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Lower Back Spinal Fusion Update, Six Days Post Op.
Old 10-27-2019, 07:54 AM   #1
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Lower Back Spinal Fusion Update, Six Days Post Op.

Last Monday had L4-L5, L5-S1 fuse procedure TLIF (L4-5) and XLIF (L5-S1). Background 68 year old male 5í9Ē, 180#, average build, active golfer and worked out 3-5 days a week.

I had severe sciatic pain down left leg and had tried everything short of surgery before going under the knife. The 4-6 hour procedure went well and they had me up and walking shortly after the surgery. Hospital stay was four days actually one longer than planned due to opioid constipation. Used a walker while in the hospital but after one day at home Iím off the walker. Still taking pain meds as needed, once to three times a day. Best result is no sciatic pain, none so far and every day Iím feeling better and getting my strength back. The plan is to take it easy for a couple of months and start PT in about two months. Canít say enough good things about the doctors, medical and hospital staff. Thanks to the good lord and so glad this is behind me and Iím on the mend which I know will be a slow deliberate process. Last but not least if somebody wants to make a fortune, deign a decent and functional hospital gown. Thanks for all the good wishes and advice from the forum members who commented on my original thread about this back surgery.
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Old 10-27-2019, 08:17 AM   #2
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Great to hear. Very relevant.
My DGF had a L4-L5 fusion 2 weeks ago. She previously had an L5-S1 fusion 7 years ago. She still uses her walker at home, but clearly it is more for just in case, etc.
She just finished her opiod allocation, but still has some back pain in which she takes Tylenol.

Keep us updated as you progress.
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Old 10-27-2019, 08:50 AM   #3
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Best wishes for a continued speedy recovery with no further issues!
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Old 10-27-2019, 09:14 AM   #4
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I hope this takes care of all your back issues forever .
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Old 10-27-2019, 10:05 AM   #5
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Wishing you a speedy recovery.

One of my DS's had spinal surgery at a young age - 20 - at the Hospital for Special Surgery in NYC due to badly herniated discs, years of horrific pain, and no relief from conservative treatment. I was afraid that we were going to loose him. The surgeon was a Godsend, and he is able to live a normal life now.
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Old 10-27-2019, 03:11 PM   #6
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Thank you for this thread. I have an appointment with a surgeon next month for back issues, I'm not looking forward to it.
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Old 10-27-2019, 03:29 PM   #7
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Glad to hear your ok. I've been threatened with cervical spine surgery for many years. Still on the table. One thing I've been told by folks who work in the field is the technology keeps improving every year.
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Old 10-27-2019, 04:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt34 View Post
Thank you for this thread. I have an appointment with a surgeon next month for back issues, I'm not looking forward to it.


A surgeon is compensated for preforming surgery.
IMHO surgery should be a last resort, before a wheelchair, or w/plans to exit one.
You might benefit from researching this individuals life & practice stories/history.
https://www.bergmanchiropractic.com
Good luck & Best wishes!
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Old 10-27-2019, 06:06 PM   #9
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Thank you for this thread. I have an appointment with a surgeon next month for back issues, I'm not looking forward to it.
I hope you've already been through other treatments like physical therapy, injections and/or ablations as part of a protocol before surgery. Surgery's the last resort in just about every situation.

My wife has spinal stenosis and had successful surgery 12 years ago. Her leg would just go limp, and she fell down stairs a couple of times about breaking her leg. Arthritis has not been kind to her--with a knee replacement and shoulder surgery in the last year.
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Old 10-27-2019, 06:10 PM   #10
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Surgery's the last resort in just about every situation.
Yes indeedy!

I have no intention of rushing into anything involving cutting. As I said to my primary doctor, I'll have to be just about in a wheelchair before seriously considering surgery. I've heard too many horror stories of people going in with a bad limp and coming out in a wheelchair.

But I don't know all of my options, and this is but one of them.
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Old 10-27-2019, 06:47 PM   #11
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I wish you all the best frayne and, as you said, "a slow and deliberate recovery."

As an avid golfer (5+ times a week as the seasons allow) and a taller than average person, I consider myself lucky to have avoided back issues up to this point. However, the issue you had with opioid constipation is near and dear to my bowels. I fractured my hip falling off a ladder about 10 years ago and had that same problem. It was beyond uncomfortable to the point of dangerous. Also, I ultimately had withdrawal symptoms when attempting to come off the opioids; DW and I were changing the sheets in our bed one or two times a night for more than a week due to my night sweats. So...a cautionary tale regarding opioid usage.

Of course, my experience with opioids was prior to today's current level of awareness about the highly addictive nature of opioids. I recall the discharge physician coming into my room the day I was being discharged from the rehab hospital and asking me very casually, "Would you like 50 or 100 hydrocodone pills?" Of course I opted for 100 just so I would feel "secure" that the pain would not overwhelm me. And I was very liberal with those pills without really fully understanding the implications of my actions. Since then, like almost all of us, I've heard and seen some tragic stories related to opioid addiction. I believe I'm very lucky to have escaped their grip with only the minor issues i described. Again, all the best.
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Old 10-28-2019, 05:39 AM   #12
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Hang in there frayne and please take it easy during recovery. My suggestion is to extend their lifting restriction instructions longer than the 6 or 8 weeks they suggest. It helped me. I waited 6 months before doing something like swinging a club. Maybe you can start with chipping and slowly move up at the 4 mo point.

And to any of you who think all back issues can be solved without surgery, well, sometimes your story gets old and irritating. Sorry, but those of us who have suffered, and I mean suffered, find your suggestions insulting.

Yes. Don't go to a surgeon after "pulling your back." Don't get surgery for a little bulge. We get it. But damnit, sometimes when you have spurs and completely blown disks, modern medicine gives your life back. Celebrate with us, please.
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Old 10-28-2019, 05:40 AM   #13
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"Surgery's the last resort in just about every situation." Agree 100% as it was in my case, I had been through everything short of seeing a voodoo doctor. Thanks Tallman about your issue with opioids. Right after surgery they were pumping me with oxy pills about every three hours, which at the time I needed. Over the course of about five days I'm down to about one every 12 hours or so. The most painful part right now is getting comfortable laying on my back with the bulk of the bandages making it feel like I'm laying on a brick. Thanks everyone for the well wishes and hopefully I'll be out hitting the little white ball in 4-6 months.
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Old 10-28-2019, 06:31 AM   #14
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Best of luck Frayne. I read an article a while back about a new, improved hospital gown but I don't think it has penetrated very far.
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Old 10-28-2019, 07:50 AM   #15
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I have 2 nerve ablations for L4-5 scheduled in a few weeks. The first set a couple years ago gave me fantastic relief for about 10 months. First time in many years I had NO lower back pain. The second set this past February only lasted 2 months. I recently had an MRI and have the 2 NA's scheduled (insurance won't let my doc do them together anymore). If this NA doesn't work then he'll probably send me to a surgeon. I may try a chiropractor that specializes in decompression therapy before that though. Thankfully I can get by without pain pills so far. But am limited in physical activities.
Hope your back surgery solves your problems and you get back to activities soon!
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