Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Complete Guide to Spinal surgery from a Patient's Point of View, Other Stuff

Hi Again:  I am 3 weeks post spinal surgery, multi level fusion from L3-L5-S1, with pedicle screws, rods, and one cage.  Had post op x rays today and saw my surgeon.  All of the staples holding my incision were removed (glad for that they were feeling annoying and pinching).  Posterior incision looks great.  That lateral incision from the XLIF procedure, continues to be a "pain".  Still hurts,  hard to move around,  pain radiates down into hip.
I also have some residual nerve pain in the thigh muscle (quad) feels tingling yet numb.  My doctor says "it will go away". I just love when they tell you that as if they were a psychic with a crystal ball in front of them.   I am attached to a Bone Growth Stimulator Device which sends electronic pulses to the pads placed along my spine to encourage fusion of the vertebrae.  I have read controversy of this device, I had one 4 years ago.  I will say that I started showing evidence of bone growth and good fusion at 6 weeks post op, so I will wear this device again.    Besides this device, I am wearing a  Velcro brace around the lumbar region to provide support when I am up and around.  Certainly makes me feel more secure.  I am slowly weaning myself off morphine, taking only 2 mg at bedtime.  During the date I take Ultraset every 8 hours. 

Getting dressed is difficult despite the use of various gadgets.  I can stand up in the shower now as long as its short and can sit at the computer for about 1/2 hours at a time.  Getting in and out of the car is a challenge as you must be sure as not to twist but to pivot your entire body.  I do my leg exercises, and now walk several times a day.   Each day, a little better, the increments are small but I accept them, knowing that the surgery is behind me, and that within 3 months I will feel like a new person. 

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