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Old 03-13-2010, 10:17 PM
 
9,454 posts, read 15,020,411 times
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I just had surgery on my back last Tuesday, came home Wed night.

The procedure was a sacroplasty---I fell and injured my lower pelvis and had several small fractures in my lower spine. They grew together and formed one long fracture, about 3 inches long. This procedure basically involves inserting a needle under x-ray guidance, and injecting a type of bone putty to glue it together. Its considered an "internal casting", obviously, you can't cast your pelvis, so this holds the bones together until they mend on their own.

Well, the surgery seemed to go well, but I'm in intense pain. Nothing seems to relieve it except lying down to take the pressure off and use ice packs. They prescribed Vicodin, and Percocet (not together, of course), but it seems to do absolutely no good, I can't tell the difference if I took it or not.

They told me that "many patients" recover almost immediately, have zero pain just hours after the procedure. Well, I guess I'm not one of them. I've had surgery before, and it usually takes some time for me to recover. I just wish they'd be more upfront with you and stop telling people garbage like "immediate pain relief" then, when that isn't your experience, act like there's something wrong with the patient. Then they tell me about 50% take 2-4 weeks for recovery and pain relief. Ok, well, why didn't they say so at the beginning? why be so unrealistic? Now they tell me no driving for 2-4 weeks, and no sitting for >20/time. Well, I work at home and we need the income, it does involve sitting.

I just wish they'd told me upfront so I could have prepared better. If I knew I couldn't drive & sit for awhile, I would have made prior arrangements. Now I have to figure out how I will manage, when I could have figured that beforehand. This wasn't an emergency, it was scheduled, I just wish they would have given me more realistice guidelines in a more timely fashion.

But, be that as it may, I feel the surgery went well and will provide relief in the long run. If I didn't have it done, the crack would continue to spread and deepen, much like a hairline fracture on a windshield. They keep saying things like "the patient is the most important part of the healthcare team", then fail to clue you in on just what to expect until its after the fact.
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Old 03-14-2010, 12:23 AM
 
9,454 posts, read 15,020,411 times
Reputation: 15409
Just grousing here, but I can't get over how they downplay the recovery from many surgeries. I had a total hip replacement done about 20 years ago. They were upfront and told me to expect 10-12 weeks for recovery. I had information I needed to plan my recovery, including getting an adequate leave of absence from my job, and setting up my household to function while not being able to drive, bend, lift, etc (at the time I lived alone).

A friend of mine recently had a total hip replacement, I realize 20 years has passed since I had that procedure and things have improved, but still.....you do need time to recuperate. They somehow led her to believe she'd just be out a few days. Turns out she will need at least 6-10 weeks off work, modified work environment when she returns, and a modified environment at home while recovering. They waited until after the surgery to casually inform her she'd need a lot of home equipment, like a raised toilet seat, shower chair, etc, all that she could have gotten together beforehand. The worse thing is she almost lost her job because she needed much more time off than she'd been lead to think .

I just wish they'd get real with the facts, don't just dump on the patient on the way out, oh, by the way, you will be out of work 6-12 weeks, can't drive, must live in a modified environment, you figure it all out, have a nice day!
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Old 03-14-2010, 03:51 PM
 
Location: In the real world!
2,178 posts, read 8,222,930 times
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I am sure they do that on purpose. My son is a burn patient, was in a explosion 5 years ago and burned 82% of his body. He is still having surgeries and they mislead him all the time. Last time he went in to have his arm pit on the left done.. Woke up to find that had also done his right hand so that left him completely helpless. Poor fella, couldn't even go to the bathroom by himself. Thinking he could manage without the use of only one limb at home while recovering, his wife didn't take any time off from work or make any arranmgements to handle the situation so she could continue to work.

They live in another state but I could have got time off from work and went had we known he was going to need help.

They knew in advance they were going to do both because the materials they needed had to be grown in a lab from cells from his own skin. They just mislead him and his wife.
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Old 03-14-2010, 06:09 PM
 
9,454 posts, read 15,020,411 times
Reputation: 15409
Quote:
Originally Posted by Laura707 View Post
I am sure they do that on purpose. My son is a burn patient, was in a explosion 5 years ago and burned 82% of his body. He is still having surgeries and they mislead him all the time. Last time he went in to have his arm pit on the left done.. Woke up to find that had also done his right hand so that left him completely helpless. Poor fella, couldn't even go to the bathroom by himself. Thinking he could manage without the use of only one limb at home while recovering, his wife didn't take any time off from work or make any arranmgements to handle the situation so she could continue to work.

They live in another state but I could have got time off from work and went had we known he was going to need help.

They knew in advance they were going to do both because the materials they needed had to be grown in a lab from cells from his own skin. They just mislead him and his wife.
I'm so sorry to hear about your son! Prayers for a speedy recovery, but we know its a slow go. At least you've experienced the same thing--not telling the patient until the last minute what to expect, when you're not in a position to set things up. Hey, people do work, can't take time off work at the drop of a hat, especially for something that was known in advance.

What gets me is their over reliance on that FMLA (FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE ACT) Most social workers don't have a clue how it really works, they just understand in some broad, general tones, that you can get time off for medical leave or care of a relative, but they fail to understand the obvious---it not instant--you do have to apply for it from your employer, you need some lead time, you can't just call them form the recovery room---hello? I will need 10 weeks off work, you have to give it to me with FMLA. Also, those idiot social workers don't understand chances are great when you take the FMLA you won't have a job to return to. They just bought the hype---the employer can't fire you while you're out under FMLA. That's right, but there's nothing that says they have to keep the job past the leave date. I've known several people who wewre terminated the day the leave ends. And while your group insurance continues while under FMLA, you pay the total premiums like Cobra, can bee $1000/month or more. At least give a person a chance to make arrangements by giving them the information they need at a time they can do something about it.

If you know in advance, you can make plans around job, family, etc. And you can't expect family to just drop everything and come to your side without so much as a minute's notice. Get real!
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