October 2019 Surgery Buddies



  • I'm up for l4/l5 discectomy on the 31st, hoping the decompression of the l5 nerve will restore (eventually) some feeling along the nerve path in my lower leg and foot, along with some strength and control of a whole range of muscled in the left leg. Nervous about possible complications and really serious repercussions of those, as I'm about 85% fine at present and most of my family activities are unaffected. To further complicate things in my head, there has been a tiny bit of twitching and light needle sensation in the affected foot and leg over the past few days which has me thinking maybe the nerves are starting to talk to the muscles again and figuring out what they're supposed to do. The foot drop hasn't changed at all, and the numbness is still fully present and disconcerting. I saw the surgeon yesterday and he's pretty confident there's still a lot of compression (slump test still very awful), but he's happy to put off the surgery if things progress at all in the next few days... I'm glad my symptoms are so mild, but it's sure making the surgery decision more difficult! 

  • dosland

    Welcome to surgery buddies


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  • Hi Folks, Having a cervical surgery --3 areas in my neck where they tell me I am bone on bone.  My pre-op is in 2 days and surgery is scheduled for the 28th.  I am a bit nervous as I have heard some stories about the surgery making the condition worse.  I have been with this problem since 2011 and most recently pain, tingling, no feeling, weakness in left arm/hand.  I also am having sharp pain between my shoulder blades. 

    I can relate to some other comments here.. I had a left hip replacement this spring, sinus surgery and I may opt for the lumbar surgery after this.  Year before last had 4 surgeries.  I used to joke that I just need a body transplant and get it over with hahaa!  I am hoping I get as good of results with this as I did with my hip replacement.  I am pain free there and can walk again.

  • TrailGirl

    Welcome to surgery buddies.


  • I'm all set to go for Wednesday morning, early 515 arrival 730 surgery.  I'll post when I am able afterwards.  Welcome to TrailGirl and dosland, hope everything goes well in your preps for your surgeries.

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  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,169


    Wishing you the best in surgery and recovery. We will be thinking about you.

  • davrunner.....Wishing you a successful surgery Wednesday.  I was hoping my L4-L5 fusion surgery on the 28th would be early like yours. I just found out today I have to arrive at the hospital at 8:45.  I can sleep in a little bit but who really sleeps well the night before a big surgery.  Not me! I usually flop around in bed like a fish out of water all night! So that means dear Hubby won't get much sleep    

    Hello to TrailGirl and dosland. Hoping your surgeries go well too!  

  • I just found this forum and am so glad I have. I just had ACDF on c5-c6 on Oct 3rd and everything has been going as expected. My swallowing was intially not great, had to have water constantly and non-coated pills would stick. This seemed to resolve and I was doing good. But now on day 19 I have suddenly re-developed hoarseness and the feeling of a lump in my throat. I am wondering if this is because I have started to weaning the medications (Valium and Oxycodone) by increasing time between doses and have decreased my icing. Has anyone else experienced this? I am also having increased tightness and pain with my stretches at the incision sight so I am thinking this may all be scar tissue related.I have also noticed increased posterior pain and I still have residual tingling and numbness but my suregeon said since I was almost a year out from my injury at time of surgery this is to be expected. If I am posting this in the wrong forum please let me know. I wish all fellow Oct surgery people the best of luck and speedy healing!

  • Surgery is done. It was delayed at the hospital because they forgot the instruments for the bone graft. Surgeon was highly upset. He had to send a runner to the next city over to get it. He did offer to use cadaver bone again and I said no he had used on the ACDF and one level didn’t fuse and was the reason I was having surgery. Anyway he said everything went fine, ge had to work at freeing up the nerve for my left side and now have 4 very numb fingers. He said it will take some time for the nerve to recover. Being that I am left handed it’s going to be a interesting recovery.  I stayed in the hospital overnight. Getting home was ok the ride wasn’t bad. 

    Pain wise I’m okay as long as I don’t move. Standing is the absolute worse easily an 8 out of 10. Literally feels like someone is peeling the muscle off my upper back. I’ve been taking very short walks around the house followed by ice packs. That’s all the energy I have right now. Hope everyone is recovering well with little to no pain. 

  • Glad surgery is over and everything went well.


  • davrunner....Good to hear you made it through your surgery. Hopefully the pain will lessen and your fusion will heal completely as time goes on.   

    I will be having a bone graft also. My surgeon says it is the "Gold Standard" and gives the best chance for a successful fusion.  I am just not sure about what kind of pain the graft itself will cause but will hopefully be worth it!  

  • ArizonaAArizona ArizonaPosts: 191

    One week today since L3-4 and L 4-5 direct lateral fusion and L3-L5 pedicle screw fixation and right L4-5 facetectomy.  I'm  doing pretty good actually. The surgeon said it all went perfectly.  I'm  walking with the walker and even a little without. I twice went almost 24 hours without any pain pills, which may have been a mistake as i then have to "catch up". The doc prescribed 10mg oxycodone every 6 hours.

    My main complaint is that after only 3 days they kicked me out of the hospital and sent me to this middling rehab center.  Several people have told me that's  much too fast for such a serious op.

    At any rate the trainer here said I'm  really ready to go home as i can already do everything they want to see me do, but i think i'll have to stay at least 4 more days, maybe a week. If i didn't  live alone they would have probably sent me home right away.

    Debilitating aspects are not as bad as i feared. I can dress myself, get in and out of bed, shower, toilet, etc. no problem.  Of course I'm  not supposed to twist, bend, or lift anything over 5 pounds (tho truth is that rules already broken). Ive even lifted things right off the floor. I can do that by going into a full squat and keeping my back very straight. So not as bad as i feared. Wouldn't  Wouldn't care to do that too often however.

    How often do back surgery patients usually continue to take pain med?  I may have been taken too little. Doc preacribed 10 md oxycodone every 4 hours at first, every 6 hrs. now.

    I have an appt. with the dr's assistant in two weeks.

    What i have going against me is my age, I'm  almost 77. Going for me is my strength. I am strong as bull (as some wrestler used to say), strongest "inmate here ever" according to the trainer.

    I ordered some grab bars for my shower from amazon. The rental place where i live said they'd  install it for free.

    Some observations here. Some nurses very nice; a few not so nice. Sad observation,: one tiny nurse acted nasty to me but when she saw me walking (and towering over her)+ her attitude reversed and she became friendly. Sadly people respect strength. Some nurses are so nice to very elderly and quite helpless patients. I'm  sure God watches such so carefulluy. How you treat someone with absolutely nothing tangible to offer, well that counts for a lot the most.

  • Day 3 of recovery. Only pain I have is my left upper back and shoulder blade. It feels like someone is using a crow bar to pry up my shoulder blade.when I stand up or walk is when the pain is the worst. The addition of 3 numb fingers on my left hand was a bonus I wasn’t looking for. The surgeon said he expects the numbness to stick around for a while. He had a time freeing up rhe nerve. 

    Thank you Sonnydove. I am ready to take the slow road to recovery if that’s what it’s going to take. Got a shower yesterday which really helped my mood it was worth the pain. Time to ice my back. Hope everyone has less pain today 

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,169


    I'm so glad surgery went well and, as we always say, time and patience. We all know nerves can be nasty little creatures, especially when they have been compressed for so long. Good luck with your recovery and keep us posted.


  • Arizona and davrunner

    Glad thing's are going well for both of you


  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,169


    It's great to hear you are doing so good. Just can't keep us old people down, can we!!! I was so glad to hear you are still in rehab because you live alone. I would follow my doctor's orders, even with pain meds. You can't go by when other people stop taking their pain meds. everyone is different.

    Take care and keep up with your great attitude!!

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,169

    Hey to everyone!!!

    I wanted to tell all of you in October Surgery Buddies thank you. All of you have come together for each other better than any other month. I hope you all keep coming back during your recoveries and keep all of us updated on your progress.

    When a new member comes on the forum facing surgery, I use Surgery Buddies as a reference for them to get good information. So, thank you guys.

    Have a good weekend and thanks again.
    Veritas Health Forum Moderator

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,169

    SunnyDove and TrailGirl are both having surgery Monday, the 28th.

    Good luck with surgery and recovery. Please keep us posted when you are up to it.

  • Davrunner and Arizona, it's great to hear about your progress in the days after your procedures, I'm very pleased that you're both noticing some improvements and managing the pain and all the other things that go along with surgery. Keep us posted and especially keep taking care of yourselves!

  • My Oct 30 surgery is still on track. Posterior C3-C7 laminectomy and fusion with nuts and bolts, anyone want to give me their first impressions  after waking up and becoming somewhat lucid?I am assuming a collar will be in place. 

  • DaveAZ

    Your surgery is much bigger than mine. I did wake up in a collar. They used Marcane in the surgery site so initial impression was not much pain from surgery. I don’t recall where I was hurting but remember the nurse giving me  delaudid and drifting back out. I came too when they wheeled me back into my room. I noticed tingling and numbness in my left hand and fingers that wasn’t there before surgery. The resident who helped with the surgery came in and checked my strength and despite the numbness my left arm was significantly stronger. After a couple of hours I felt a deep aching under my left shoulder blade.  Another patient who had the similar surgery (posterior fusion and laminectomy) was a few doors down and having a miserable time of it, throwing up and moaning constantly.  

    I understand the desire to get patients home as soon as possible as the second/third day are supposedly the worse pain wise. While bad it’s not enough for me to wish I was still in the hospital. I still have the deep aching under my shoulder blade and severe upper left back pain that is close to an 8 ( lots of cussing shallow breathing , no screaming as that would hurt more  I am taking pain meds muscle relaxers and gabapentine os prescribed, and ice packs.  While the pain gets bad at times I remain very optimistic about a good outcome. I am looking forward to discussing with the surgeon at my follow up about having to wrangle the nerve free (supposed cause of upper back pain and numb finger). 

    Sorry for the rambling post, good luck on your surgeries  Sonnydove and Traigirl and DaveAZ. 

  • Thanks, I appreciate everyone’s input! Beginning to get a bit anxious.

  • BlupebbleBBlupebble Posts: 18
    edited 10/27/2019 - 7:10 PM

    Hi Folks, I have been so busy running around and cleaning/laundry because I suspect that is the last thing I will feel like doing after surgery.  I bought some items to ease my recovery.  Since I know I will be on a liquid or soft food diet for a while got some yogurt and soup items.  I have been reading some of the posts and hope they keep me comfortable - surgeon is doing 3 cervical levels 5 - 7.  I bought one of those husband pillows hoping I will be able to sleep sitting up.

    I am feeling nervous.  My surgery is around 11 am tomorrow with arrival of 9:30 am.. I am eating well tonight since I wont be able to eat anything interesting for a while.  Does anyone know if I should use my own collar or I am guessing they place one on you. 

  • TrailGirl

    Good luck with your surgery, it would be a good idea to take your collar with you, after my ACDF they provided one in the hospital, but I only had a soft collar.

    Take care and keep us posted


  • Hi @DaveAZ my surgery is tomorrow, so I will keep you and everyone posted as to how I am feeling.  Having mine done in a smaller surgical hospital.

    Thanks y'all for the responses.  I didn't really know to buy a collar but I ended up just purchasing a softer one that will arrive by the time I get home.  I am wondering how long they will keep me there.  All they told me was it would depend on how well I do.  I remember my hip replacement I was in only one day and most of my pain and confusion occurred those first few days that would have been better if I was in the hospital.  Anyways..going to go relax now.. I have been running around non-stop since Friday..

  • ArizonaAArizona ArizonaPosts: 191
    edited 10/28/2019 - 3:00 AM

    As always, thank you, Sandra and everybody. 9 days since the surgery. Walking more and more. I think they're  going to send me home from rehab soon.

    But it hurts more this  eve. Maybe i did too much walking today, maybe recovery is just not necessarily a straight line, like 2 steps forward one back; maybe i haven't  been taking enough pain med...i keep trying to take less than max..

    Just woke up from intense dream...cold. Did i really HAVE 2 wake up just then?  I was with_____.

    some nice nurses and aids herr, some grouches. Some patients have been here a long time. Sadness here, also very interesting people. I seem to be making friends with quite a few American Indians... nurse Ratched is even here!  I like to help those poor people who meed help and friendship...but I'm  in not much of a position to do so myself...Nice nurse and aid so far tonight...but changed soon.

    OK back off to sleep. Ear plugs help...

  • I am having surgery on -October 30 2109.  I am so afraid of being in pain and having to go home like that with having an anterior disection and fusion of c5 with interbody fusion with divergent graft, has anyone had this and how did  you feel?

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,169


    Welcome to Oct. Surgery Buddies. Please read the links below, a lot of good information.

     Postoperative Care for Spinal Fusion Surgery
     Maximize the Ability to Heal After Spine Fusion Surgery
    How to Prep Your Home for Spine Surgery Recovery Video
    Essential Items for Back Surgery Recovery

    Take care and keep us posted.

  • Got out of surgery and it took a bit to adjust pain meds.. Also as far as my throat I started having a lot of drainage in the back that has been driving me nuts. I do have asthma do I brought my inhaler and other stuff for that.. I have congestion in the back of my throat that I cannot seem to shake.. has anyone else had this?  Also this surgical hospital ordered me a sandwich and soup that I could have choked on and then the nurse told me to hurry up and eat it.!!

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,169

    DaveAZ ad CindyHW

    Your surgery is tomorrow, wishing you both the best. 

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