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Positive results from my l5-s1 fusion

From: nurse l. inpain ADN, RN - on 06/21/2011 5:04pm

Hi everyone,i know there are a lot of negative posts on here,so i would like to start a positive one.I had surgery on march 25th,i am doing very well,getting stronger every day .You don't have to live your life in horrible pain.Find a good surgeon and Trust God for all the rest.
Blessings to all,
Nurse Nancy

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on 06/22/2011 9:33pm

Hi
I had a fusion L5/S1 with instrumentation back in 1992, after my hardware was removed in 94 I can also say my fusion was successful. The only problem I have associated with that procedure is from the donor site. Unfortunately I have issues with 3 other levels of my spine.
Anyone contemplating surgery I recommend doing your home work not only on the procedure but on the surgeon, and make sure when you sign that consent form you stipulate that the surgeon does the procedure and not his intern or someone else.
Good luck to all you fellow back suffers.

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on 06/23/2011 1:39am

Hi Pollywolly,
Thanks for your response,i also have issues in cervical spine,trying to put off surgery though.I was wondering why they removed hardware?Was it bothering you?Also ,what are the ongoing issues with the donor site,if you don't mind me asking?
Nurse Nancy

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on 06/23/2011 4:47am

Hi Nurse Nancy,
I am having a instrumented spinal decompression plus fusion L5-S1 next Tuesday and it is great to hear a positive story. Great to hear you are doing well, I have read so many stories about people who are worse now after surgery .
Best Wishes,
Margaret.

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on 06/23/2011 11:53am

I am so happy to see your GOOD results. My practically total fusion will be in 2 months. I am excited to do away with the pain, but kept hearing of all the awful things people would say, I am a positive thinker and really have confidence in my doctor and God.
Nancy did you have problems sitting for any length of time after your surgery? I have heard the horror stories of never being able to sit again, never bending again....thinking I may be like Frankenstein. How mobile are you?
I am a grandma and want to be able to go with my kids and grandchildren and have fun being retired------at this point all I can do is take pain pills, sit awhile and walk very little.
Gayla

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on 06/24/2011 1:53am

Hi Gayla,
Yes,i did have problems sitting,but only for about four weeks,i also bend very well.Physical therapy helps a lot and staying mobile.I am glad i had the surgery.
Nurse Nancy

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on 06/24/2011 1:53am

Hi Gayla,
Yes,i did have problems sitting,but only for about four weeks,i also bend very well.Physical therapy helps a lot and staying mobile.I am glad i had the surgery.
Nurse Nancy

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on 06/24/2011 4:05pm

Hi everyone,
This is my first post, but I think I have everyone beat in this discussion. I had a double posterior interior vision ion May 25th of last year. After about 2 weeks, I was able to get around pretty well on my own. After about 3 months I was able to play golf.(not well of course). I was able to play maybe 7 holes. It has been over a year now and I would say the surgery was a complete success. I have lost very little mobility or flexibility compared to how bad I was before surgery. In my case sitting has always felt better than standing on hard surfaces for extended periods of time. I have permanent titanium rods in my back and the bone should fuse around them. I have other bulging discs in my thorasic area that cause most of.my.pain today. I would say in the area of surgery L4-L5 and L5-S1, I am 90% pain free. Great job Docs! I would say what ever feels worse now, or caused your pain, will cause the most pain after. For me it was standing. Good luck and God bless.

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on 06/24/2011 4:15pm

Sorry for the type-o. I had a double posterior interbody fusion. I would suggest that the best Dr. is most important and I would use titanium rods and not let them take bone from anywhere else in my body. That is way old school, and not the recommend way anymore under normal circumstances. Thanks.

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on 06/26/2011 1:54am

Hi CCaruthers,
So good to heear how well your surgery went,and how well you are doing with golf.You are right,having the right doctor can make all the difference.I do have an old school one,and he does use your on bone for fusion.....but that was okay,i believe it did the job!
Take Care,
Nurse Nancy

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on 06/26/2011 3:35pm

I'm 10 days out after PLIF. I'm a 34 year old female, mom of two little boys (6 and 30) and a full time Kindergarten teacher (at least during the school year; it's summer!) I am completely relieved that I am feeling so well; the pain is hardly anything! I can manage on just tylenol during the day! I've mastered taking a shower myself and getting dressed, walking up/down stairs a couple times a day, sitting for about 2 hours, and even folded a load of laundry in bed.

I'm having a bit of trouble with pain in my hips-mostly from laying down when I do get "tired" (that's what I'm most surprised about). It's like pressure points--any advice?

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on 06/26/2011 5:47pm

I am so happy for you Jenann. I certainly hope it turns out that way for me. Positively ....YES!
Good ---Luck and rest some, hope that 30 year child wakes up and helps too.~Gayla

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on 06/26/2011 8:45pm

Hey Everyone,
Even though I am much improved after the PLIF, I am not able to sleep in my bed comfortably. I usually sleep in a recliner. If I lay on my back I hurt because unlike most PLIF's, the titanium rods were placed in the back, instead of on the sides. This was done to protect the nerve root of ky spine. There was so much pressure on my spine that the replacement of the back portion of my spine was not advisable. So, they were placed in the back to more protect my spine. I do believe without that, I would be most comfortable lying on my back. I believe lying on my side causes pain right above the PLIF location. I believe there is much pressure put on that area because the PLIF area has no.flexibility. if you are uncomfortable, try sleeping in a recliner. I realize this is very bad long term, but for the short term until you heal, it should help. God bless everyone. Anyone have advice on how to relieve pain in facet joints in the thorasic area. I have already tried several facet shots. I am not interested in nerve resotomy at this time.

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on 06/27/2011 11:45am

Opps, I meant that I have two little boys-6 and 3 (not 30). Of course, I do have a 36 year old boy but he's been helpful in being Mr. Mom also. I have WONDERFUL friends and coworkers; they set up an online calendar where people are signing up to drop dinner off nightly (Really! they drop and go-some ask if they can fold laundry etc.) Of course, one meal is usually a catering pan full of food and even dessert (the kids are in heaven!) Some of my friends have decided I need someone to visit daily (if possible) so they come to play with the kids, etc. We gossip and laugh-WoW! great medicine-hence the need for only taking tylenol.
I feel so good and so proud and so humble all at the same time

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on 06/27/2011 1:38pm

Are you not allowed or suppose to sleep on your side after having the fusion done--(forever)? I'm a side sleeper! I'm just listening and checking everything out before my surgery date in Aug.

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on 06/28/2011 1:11am

@Jenann,your positive attitude,and grateful heart makes a huge difference in the recovery process.I too had so many co-workers and friends from church bringing me meals and paying me visits,It was indeed humbling to say the least.
@ Gayla,i believe you can lay however is most comfortable.I sleep on my side,my back,and use pillows when i sleep on my side.
Blessings,
Nurse Nancy

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on 06/28/2011 1:11am

@Jenann,your positive attitude,and grateful heart makes a huge difference in the recovery process.I too had so many co-workers and friends from church bringing me meals and paying me visits,It was indeed humbling to say the least.
@ Gayla,i believe you can lay however is most comfortable.I sleep on my side,my back,and use pillows when i sleep on my side.
Blessings,
Nurse Nancy

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on 07/06/2011 11:48am

Hi All,

I had spinal surgery on my L5 S1 in 1990, it was called a Hartshill Rectangle,
it was OK at first but about 6 months later problems set in, and there was NOTHING they could
do, instead of doing about 2 to 3 inch scar i have 11.5 inches long, my old man measured it
they gave me no reason why this was, but the only thing they said is that there was an abscess and the S1 was to soft to drill into so they had to use wires to connect to the Metal Frame,
i am almost house bound now, so every one do your home work and ASK a LOT of Questions.
Good Luck.

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on 07/07/2011 5:39pm

I'm so happy for you, Nurse Nancy. I had a cervical fusion (C5, 6, & 7) on 4/20/11 and doing great but I also have lower back pain at the same time. My neurosurgeon is considered the best in this area and wants to try a nerve block before going the surgery route for chronic radiculopathy at L5 & S1 resulting from a congenital disorder where one of the discs protrudes, also affecting my right hip.
I'm 51 and seriously considering going the surgical route, as I am tired of meds and epi's that don't work very well for me. I feel like I am wasting valuable time and resources (insurance) by trying this and that. I may not have access to insurance come Jan. 1, '12 as I am out of work as a paralegal but have group insurance from my job where I was laid off last May. My surgeon will do surgery but said the recovery period will be 3 - 12 months w/ a hospital stay of 4-5 days. The nerve block will only last a few months and by then my insurance options will be different and it may be too late to have the surgery. In addition, more nerve damage could ensue as a result of not having pain for a while from nerve block injection.
You seem to be up and about already. My question to you is, "could you be written a back to work note without restrictions allowing you to collect unemployment while looking for work, if this is your situation"? If not, when will you be ready to return to work?
I cannot go for over 3 months without some kind of assistance. I have paid the ins. deductible so
I feel I need to take advantage of every option available at the moment. Please let me know the name of your surgical procedure so I can discuss it w/ my dr. Also, what is the recovery period you were given by your surgeon for your procedure? I look forward to your response. Good luck!
Thanks so much - jchandler

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on 07/06/2011 9:47pm

Hearing the positive results on here has made me decide to have surgery. I'm having a fusion at levels L4-L5 and L5- S1. I have spondylithesis with a 10mm slip and some other things. I'm 32 years old and have had this issue since I was 24yrs old. But I felt I was to young at the age to have surgery. But now the pain is alot worse and I don't wanna be living on pain meds. I wouldn't want to become addicted. So thanx for ur info and look forward to reading more updates

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on 07/07/2011 1:35pm

Hi Nurse! I'm SO glad to hear someone talking about a GOOD recovery from this surgery! So thanks for taking the time to let those of us who have a similar surgery looming in the near future!

Congrats on having such a good go of things so far! I hope you continue to do great and will - in the long run - be able to relieved of back pain!

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on 07/08/2011 1:35am

Hi jcchandler,
In response to some of your questions,i had an anterior -posterior lumbar fusion on my l5/ S1,they also took bone from my hip for the fusion.It can be a long recovery,i feel my Physical therapy has set me back a bit,so we are cutting back until i get a little stronger.I believe there will always be some kind of restrictions whether you have the back surgery or not,my job as a nurse was very physical .Because i also have ongoing symptoms with my neck that will probably require surgery one day there is a lot of uncertainty with me as far as when or if i can return to work.For now i pretty much have to modify most of my daily activities and allow time for frequent rest periods with ice/heat to my back and neck.I am not really sure about the unemployment question you had for me.I hope this helped a bit.
Nurse Nancy

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on 07/08/2011 1:56am

Hi again jcchandler,
Just noticed your question asking if this was my situation,in answer to that,no,i was injured on the job in an accident,i am under work comp.
Nurse Nancy

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on 07/08/2011 1:11pm

Hi Nurse Nancy:

Thank you so much for the information. I am not on workers' comp as previously indicated but I am a workers' comp paralegal. I know what you are dealing with on that measure. If you have a good attorney, they can be of real benefit to you and your claim. Sounds like you are receiving excellent attention. Many of our clients come from the medical field. Good luck and God Bless!!!
I am still trying to decide which direction to go: surgery and deal with months of recovery while wiping out my retirement account but at least I have health insurance, or nerve block and by the time that wears off I may not have access to health insurance or will have another high deductible to deal with and maybe no job. In addition, I may have unintentionally increased the damage to the nerves while on the nerve block. I know a new, potential employer would not have positive thoughts if his paralegal needed to be out for months for medical reasons. : (
jchandler

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on 07/09/2011 12:57am

Hi jcchandler,
Yes,it has been a rough 2 years,after about 6 months into the case i realized i seriously had to get a good attorney or i would have gotten no where.I have an excellent attorney and doctor.....very blessed!I know it is tough dealing with all the "what to do's",and concerns.Thank God for my faith,have done a lot of praying for guidance.I will say a prayer for you,everything will work out.
Blessings,
Nurse Nancy

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on 07/09/2011 11:33am

Hi Nurse Nancy:
I appreciate your advice and learning of your situation to compare with my own. A new problem requiring a life altering decision is difficult. I've learned that sometimes there is never a right or wrong answer . We just do the best we can and go on our way.
I'm happy for you that you have assistance with your workers' comp claim. Sounds like it could have been a mess without legal guidance. Good luck to you and to everyone who have shared their stories. Thank you for your kind words. I will pray for you, as well.
jchandler

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on 07/13/2011 10:11pm

To J. Chandler:
If you are thinking of a nerve block you should also look at Radio Freqency Ablation. It is more of a permanent solution as the nerves that transmit the pain are actually destroyed. Try that before more invasive surgery.

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on 07/14/2011 11:20am

I had a L4-5,PSF/PLIF 2 months ago and my recovery has been good. I am glad that I had the surgery because the pain does not generate into my lower leg at night anymore. My only problem is over doing my activities. I talked to my Dr. about 2 weeks ago and was told to take it easy for 5-7 days and use cold and warm compresses. I have really been trying to watch how I bend and how I lift items. I live alone and really need to watch these two issues. Increased pain at night only.

My question is: The pain level in the left side of my back ( most nerve repair was on left side) has increased so much that I do not even want to move. I tolerate pain well at a 5/6 level but at night this
pain reaches a 10 or more when I try to get out of bed. I only use pain meds at night and that is a small dose. Has anyone experienced this situation? Do I need to continue to take is easy, maybe more, being as I am just starting my 3rd month of recovery?

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on 07/14/2011 3:01pm

Hi JR:

Thanks for the information. I left a message for my dr to consider this type of treatment. I will research it further. I really don't want to deal with this lower back pain again, right in time for my insurance to expire or when I have a new job and have to ask for a medical leave to deal with it.

jchandler

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on 08/09/2011 11:46pm

Hi Nurse Nancy
Maybe we could get together and talk over dinner about all this back stuff maybe maybe...

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on 08/10/2011 10:18pm

@Goldfish46,yes i am in my fifth month of recovery and i still deal with a lot of pain,it has been bad on my right side right over the hardware site,called my doc and the nurse told me it is most likely the hardware and my doctor did advise me before surgery that this hardware is meant to come out in a year.I can not sit very long or stand very long.Although it is a much different pain than before my surgery,i have come to believe that there will always be some kind of pain and permanent modification restrictions to go along with that.With that said i would add that you must listen to your body because the recovery is very long.
@Joey bobbie,hi,i have not seen your posts for a while and i am flattered that you would ask about the dinner thing,however i must tell you that i am a married woman.You hang in there,i am sorry about the break up with your wife(i think this was the case?)You seem like a very nice guy and i am certain you will meet someone one day who will appreciate you and not mind the broken body......as i said before i am looking forward to my new pain free body in heaven one day...LOL
Take Care,
Many blessings,
Nurse Nancy

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