Fusion of L4 and 5 and 6, Decompression Laminectomy

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scorpio-girl
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Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 165
   Posted 6/26/2012 5:57 PM (GMT -6)   
I had my surgery Friday morning, and was released Sunday. I was surprised because I had read most folks stay 3-4 nights. But I was feeling fairly well so I am home now. So good to get all the tubes, catheters, bandaids and IVs taken out! It is true, DO NOT OVERDO when you get home. Let your body heal.

I assume my procedure was a success. As for pain, I am taking Hydrocone - I take 2 every 4 hours - 325mg. And I have another for muscle spasms which I have not experienced yet.

I am trying to remain either on the couch or in a chair. The walking has been done in the house, as directed. Pain is definitely there and it is not totally relieved with medicine. Getting out of the chair is slightly difficult as it is hard to "roll" out of the chair, unlike a couch or the bed.

So, that is my 2cents worth- incision about 7-1/2" long, extremely bruised and staples used for holding the thing together. Some bone was used for the lamina?? which was was scraped from me, along with cadaver bone - mixed and "grinded" together to (hopefully) hold the fusion together. I will return in 6 weeks for 1st x-ray; lift nothing heavier than 5 pounds first 2 weeks and then nothing heavier than 10 for a month. Only exercise is walking in the house. Luckily I have a sweet husband here to unload the dishwasher, and do bending stuff that might hurt my back.

Sodium, of course, was an issue before and during the surgery. My sodium NORMALLY for me is 130 but Houston doctors were concerned about the ##. Number got to 124 and that caused more worry so I was given sodium by bag in addition to the saline. When I left Sunday, the level was 132 which satisfied the folks..

One thing I would change - not having a surgery on a Friday. Help is scarce; changing shifts is confusing but main thing is lack of nursing staff on a weekend!

Kaely
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Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 619
   Posted 6/26/2012 6:06 PM (GMT -6)   
Glad to hear it seems to have gone well! I hope this leads to way less pain for you :)
Chronic pain, Depression, Fibromyalgia, Tennis Elbow (both arms), Arthritis (knees and fingers), Diabetes. Ruptured disk L-4, Severe degenerative damage L5-S1, ACDF C5-C6

Purgatory
Elite Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25380
   Posted 6/26/2012 8:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Good luck on your recovery. Take it easy, don't push yourself needlessly, it will only retard your recovery. Hopefully, you continue to see improvements in how you feel, as you recover more and more.

David in SC
Age: 59, 56 dx, PSA: 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 7 of 7 Positive, 40-90%, Gleason 4+3
open RP: 11/08, original catheters 63 days
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos margin
Incont & ED: None
Post Surgery PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Post SRT PSA: 1/10 .12, 4/10 .04, 8/10 .06, 2/11 1.24, 4/11 3.81, 6/11 5.8, 12/11 14.0, 4/12 37.0
Other: Spent total of 1 ½ years on 21 catheters, had Ileal Conduit Surgery 9/10
Member of Prostate Cancer & Chronic Pain HW Communities

straydog
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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16284
   Posted 6/27/2012 8:47 AM (GMT -6)   
So glad you are home and please,please listen to your body, do nothing, no work, baby yourself. Once you are healed up then you can fly. I would limit the amount of time I sat in a chair, puts a lot of pressure on things when sitting, especially the first six weeks.

Keep us posted as you feel up to it...Hugs,Susie
Moderator, Chronic Pain Forum & Psoriasis Forum

Chartreux
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Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9664
   Posted 6/27/2012 11:13 AM (GMT -6)   
Many prayers... its good your home, take things easy, and slowly...
Slow and steady wins the race...many well wishes and prayers...
**********************************************
* So many dx's I could write a book* "It would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...
********>^..^<********>^..^<*******

spinal soldier
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 687
   Posted 6/27/2012 3:26 PM (GMT -6)   
i had the same surgery without the L6 and from the sound of it you are doing very well, better than i did. if you still have some pain the muscle relaxant can have a potentating effect with the hydrocodone even if you do not have any spasms. be careful because most chronic pain patients that fall is due to a mix of opioid and tranquilizer. your doing good, take it easy and put good nutrition in your body and the pain with subside in about 3 weeks. God bless and best of luck to you

scorpio-girl
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 165
   Posted 6/27/2012 4:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks everyone. It's nice to your encouraging words - I will get there but when the pain is bad, it IS bad. I am following my pain and try not to go past the point of returning to my comfort zone - I take the hint when it rears its ugly head:)

I believe I will try to take the 750 mg of hydrocarbonal with the hydrocodone which is the muscle spasm pill in the hopes it will help with pain even tho I am not having spasms.

This AM I found myself thinking NO ONE had hurt this bad and that I should have never had the surgery as my back pain was worse after surgery than before! I quickly regained my senses and realized many folks had been much worse off than I, and that I was fortunate that no problems had developed with me this far.

Again, I do appreciate hearing from you and hope you're all on the mend from whatever, as well.

fireflyhillary
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 148
   Posted 6/27/2012 5:37 PM (GMT -6)   
I am not familiar with your situation and why you had surgery, but I just wanted to wish you good luck with your recovery. My grandmother actually just had the same surgery, except her levels were different than yours (she had the laminectomy as well)- I believe her's were L1-L3, but not positive. She was told she would be staying in the hospital 3 nights, but was released the next afternoon as she was doing so well. It has been a couple of weeks now and she is still taking it easy, which is very hard for her as she's a very busy woman. She just got released to be able to drive yesterday and she is so thrilled about that. Anyway, didn't mean to talk so much about my grandma. Do as you have been and be careful and if it were me I would take the muscle relaxer even if you aren't having spasms. I made the mistake of not taking mine after a minor procedure and those spasms kicked me in the butt....came out of no where and were super strong. I hope you continue to do well. Good luck!
*hugs*
Current: Lumbosacral Spondylolysis, Lumbosacral Neuritis, Arthritis L3-S1, Facet Syndrome, SI Joint Dysfunction, Interstitial Cystitis, Vulvodynia, Restless Leg Syndrome, Bi-polar, IBS, Fibromyalgia, PTSD. On too many medication's to list & have had many surgeries & procedures and I'm only 34.

Snowbunny21
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 3557
   Posted 6/27/2012 5:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Scorpio....I just wanted to suggest that you do not take the muscle relaxer to make the hydrocodone stronger unless your Dr. specifically allows this. It is never good to use a medicine for anything but its inteded purpose and if you don't have muscle spasms at the moment....then I would not be taking this...(Again..unless you get permission from your Dr.)...

I know SS is trying to be helpful, and I'm not trying to be a jerk here, but opiates and muscle relaxers, along with all medication should be taken as directed and not to make something "stronger"....

I am certainly praying for your recovery and as everyone has mentioned....just take it one day at a time and just do baby steps....It's a long recovery and you will likely have good days and bad ones....but hopefully get better day after day and month after month...

Post Edited (Snowbunny21) : 6/28/2012 5:24:16 AM (GMT-6)


grandmaroses
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Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 1355
   Posted 6/27/2012 9:56 PM (GMT -6)   
I had similar surgery end of march. All I want tu say is walk as much as possible and do NOT exhaust yourself I wish you a successful surgery,
Take care
Rose



Insulin Dependant Diabetic, Fibromyalgia, Gerd, IBS, Sleep Apnea, COPD, Spondylolistesis, Diabetic Neuropathy, Fatty Liver, High Cholesterol

Post Edited (grandmaroses) : 6/28/2012 10:25:46 AM (GMT-6)


Kaely
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Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 619
   Posted 6/27/2012 11:24 PM (GMT -6)   
I wouldn't be sitting up at all at this point. I know after my laminectomy I wasn't allowed to sit or to stand in one place for several weeks after surgery. I had to either be lying on my side with a pillow between my knees or walking. I wasn't allowed to lift anything at all.
Baby yourself as much as you can!
Chronic pain, Depression, Fibromyalgia, Tennis Elbow (both arms), Arthritis (knees and fingers), Diabetes. Ruptured disk L-4, Severe degenerative damage L5-S1, ACDF C5-C6

Screaming Eagle
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 6/28/2012 7:29 AM (GMT -6)   
 
      I some how missed this post yesterday, but wanted to pop in and wish you a good recovery! It sounds like things went well for you to be released from the hospital so soon. turn
 
     However I can see that your post-op pain is pretty strong, and that is normal, but should get better with time. You have to remember that this is a very major surgery. Stay ahead of the pain curve if you can, and if you need help, by all means ask for it.
 
 For me the evenings were the worst, and it is likley that you will wake up in the early hours of the morning, and may need some help getting up and to the bathroom and a med taken. I feel for you, and remember that rough time very well. I always kept a bottle of water by my bed along with a pain med...just in case someone is not around.
 
    As others have said, take it slow, and follow your surgeons orders. Walk...Walk...and Walk...however, do not over do it, or get further than you can get back home safely.
 
   I'm not sure if anyone suggested a toilet seat extender, but they can help greatly, especially if you get the one with the side-arms on it. You will find if you grab the side-arms and gently push yourself up and take the pressure off your bottom,...it will make for a much easier bowel movement.
 
  A very sincere "Good Luck" to you!
 
     SE wink
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Weekly Quote!

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Post Edited (Screaming Eagle) : 6/28/2012 7:41:12 AM (GMT-6)


scorpio-girl
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 165
   Posted 6/28/2012 9:51 AM (GMT -6)   
I will admit that my pain is pretty excruciating in the morning.I try to ask for as little help as possible and I realize now that TIME is the answer here. I get up, put on easy clothes, walk to kitchen, get pills at 7am and then go sit. By 7:45 I'm feeling some better but the pain is never totally gone. I wish I had something stronger than the hydrocodone, but i've had it before and I did okay so don't want to delve into anything stronger--just wish it helped a little bit more.

I am not driving and will not drive for 2 weeks. I do attempt to make short walks within the house. Today I did walk out to mailbox which was a trip for me. Really just to be outside. I'm wondering if I should take pain med when/if I go to restroom at 6AM so it can work on me before i get moving. Currently I take 2 hydrocodone every 4 hours and it gets me through the day.

It is helpful to read other folk's responses especially when they've been through the same ordeal. Is it the spinal laminectomy or the double fusing that is making such pain? Guess just a combo. And thanks for your suggestions, commode extender, etc. That will be helpful, and the pain pills tend to make one constipated. What has surprised me is that is seems to be taking awhile for the fluid to leave my body. Even though the scales show I weight less than 140 which is normal for me, I still LOOK pregnant. Yikes!

grandmaroses
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 1355
   Posted 6/28/2012 10:39 AM (GMT -6)   
Scorpio girl, you sound like you are feeling in control again. I re read my past post to you and added not as in do not exhaust yourself. Silly auto correct things. Do not sit try to lounge it is less painful. I had my l5-s1 done in the end of march and i like to think I can drive buy in reality I never go far and watch out for those speed bumps.
Take care
Rose



Insulin Dependant Diabetic, Fibromyalgia, Gerd, IBS, Sleep Apnea, COPD, Spondylolistesis, Diabetic Neuropathy, Fatty Liver, High Cholesterol

Snowbunny21
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 3557
   Posted 6/28/2012 12:55 PM (GMT -6)   
For me, I get up at 5am each morning and take my pain medicine...I let out and feed the dog, and then come back to bed for another hour while I read up on the news and then listen to my audiobook.

This way, when it's time to get up and get going...the medicine has had some time to get into my system.

So, if you are allowed x amount of Hydrocodone pills per day...then spacing it out to have one in the am before you get up is a good thing to try.

Staying ahead of the pain is very important.

It sounds like you are doing quite well but as I and others mentioned....it's a long process and looked at in "steps"...both literally and figuratively...LOL...
SB and "the pup who snores loudly" 
 
ACDF C5-C7, (no hardware), with autograft bone Nov. 2001
(reabsorption of bone 2 years later...still lost in body..expect to burp it out at anytime..haha")) 
ACDF with hardware, allograft bone Nov. 2005 
Anterior and Posterior CDF, allograft bone with BMP, removal of old hardware, use of titanium plates, rods, screws, & kitchen sink (lol) Oct 2006
 
 

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16284
   Posted 6/28/2012 3:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Scorpio, I think when you get up at 6:00 to go to the restroom that would be the perfect time to take your pain pill. That way you can go back to bed for a bit and give it time to kick in and start to work. This should help you out especially when you are getting up to start your day, maybe it won't be so rough starting out this way.

Every person I know that has had either back or neck surgery had muscle spasms immediately following surgery and as it turned out this was adding fuel to the fire called pain. The spasms will create additional pain and with the pain being so bad right now you are not able to distinguish which is causing this pain or that pain. So, take a muscle relaxer and see how you feel. Right now inside you are a bundle of hot raw nerves. So, take your pain meds on a schedule so you can stay on top of the pain and not be chasing it.

Like you said you know this is part of it and you will get better, take care........Susie
Moderator, Chronic Pain Forum & Psoriasis Forum

Iwillseeu
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 6/29/2012 6:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello everyone, my husband just had a lumbar fusion and is now suffering with lower leg and feet burning. It's so painful he's almost in tears. Nothing is helping, not even the pain meds. Any suggestions. I'm at my wits end and the docs not around.
Thanks so much.
Iwillseeu
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