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spinal fusion L3,4,5

 Aloha my name is Terri , I'm 66 and have lived with back pain for going on 20 yrs now. I am now scheduling spinal fusion surgery to my L3, L4, and L5 . Actually started out trying everything to avoid surgery  (as everyone seemed to recommend) but have been on pain meds for w really long time and they are doing nothing to address the problems I'm having including various shooters down both legs sometimes on the side and sometimes down the back of my legs to my feet , some incontinence that comes and goes but is forever an embarrassment. I'm very active , now as much as I can be, so I'm not the best patient. I am a little bit leary of this surgery and really was wondering if someone who has been through it could offer any advice or anything about the recovery that they experienced. I was told I would need to wear a back brace  for the first six weeks of recovery....what does this brace look like and do you have to try to sleep in it? How  was the pain level comparing before and after? How soon did you start recovery physical therapy and was that hard/painfull/helpful. As you can see any advise would help....Mahalo for reading and responding ...Terri .

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Comments

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,163

    Welcome tututerri to the Veritas Health Forum.

    I am sorry you are having to go through this. As far as the brace, that will depend on your surgeon. I did not wear one. Just like PT, your surgeon will set that up when he thinks you are ready. I was 60 when I had surgery and very was active. I still believe that is why my recovery went so well.

    When you know your surgery date, join us in Surgery Buddies. You can also find a lot of member experiences in Surgery Buddies, pick a month (Oct. was a good one) and click on it. There you can read what they went through before and after surgery.

    While you’re waiting for a reply to your first post, please take a few moments to review the Code of Conduct and FAQ section, located under Forum Tools. There you will find important information about posting in the forum and helpful tips for new members.

    Have you seen the Spinal Fusion Health Center on Spine-health? Spinal fusion surgery comes in many forms, and you’ll find a number of doctor-authored resources here, including Types of Spinal FusionPostoperative Care for Spinal Fusion Surgery, and tips to help Maximize the Ability to Heal After Spine Fusion Surgery. It’s a great resource for anyone considering spinal fusion. I hope you find it helpful.

    Also, How to Prep Your Home for Spine Surgery Recovery

    Again, welcome to the Veritas Health Forum.
    Sandra
    Veritas Health Forum Moderator

  • I am fused those same levels, mine was done in two seperate surgeries one year apart, I had to wear a brace for six weeks, it had a plastic plate in it to restrict movement, it fastened at the front with velcro, I did not use it when sleeping or when I was in the house, but your surgeon could be different. I was not allowed to start PT until the three month mark, they want your fusion to be started before starting. Surgery and recovery are fairly painful, especially for the first couple of weeks, after that things calmed down pretty quickly for me. If I can be of any help, don't hesitate to ask.

    Take care and keep us posted

    Chip

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  • Thanks for responding so quickly....My surgery date hasn't been set yet as I need a bone density test prior to that...getting 2/3/20 so anytime after that if all is well with the bone test! Actually looking forward to getting this procedure …. been dealing with a lot of pain for years now so not too concerned that it will be worse !

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,163

    tututerri

    Keep your great attitude, it helps before and after surgery. Keep us posted on your date and hope to see you in Surgery Buddies.

    Sandra

  • bugslybbugsly MinnesotaPosts: 35

    I am fused also in that area.  Have no regrets of going this route.  Was on pain meds about 2 weeks after.  Had to wear a hard plastic brace with leg extension to prevent me from taking big steps.  Did not have to sleep or shower with it on.  A couple of items that helped me was a toilet riser and handle bar along the sides of the toilet. A side bar that goes between mattress and box spring was a great help. Try taking short walks around the house when you get home.  Used a lot of ice packs.  My surgeon had me wear the brace for 6 1/2 months, but could take leg extension off at 5 months.  I did not have any physical therapy.  BLT is very important ( bending, lifting, twisting).  Like they say each surgeon is different.  Wish you the best. Will be waiting for updates!

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  •  Thanks for the input Bugsly ...I am walking about 2 miles  three times a week and have been for the past year. the walking helps to keep things loosened up a little and also with overall strength/core....the side bar sounds good i'll check into that.

  • I was just told I need a fusion L2-3 and am terrified.  Also waiting for dexta scan numbers.  I hope everyone here can help me with questions.  Living alone is going to be difficult.  

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,163

    connie73

    You have posted to an older discussion. It would benefit you more if you would start your own new discussion with your story and questions. If you know what month your surgery is you could even post in Surgery Buddies under that month.

    Sandra
    Veritas Health Forum Moderator

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