2nd Lumbar Fusion on 02/05/18

Hello everyone!

I am having another lumbar fusion on 02/05/18 on L3-L4. Twenty years ago I had L4-S1 fused, and it allowed me to return to work as a telephone lineman and continue working in that industry until retirement in 2007 (climbing the poles, the frigid weather, and body aches encouraged me to retire after 20 years). The first fusion went well, recovery of a few months. But my memory has faded after 20 years, so just wondering if you all can:

(1) Let me know if any of you have had an additional level fused (right above the existing fusion). If so, how did it go? My surgeon is going me removing old hardware (replace some screws and adding longer rods).

(2) Give me some tips and hints, and remind me what I might need to get for post surgery recovery. So far, I've ordered two 32 " grabbers (one for upstairs, one for downstairs), 2 sets of silk sheets (easier to log roll), new undies, toilet seat riser, shower grab bar, and body pillow. It's been an expensive morning!

(3) Share any info you can regarding your time in the hospital (how many days, what to bring to the hospital), what the first few days and weeks were like (pain and sleeping), how soon you were able to return to work (I currently work at a desk job, lots of sitting, and walking to see client's who come in), and how soon you were able to venture outside to go for walks.

Any advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated! Thank you :)




  • AJGormitAAJGormit Posts: 2,087
    edited 07/23/2019 - 1:08 PM

    hi jen

    Welcome to Veritas Health Forum

    i am going to start with a few links for you and a suggestion to join in on the february surgery buddies group (you can find this under forum topics)

    post op must haves  

    the above link may include items that relate to c-spine surgery (soft foods etc), but there is lots of information for lumber surgery.  i have now had 3 lumbar surgeries and your purchases will be a great help to you.  a long shoe horn has helped me a lot with shoes but also turned upside down, it is good for pulling open the salad drawer in the bottom of our fridge :-).  clearly you won't be doing that for a while, but all tips are helpful i have found.

    good luck with your surgery jen and please let us know if you need further information.

    i have added two links below to help new members with information and these also contain the forum rules.  there is lots of material to research that will give you the power of knowledge.

    welcome to spine health

    all new members should take the system tutorial 

  • Jenn1965-

    I had my 2nd fusion November 1st of last year. In October of 2016 I had a first fusion at level L5 S1. The second fusion was one level up (L3-4?).  Although I think I’m doing fairly good, I still need to take a pain killer and muscle relaxer at bedtime. There are occasions too that I may take a few Tramadol during the day. If I miss taking these the pain is almost unbearable. I just started physical therapy and have experienced some bad nights after that too. Maybe i’m expecting too much only being less than 3 months post op but I get frustrated with the severity of the pain. I went back to work after 6 weeks as my job as the GM I can work as much as needed at work or go home and work. Two weeks ago I returned to full days at work (desk work) and i’m not sure that was a good idea. I would suggest take as much time off as you can and let your back heal. Again my pain is pretty severe if I do not stay on the meds. If this continues I will probably take more time off to give it more time to heal. Good luck and take it easy!

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  • Hello gb! And thank you for your post - I spoke with one of the my bosses boss the other day, and she recently had L4-L5 fused, and specifically told me to take as much time as needed for recovery (she stayed out 2 months, came back 1/2 time for a month, and the 4th month started back full time which she states was "pushing it"). I hope your pain subsides soon, and thank you again!

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