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  1. #1
    Member turfy49431's Avatar
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    Three Weeks Post Lumbar Fusion Report

    For those that will face this down the road, I thought Id give ya a little play by play on whats going on. Three weeks ago, had two level lumbar fusion L5/S1 and L4/L5 performed with the TLIF procedure. With this procedure I have two scars, one on each side of the spine and they are a couple inches long. With my previous spinal surgery, my scar is dead center, so it looks like I have tally marks, lol. Anyway, pain was originally in my right leg and foot, requiring either crutches or a large amount of Gabapentin (nerve pain control) in order to walk. Happy to report, my right leg feels amazing. It hasn’t felt this strong in about ten years. Absolutely no pain at all on the right side, anywhere. I do have some post surgical pain in my left leg though. My neurosurgeon told me at the hospital that I would probably have some left leg discomfort including numbness and tingling. And he wasn't wrong. I have the pricklies in my left foot and calf and some pain in my upper leg. He said its due to the swelling and would go away. I sense that he is right, because it goes away after icing and comes back after activity. When my left leg is affected I can feel the swelling in my back.

    I took the heavy duty pain meds for about ten days and now im only taking the Gabapentin and Celebrex (anti-inflammatory). Will save the rest of my pain meds for those pesky kidney stones. My back still hurts quite a bit at the surgery site, due to the bone drilling and muscle cutting. But it gets a little better each day. Hardest thing is to get up and down from the Chair or the shixter. Well getting in and out of the car still sucks. I think another week and it will get significantly better. I can definitely tell im stronger than I was the week of the surgery so I am healing.

    I go for my one month checkup next week and he is going to schedule the Physical Therapy to start. Right now im walking about 1-1.5 miles a day, wearing this super sexy and way over priced back brace. Things got a pulley system in it to really cinch things down and keep me straight. Im hoping he gives me clearance to start driving after next week and then I can at least get into work for a few hours and catch up on paperwork and stuff.

    Early prognosis, if things keep improving as they are, This was definitely the right decision for me. The spinal instability was so bad, I didnt really have a choice. Now I have a titanium back, lol. Hopefully it gives me my life back, so far so good
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  3. Member
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    #2
    Glad to hear your better. Keep following orders and take care of yourself.
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  4. Member crawdadking's Avatar
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    #3
    Sounds like you're headed in the right direction. Hope you heal quickly and can get back to doing the things you like with a lot less pain.

  5. BBC SPONSOR cidgrad's Avatar
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    #4
    Always good to hear a positive back story. Had an L5/S1 discectomy about 3 yrs ago after losing the ability to walk on one of my legs.

    But man... just try not to sneeze!!! (good lord that will hurt my back more than anything in the world)
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    #5
    Hello, I had laminectomy surgery on lower right side 1 and 1/2 years ago. I was in severe pain . With lower body going completely numb and severe nerve pain in legs that was unbearable. Dr removed 3.5 inches and worked on disc and nerve at hip also . I have severe spinal stinosis. I have had 2 neck surgeries . 2 through 7 fused . So I went back to work after two months to full duty. Police officer . I had not completely recovered but . Yes but. My therapist also hurt me on week 8 . I am better a lot better . No severe nerve pain. But spine will not stay in place . I always have pressure at lower back and can’t stand in one spot for long period of time. Also I can’t walk for any great distance w/o my hips starting to hurt and legs / back . Neuro surgeons say back will have to be fused at some point . 54 years old and active person . Living with pressure and some pain every day . Only 4 Aleve a day and occassional Tylenol . Dr says I have neck and spine of 85 year old . Would love to hear thoughts of anyone who has had fusion and return to normal walking and normal active life. Or those that have had trouble . What should I do .. I am a 29 year 2 month police officer . My time is in and can retire any day . I like my job and always have . Also hard to find young cops willing to work and risk life. Any thoughts on surgery / future.

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    #6
    Very glad to hear it helped. I have mild back problems that I've treated with 2 injections, the last being a year ago. They worked wonders for me for I know they are not a long term solution so I might end up with what you had done in time. Very encouraging though based on your experience. Thanks for sharing.
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  8. Member turfy49431's Avatar
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Bassin Bob71 View Post
    Very glad to hear it helped. I have mild back problems that I've treated with 2 injections, the last being a year ago. They worked wonders for me for I know they are not a long term solution so I might end up with what you had done in time. Very encouraging though based on your experience. Thanks for sharing.
    I did the injections, had a total of three of them that got me through about five years. They do work wonders. Even got me back on the golf course for about 4 years of the five. And I was playing a lot of golf, hitting 1000 balls a week in practice and playing 4-5 rounds a week. Very hard to be in the golf business when your back wont hold up. I think I will get to golf again, but I dont think im going to be able to put in the hours like I used to. Good thing is, I can still play half way decent without a ton of practice and at least enjoy the game.

    My first fishing tournament is mid March and im not sure ill be ready for it. But I can hope. All dependent on the bone growth for the fusion. If its not completely fused, I cant risk riding in a boat
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by cidgrad View Post
    Always good to hear a positive back story. Had an L5/S1 discectomy about 3 yrs ago after losing the ability to walk on one of my legs.

    But man... just try not to sneeze!!! (good lord that will hurt my back more than anything in the world)
    I had the same thing done in 2001. Been pretty good ever since - I did go to 6 weeks of PT and did the excercises twice a day for 3 years though.
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    #9
    Thank you for posting your results. This surgery is in my near future and I continue to put it off.
    Mainly because I'm scared of the loss of mobility. I'm living with 5 nerve root impingements and I have had 3 previous surgeries.
    Thank you again for putting this out there.
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    #10
    Glad to hear u r doing better.

  12. Member Bassman Ia.'s Avatar
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    #11
    Sounds like you are doing ok Dennis. Three weeks in . Sure wish I could have gotten by with your type of surgery.

    Injections just settle things down. It has been 7 years since I had the last back surgery. In the spring of 2017 I stood on a ladder, reached out to trim a hedge ( hedge 6’ tall and 5’ across the top). Extending my arms out and holding the hedge trimmers inflamed nerves in my back. The pain wasn’t in my back, it was in my groin. Several doctors diagnosed it as a groin pull. Finally after 2 weeks of extreme pain I got in to see a hip specialist. Hip specialist thought I had a fractured hip. MRI showed everything normal. Checking my records he saw all the back surgeries and told me to go back and see my neurologist. WHAT ?? Pain is in my groin not my back.
    My Neurosurgeon ordered a MRI of my back——- that’s what it was. Had an injection and relief.

    Just goes to show a person, How complicated the human body is.

  13. Member turfy49431's Avatar
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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Bassman Ia. View Post
    Sounds like you are doing ok Dennis. Three weeks in . Sure wish I could have gotten by with your type of surgery.

    Injections just settle things down. It has been 7 years since I had the last back surgery. In the spring of 2017 I stood on a ladder, reached out to trim a hedge ( hedge 6’ tall and 5’ across the top). Extending my arms out and holding the hedge trimmers inflamed nerves in my back. The pain wasn’t in my back, it was in my groin. Several doctors diagnosed it as a groin pull. Finally after 2 weeks of extreme pain I got in to see a hip specialist. Hip specialist thought I had a fractured hip. MRI showed everything normal. Checking my records he saw all the back surgeries and told me to go back and see my neurologist. WHAT ?? Pain is in my groin not my back.
    My Neurosurgeon ordered a MRI of my back——- that’s what it was. Had an injection and relief.

    Just goes to show a person, How complicated the human body is.
    Dave, you havent had great luck with your back. I remember when you reached out to me years ago and I have tried to hold off on surgery as long as I could. During this recovery, some of my nerve pain on my left side was in my groin and it wasnt comfortable. The Gabapentin wouldnt touch it. Cant imagine what you were going through with that. My groin pain only lasted about 4-5 days and most of my left leg pain is in my thigh knee area now, with some pricklies in my lower leg. It feels really good today with only a minimal amount of discomfort. Gettin better everyday. Think I will get a nice walk in today and maybe try to fire up the grill this afternoon. Hope yours doesnt come back
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  14. Member Boatseller's Avatar
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    #13
    Thanks for the update and continued prayers for your recovery.


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    #14
    Glad to hear the good news. Prayers for continued healing and no pain at all.
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  16. Member LewStulePH.D.'s Avatar
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    #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam View Post
    What should I do .. I am a 29 year 2 month police officer . My time is in and can retire any day . I like my job and always have . Also hard to find young cops willing to work and risk life. Any thoughts on surgery / future.

    I was retired off the job in 2004 after doing PT for 19 months 4x a week. I've been to 7 Doctors/Specialist and the last even has His own 'Center' He said "I wouldn't do it if I was the patient and I was the Dr." so I go back every 8 or 9 months and take the same MRI and go through all the latest techniques that have come out..There is a 'fine line' that if I 'just sit' it starts to throb; if I overdo it, then it throbs..

    Well, we've got 175 year old necks between us... which is neat..
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  17. Member Hoot's Avatar
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    #16
    Always good to hear reports of individuals doing well after spinal surgeries we've had a lot of positive stories on the BBC plus good advice from those who have experienced treatment, PT and surgeries.

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    #17
    Glad you are feeling better. The physical therapy should make you recover even quicker. Hang in there.

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    #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Hoot View Post
    Always good to hear reports of individuals doing well after spinal surgeries we've had a lot of positive stories on the BBC plus good advice from those who have experienced treatment, PT and surgeries.
    +1 - as well as any physical 'challenges' that we get.
    Congrats and keep us posted.
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  20. triton
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    #19
    I had the same surgery as you four years ago, that was the eighth back surgery since 1996 and the worst results out of all....
    Can't say who's fault it was but I ended up with an infection which started the first day I was released from the hospital...I ended
    up back in ICU and then back in the hospital for 13 weeks of iv antibiotics...Its been a tough road for me since my first back surgery
    but a lot of underlying issues have kept me dealing with my spine problems.....You sound committed to getting good results and thats
    the best attitude to have, I am willing to go for another surgery if the doctors think it is the right course but with all the
    metal in my body and my history of infections its not likely ...... Good Luck with your surgery, sounds like you are headed in the right direction !!

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  21. Member turfy49431's Avatar
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    #20
    27E38030-F3E6-4895-B87C-B3A48FF6B4DB.jpeg
    went to the docs today. He said I can start driving again and I start PT in two weeks. Little bit of my hardware
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