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TLIF on the way
melvind1 posted:
Hello everyone. I hope someone can off er me some reassuramce. After many,many years of DDD and ever increasing back pain, I have been scheduled for TLIF at L5 S1. I have tried PT, excersise, hanging upside down and even the shots in the back, but the stenosis at that spot is past anything tha will be lasting results. Neoro tells me tha the A..Holes at NY Spine and Wellness should never had given me the cortisone shots since that was never going to help me anyway. The shots resulted in Spinal Fluid leak that has left me with daily headaches that will only stay away if I take steriod medication...FOR EVER.

I am apprehensive about the surgery but know it is the only remedy atthis point. The recovery period of inactivity is one thing, but the knowledge that I will have all that hardware in my back for ever is really freeking me out. Can the screws and rods be felt back there, either by the stiffness or restriction of motion? Can you feel the hardware with your hand over the skin? Is your motion restricted after the surgery..long term? Can you ever sleep on your back again? Anyone had success with the body fatigue going away. Currently fighting the pain all day during my daily life leaves me exhausted and at times flat on my back with my breathing and heart rate elevated.

Thanks for any advice.
bj1208 responded:
hi Melvind1 and welcome to the support group -

In 2/08 I had Anterior Lumbar Fusion L5-S1 where they removed my disc and put a plate, 4 screws and a cage in.

I can bend, but this causes more pains and really should not bend but squat instead - makes it easier on the back. I cannot twist side to side or bend backwards so I do have some restrictions - your surgeon can let you know if you may have restrictions. Once you are released from his care and/or during physical therapy you may find out more if you will have any restrictions. i have spoke with others who have less restrictions than I do so everyone is different.

I cannot feel the hardware at all and the only thing that affects me is hte changing in weather - cold and excessive heat (humidity) does affect the area that the plate is in. Barometric pressure is really the main culprit with weather changes.

Yes I can sleep on my back however I must have pillows under m knees and must have pillows propped up on my back where I'm in kinda a reclining position in bed. and sleeping on my sides with pillows between my knees.

I think I answered your questions as far as how I am since my surgery. Just remember we are all different and heal differently. I do still wear my back brace for more support - and you have to remember (click my name or pic and read my story) my surgery was a success as the surgeon did correct the disc issue by removing it and putting hardware in. I fused 100% and bone is growing back, however he could not do any thing for the pains or the nerve damage in both legs (had already set in).

Don't be afraid to write down all your questions and ask the surgeon. I had so many questions written down and would not consent to surgery unless I had all my answers. this way I was more comfortable with the surgeon and the surgery. Hope this helps - let me know if more questions~~
Take care~~

~~ Joy ~~
backbreaking responded:
Hello melvind1, I have Harrington Rods from 5T to 3L. I had my surgery for adult scoliosis 20 yrs. ago. The only part of my rods I feel are the bursa that has formed around the top and bottom. I now have DDD and some nerve issues in my legs. I'm going for an appt. with ANOTHER Orthopedic surgeon on Tuesday to see if anything can be done for the sciatic or other nerves involved with this pain. I wish you luck in your endeavor to get rid of your pain.


melvind1 replied to backbreaking's response:
Thanks for the replies. The surgery is scheduled for Nov 30th. They will install two rods and four screws. I just wish there was some other remedy. Yesterday I helped our youth basketball league run a draft for the upcoming season from 8 am to 1:00 pm. The time spent on my feet was torturous. I tried to sit as much as possible and rest often, but at about noon, fighting the pain all morning finally took its toll like a bolt of lightning, zapping all my energy. I was flat on my back for the rest of the day and night. I am on a waiting list incase someone cancels so I hope I can get in earlier. I just want to be on the road to recovery...finally.
bj1208 replied to melvind1's response:
Hi Melvind1 -

sorry you've been in such pain - most of the members have stories about what we've gone thru - you can click on our name and or pic and read what we have.

I hope and pray your surgery goes well and that you have a speedy recovery. please see if a family member etc can post for you to let us know how ur doing~~
Take care~~

~~ Joy ~~
melvind1 replied to bj1208's response:

Worse decision of my life. 5 months after surgery and I still cant sit long enough to even attempt to go back to work. AETNA pulls every trick in the book to stop paying my STD,demanding documents from doctors on a moments notice or when they know I dont even have any appointments. They just stop sending benefits whenever they see fit,no questions asked. Surgeon's after care is horrible,has never laid a hand on me since my surgery or even peaked at my incision, yet notes on my file how he performed a number of hands on physical strength,nerve reaction and sensitvity test he has performed. Physiatrist I saw for some help in recovering wanted to inject my SI joint on the spot. Everyday is pain. Especially the moment I lay down and relax all my back muscles.
bj1208 replied to melvind1's response:
I am sorry you are in so much pain - I can honestly say that i am in worse pains than before my surgery. I have to admit tho that my surgeon did make the statement that he could fix the disc and stabilize my spine. He could not guarantee any reduction in pains as this is not the main focus of back surgery.

I think you should first get an attorney to help you with your STD case then see about getting opinions from both Neurosurgeon Spine Specialist and Orthopedic Spine Specialist - they may do a current MRI if it's been close to a year since last one. They can check the progress of ur recovery etc.

Please keep us posted~~
~~ Click on my name or picture and read my story ~~

Take care ~~ God Bless ~~

~~ Joy ~~

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