iím back home again now and although I feel well enough to start regaining my strength and mobility and flexibility, and I really want to go back to my own apartment and start working again, I know I just have to be patient and wait the full 4-6 weeks. The main tips Iíd offer anyone considering this surgery would be:

1) Know your surgeon(s). I am lucky enough to have great health insurance and live in a city where I was able to get really qualified, successful surgeons (3 of them) to do my operation. To go through with a major surgery like this you do have to have a certain amount of blind faith in the surgeons because you never know, so do your research and if your gut feeling is that itís going to be okay, it probably will be.

2) Have somewhere to go or someone to take care of you CONSTANTLY for the first 2 weeks out of the hospital. I never could have recovered if it hadnít been for my mom taking the time off work to care for me once I was discharged. Post-surgery, youíre not allowed to bend, twist, or lift and itís amazing how many day-to-day things involve those three motions. I was constantly needing her help to get my socks on, pull my covers up in bed, get things off the floor, and even open up the toilet lid when I had to go to the bathroom (no bending!). Also, I was pretty wrecked emotionally and it was nice to have someone to talk to and help me keep my eye on the prize: recovery. If you donít have someone to take care of you or somewhere to go to receive care, Iíd make sure to figure out how to acquire said care because trust me Ė youíll need it.

3) Patience is key. Even though right now I feel like I could get up and do some chores or take a walk or do yoga, I canít Ė itís not about what I FEEL I can do, itís about what my body can actually HANDLE. At this point, the fusion isnít complete, and thereís no way to rush it. Without rest and patience, itís never going to happen. As hard as it is (especially when youíre feeling able to be active) you just have to take it easy.

4) Make a plan with your doctor to get off any pain medications. Pre-surgery and during my post-surgery hospital stay I was on oxycodone, morphine, and hydromorphine. When I was discharged, I just stopped taking all of it. Not a good idea. I should have tapered off instead of going cold turkey and paid the price of three days off extreme sickness and then two nights in the hospital. I lost a lot of weight and strength during this time and it was a major setback in my recovery.

5) If you have any mental health concerns or issues, deal with them (or begin to deal with them) BEFORE your surgery. Make arrangements for a mental health professional to come see you in the hospital a few days after your surgery, and see someone on a weekly basis during the 4-6 weeks of recovery (and beyond, if needed). Recovery can be very depressing and isolating and I truly believe in the power of positive thinking. If youíre recovering and all youíre thinking is ďIím missing out on everything and Iím not being a productive human being and am just lying here and doing nothing and what if the pain comes back andÖ.Ē Youíre not going to recover and feel better as fast as if youíre thinking positively. If therapy or counseling will help you get to that point, make sure you make arrangements with someone.
Spillary is offline   Reply With QuoteReply With Quote
"Thanks for this!" says:
PamelaJune (06-02-2014)
Old 03-02-2009, 10:01 PM #2
smollick76's Avatar
smollick76 smollick76 is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 3
10 yr Member
smollick76 smollick76 is offline
New Member
smollick76's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 3
My Mood: Lumbar Fusion Success Story
10 yr Member
Default

Thanks for the great tips, I am getting fusion surgery w/ instrumentation March 25 and I am scared out of my mind....
smollick76 is offline   Reply With QuoteReply With Quote
Old 11-16-2009, 08:33 PM #3
kiwee kiwee is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 8
10 yr Member
kiwee kiwee is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 8
My Mood: Lumbar Fusion Success Story
10 yr Member
Default

HI, How are you both doing now? I am considering the same op.
kiwee is offline   Reply With QuoteReply With Quote
Old 10-30-2010, 02:44 PM #4
Oberon Oberon is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 1
8 yr Member
Oberon Oberon is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 1
8 yr Member
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spillary View Post
Hi, I am a 24 year-old woman in Seattle who is 3 days shy of the 3-week mark of getting anterior/posterior lumbar fusion surgery. My story is that in June 2008, I began was experiencing excruciating and constant pain in my left hamstring. From June to July I tried yoga and stretching, at the end of July I began physical therapy. My physical therapist said my pain was probably due to a herniated disc so in August I got an x-ray and an MRI, which showed a disc herniation due to a lumbar spine condition called spondylolisthesis. ...

5) If you have any mental health concerns or issues, deal with them (or begin to deal with them) BEFORE your surgery. Make arrangements for a mental health professional to come see you in the hospital a few days after your surgery, and see someone on a weekly basis during the 4-6 weeks of recovery (and beyond, if needed). Recovery can be very depressing and isolating and I truly believe in the power of positive thinking. If youíre recovering and all youíre thinking is ďIím missing out on everything and Iím not being a productive human being and am just lying here and doing nothing and what if the pain comes back andÖ.Ē Youíre not going to recover and feel better as fast as if youíre thinking positively. If therapy or counseling will help you get to that point, make sure you make arrangements with someone.
Hello Spillary

I am considering this surgery for late this year or early next year. I am a spondolo, degree 3, with severe sciatica in my left leg.

I have quite a few questions. Would you be willing to correspond by email to answer my questions?
Thanks --Oberon
Oberon is offline   Reply With QuoteReply With Quote
Old 11-23-2010, 12:45 PM #5
jimglynn jimglynn is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 10
8 yr Member
jimglynn jimglynn is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 10
8 yr Member
Default

I am going to have fusion surgery 11/29. where is your pain level now?

Last edited by jimglynn; 11-23-2010 at 01:29 PM.
jimglynn is offline   Reply With QuoteReply With Quote
Old 12-28-2010, 08:11 PM #6
msmarilynjane msmarilynjane is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 5
8 yr Member
msmarilynjane msmarilynjane is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 5
8 yr Member
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by smollick76 View Post
Thanks for the great tips, I am getting fusion surgery w/ instrumentation March 25 and I am scared out of my mind....
I am getting my fusion Jan 18th and am so scared but the pain is so bad
msmarilynjane is offline   Reply With QuoteReply With Quote
Old 05-07-2014, 02:29 PM #7
tennyson tennyson is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 1
5 yr Member
tennyson tennyson is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 1
5 yr Member
Default

I am in the process of scheduling an anterior/posterior lumbar fusion. My spine is now touching my right rib cage, the pain in my leg is intense and limiting (couple years ago I could walk for miles (well 3 at least) now just going around the block is problematic. I am concerned with post surgical deterioration of the thoracic and cervical spine. Per my surgeon there can also be post surgical problems with the hips -I don't want to just trade one set of pains for another -any thoughts would be appreciated
tennyson is offline   Reply With QuoteReply With Quote
Old 05-28-2014, 05:47 PM #8
dianepmt dianepmt is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 10
5 yr Member
dianepmt dianepmt is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 10
5 yr Member
Default any updates?

Since this is from 2009, doubt I'll get a reply, but would love to hear how you are doing now.
dianepmt is offline   Reply With QuoteReply With Quote
Old 06-02-2014, 06:18 PM #9
rabbit323 rabbit323 is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 3
5 yr Member
rabbit323 rabbit323 is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 3
5 yr Member
Confused no replies on current status?

not sure if to expect good or bad news....? where are the responses and updates of this fusion surgery???? 1/10 are successful?

-please prove me wrong imscared i might be offered this surgery soon 2!!! '


rabbit323 is offline   Reply With QuoteReply With Quote
Old 06-02-2014, 07:54 PM #10
dianepmt dianepmt is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 10
5 yr Member
dianepmt dianepmt is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 10
5 yr Member
Default Tennyson, did you get the surgery?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tennyson View Post
I am in the process of scheduling an anterior/posterior lumbar fusion. My spine is now touching my right rib cage, the pain in my leg is intense and limiting (couple years ago I could walk for miles (well 3 at least) now just going around the block is problematic. I am concerned with post surgical deterioration of the thoracic and cervical spine. Per my surgeon there can also be post surgical problems with the hips -I don't want to just trade one set of pains for another -any thoughts would be appreciated
Curious how you are doing, Tennyson, if you had the fusion. I have the same concerns as you. I wonder sometimes if the perspective on outcomes is skewed because the people who do well don't post in forums like this because they feel better and aren't looking for answers. It's those longer term outcomes that worry me. I know a woman who is less than 2 years out from a fusion and very happy, I hope she will be equally pain free 5 and 10 years from now.
dianepmt is offline   Reply With QuoteReply With Quote
"Thanks for this!" says:
PamelaJune (06-02-2014)
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Long-term results from Lumbar Spinal Fusion maw1953 Spinal Disorders & Back Pain 54 01-14-2020 06:48 PM
L4-S1 Fusion Success Story kiwimike Spinal Disorders & Back Pain 295 05-31-2016 07:30 AM
SI problems after lumbar fusion? Jenmedic Spinal Disorders & Back Pain 4 08-01-2009 12:32 AM
Life after Lumbar Spinal Fusion DavidE Spinal Disorders & Back Pain 2 12-03-2007 07:10 PM
I need a lumbar region fusion. copfriend2997 Spinal Disorders & Back Pain 2 05-18-2007 09:59 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:34 AM.

Powered by vBulletin • Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO v2.0.31 (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise v2.7.1 (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
 

NeuroTalk Forums

Helping support those with neurological and related conditions.

 

The material on this site is for informational purposes only,
and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment
provided by a qualified health care provider.


Always consult your doctor before trying anything you read here.