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Old 04-21-2008, 12:07 AM
Shanti Shanti is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: IL (near St Louis, MO)
Posts: 82
Post I'm Home!!

Thanks to everyone for their prayers and well wishes for my surgery!

The surgery went well, with the exception of some minor complications which the doc had talked about with me (minus one) and my hospital stay a bit longer. The surgery ran longer than expected (7 hours instead of 5). Due to the previous surgeries, there was a lot more scar tissue than what the pre-op scans showed so in them trying to get that out my thecal sac was torn, so they stitched that up and I had to lay completely flat for 24 hours. Also, the curve of my lumbar spine was much deeper than expected so 2 incisions had to be made to get the hardware in properly. They did a left side approach. The one on the right side (to get the rest of the hardware in appropriately) is about 3 inches and the main, left side, incision is the entire length of my lumbar.

The recovery is not at all what I had tried to prepare myself for. They had to cut some nerves (hadn't really talked to my doc about that being that I was so loopy..LOL) so my back, butt, hips, side of thighs, etc are numb and extremely sensitive.....almost like a sunburn. Anyone experience this? Also, for some reason my right side (to include my butt, thigh, etc) is almost in a constant vice of spasm. But regardless, I am positive and know each day is a step closer to feeling better. Although it makes me not want to ever have my t-spine done....LOL

They have me in a hard brace and a bone stimulator. I also have a home health PT coming in. They added 15-30mg oxycodone every 2 hours as needed and 10mg Baclofen 3x/day. They had me on Lyrica but it did nothing for me but make my mouth dry and feel even foggier. LOL

Anyway, I am walking as much as I can. I am up to 20-30min 3x/day. Some days it's less, but I try to do as much as I can. They couldn't get me up until 4 days post-op so they said I am doing quite well considering. The first day was definitely hell and I was crying like a baby when they first got me up. It hurt like hell!!! I only made it 3-4 steps the first day because my right back thigh and butt were spasming so bad. The next day I did much better though.

My hubby took off work for 3 weeks. He's been wonderful and I don't know how I'd get through this without him.

Anyway, that's it in a nutshell. I am on my daughter's laptop reclining in the recliner in my bedroom. This Baclofen is making it hard for me to focus my eyes, so I guess it's time to stop for now. LOL I'll be back as soon as I can. Thanks again for all your support, prayers and motivation!
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Love & Health To All,
Shanti (Find me on MySpace & Facebook)

DX's: L4/5 herniation ('98), DDD, DJD, T11/12 herniation w/endplate changes & 10% wedging/focal kyphosis/canal stenosis, cervical spondylosis C4-6, endplate changes L1-S1, L4/5 reherniation ('08), L5/S1 canal stenosis/central herniation ('08). Surgeries: Failed L4/5 IDET ('99), Failed L4/5 open microdiscectomy ('00), L4/5 TLIF (April '08).
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Old 04-21-2008, 01:40 AM
Nana4&cntn Nana4&cntn is offline
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Welcome back Tina,

I am sorry things were tougher than expected, a torn thecal sac.. You have a wonderful outlook on everything. Keep walking that was a key for me. You sound as though you are doing well. Happy to see you back. Take care of yourself and let hubby wait on you a bit. I do hope the pain and numbness get better soon.

Take care and be good,
Kathy
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The best thing about the future is that it only comes one day at a time................Abraham Lincoln
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Old 04-21-2008, 02:11 AM
Mark N Mark N is offline
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Tina, it is good to have you back home. I remember those first few steps following surgery. I hope your recovery goes well and you certainly are walking quite a bit at this point. Take care and be patient with your recovery.
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1979 spinal issues, 1993 lumbar microdisectomy L3-4, 1996 360 3 level lumbar fusion L2-5, 1999 open thoractomy fusion T8-9,
2002 C3-7 herniations and T4-7 herniations, 2004 total disability, a new limited life
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Old 04-21-2008, 02:32 AM
Ponyguy Ponyguy is offline
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Thumbs up Yee-Haw!

Welcome home, Tina!

Somehow, the surgeon's estimates of time always seem to tend toward the ambitious, rather than the conservative. Every one of my "procedures" seemed to take a lot longer than the confident surgeons planned. Too bad you got stuck with a dura tear... I had that on my fourth lumbar surgery, and having to lie flat for a day was anything but fun, and seemed to add a "flip of the bird" to the already terrible post-surgical pain. But morphine and time took good care...

Any time there is a surgical insult near a nerve bundle, the nerves will act up and squawk for a while... sometimes for quite a while... particularly the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve, which will manifest as "Meralgia Paresthetica," a fancy medical term for what I call "Pain in the Pants Pocket area." This happens quite frequently with lumbar surgery... it did with all four of my lumbar surgical incursions. Time fades the aggravating irritation, though...

Anyway, thank that hella thoughtful man you married for taking time off the help you through this tough time... you owe that fella...

Incidentally, where did you have your surgery? In the "Arch-town" area?

Best of luck, Tina... keep us abreast of your recovery!

Much love and
Regards from,
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Ponyguy. 1991: "Classic" Laminectomy L5-S1. 1993: Microdiscectomy L4-5. 1995: Foraminotomy L4-S1. 1997: DX'd L4-5 Spondylolisthesis & L5-S1 Retrolisthesis. 1999: Fighting Fusion Surgery. 2001: L2-3-4-5-S1 Decompression and posterior hardware; 2 rods, 10 (count 'em!) Pedicle screws. 2002: L2-3-4-5-S1 Anterior Fusion postponed again! 2003: Loose pedicle screws at L2 and L3; now what? 2004: Cervical spondy and stenosis. 2006: Heart attack. 2007: Quad CABG. 2008: Arthur² 2009: L1-S1 fusion revision.
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  #5  
Old 04-21-2008, 03:03 AM
raven555 raven555 is offline
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Posts: 45
Default good on you!

welcome back from your surgery. isn't it true that the time parameters for surgery are really always inaccurate. well how do they even know, anyway.

i haven't spoken with you before, since i come and go but your post reached out to me as i am always so happy when a person gets through a surgery.

isn't it wonderful to have a hubby/s.o. who is there for you? you will do well! i'm sure of it!!

take care of yourself and don't be like me trying to do everything for myself, playing the independent martyr. recover soon and well and i hope your surgery takes care of your issues.

love,
deb
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Old 04-22-2008, 01:30 AM
nukeum nukeum is offline
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Welcome Back Tina, I am so glad you will have someone there with you during the early stages, Home Health PT will be good for you as well.

-Matt
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Old 04-22-2008, 10:12 AM
slipnslide slipnslide is offline
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Welcome back, and best wishes for a speedy recovery!

Kim
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MVA 11/17/05,6/22/06 ACDF C5/6/7-w/corepectomies, foraminotomies, DDD,C3/4 & L4/5 L protrusions, facet hypertrophy, MP
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  #8  
Old 04-25-2008, 02:57 AM
Mark N Mark N is offline
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Tina, how are you doing now that you have been home a few days? I hope your recovery is easy and continues to go well.
__________________
1979 spinal issues, 1993 lumbar microdisectomy L3-4, 1996 360 3 level lumbar fusion L2-5, 1999 open thoractomy fusion T8-9,
2002 C3-7 herniations and T4-7 herniations, 2004 total disability, a new limited life
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  #9  
Old 04-27-2008, 02:33 AM
Nana4&cntn Nana4&cntn is offline
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Tina,

Just checking in and hoping you are doing well. I hope you will let us know how you are doing.

Take care,
Kathy
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Live your life from your heart. Share from your heart. .....................Melody Beattie

The best thing about the future is that it only comes one day at a time................Abraham Lincoln
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  #10  
Old 04-28-2008, 08:04 PM
Shanti Shanti is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: IL (near St Louis, MO)
Posts: 82
Unhappy

Thank you so much for all your replies! I'm sorry I haven't been around. I haven't been online since the night I posted. I've been kinda having a rough go of it lately. I know that the original pains/symptoms take time to improve, but lately I've been feeling an increase in back/leg pain & numbness when standing/sitting for short periods.....even when laying. Definitely more stabbing and shooting pains. Is this normal? A lot of times I feel like my entire left foot is tingling, both big toes doing the same and somewhat numb, etc. My actual incision/surgical pain is pretty much gone. I'll be 3 weeks out Thursday. I'm finding I'm wanting to do less because of the pain even though mentally I am wanting to get out and do things.

Also, is it normal for your eyesight to not be as sharp after fusion? I thought I read it is and that it gets better....if so, how long? I am also on Baclofen 3x/day and I read that was a side effect.
__________________
Love & Health To All,
Shanti (Find me on MySpace & Facebook)

DX's: L4/5 herniation ('98), DDD, DJD, T11/12 herniation w/endplate changes & 10% wedging/focal kyphosis/canal stenosis, cervical spondylosis C4-6, endplate changes L1-S1, L4/5 reherniation ('08), L5/S1 canal stenosis/central herniation ('08). Surgeries: Failed L4/5 IDET ('99), Failed L4/5 open microdiscectomy ('00), L4/5 TLIF (April '08).
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