Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Decision for surgery

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:30 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Well after pretty much wanting to pull out of my surgery due next month due to fear from what I read, my mind has changed again. I was silly enough to move my black bin liner of rubbish the other day and haven't walked since. I am in excrutiating pain to a point of nausea. I can't sit, stand, walk or lay down and painkillers are doing very little for it. The only comfort i find is when I am on all fours doing nothing. Do you think i should chance the surgery now, could it possibly be any worse than this, or should I just hope and pray it goes away so I am just left with searing groin pain, constant aches all down my body from the waiste down and burning pins and needles in my feet, which is the usual, but definately copable so long as I do nothing in my life.

I read on this forum once that someone said DONT HAVE THIS SURGERY UNLESS YOU ARE DISABLED. Well I guess that's me now.

I just wanted to ask for those of you who have had anterior spinal fusion at one level (L5 s1), what it feels like to have a cage and metal holding the spine together. I am having nightmares about it. Can you feel it or does it just ache?

Any feedback would be appreciated.


  • I am 15 days post op from a TLIF L4,L5 with all the bells and whistles. So far, I am doing extremely well. I do not regret having the surgery. So I have bad days? Yes But it does not compare to what I was feeling before the surgery. I will keep you in my prayers. I was very nervous before my surgery too. Hang in there. I hope you get some relief from the pain
  • And I feel much, much better than I did in the months preceeding surgery. I am not physically what I was when I was 25, but I am much better than I was a year ago.
  • I can only relate my experience to try to help you through this. I have been in your shoes both with the excruciating pain and unable to do anything and the tolerable and able to cope pain .....

    I am very thankful for the fusion. I didn't have a choice when the pain was at the point of no return which sounds like where you are.....and 6 months later I am still healing. It takes a lot of time and patience to heal so all of us complain we are not doing as much as I'd like to yet but truthfully I'm doing a lot moe than i could before and I am so much better! I'm back to tolerable pain and I walk better, stand straigher, and can do more each day. The nerve pain is not as bad either! I hope to be able to do more than the last 3+ years before I know it.

    My fusion is L/2/3/4 with 6 screws, 2 bars,1 cross bar(whatever they call it) so it is somewhat different than what you are going to have. I am taking 1-3 Tramadols daily, nothing else so far and most days the pain is even more tolerable than the the tolerable levels before my 1st surgery in '05, the past 3 years and the last painful experince prior to the fusion 10/08. I do use heat, ice, rest, etc but that seems to be normal. I wish I had listened and this done sooner....maybe I wouldn't have gotten as bad or healed even better by now, who knows? This is just my opinion. Please discuss this with your Drs. and family and make your decision to fit you and your life, only you can deterine what is best for you.

    Take care of yourself and I wish you the best of luck with less painful days ahead!
  • Thankyou all for your supportive comments. I am pretty much at my whits end at the moment. I thought I was going into shock yesterday as I was shaking, cold and nausea and just couldn't walk without screaming in agony. I have put up with back pain for over 20 years, with it coming and staying since Nov 2007, so I have had enough really.

    I just didn't want to end up even worse, if that is at all possible, but sometimes what I have read on here fills me with dread and I start feeling that I am in a completely impossible choice either survival in this existence of incredible agony not being able to do anything in my life for fear of it getting even worse or take the chance with surgery. The surgeon feels it is time not only because of how bad I am, but because the fact that I couldn't walk for two weeks following the discogram, shows how badly deteriorated the disc is. He said I have the disc of a 75 year old women, well she can have it back just as long as I can have the life of a 45 year old woman again.

    Thanks again, I am typing this whilst being on all fours.
  • I know that terrible pain you are experiencing! It's the worse experince....to me surgery is a piece of cake after that pain. Seriously, having triplets w/o any pain relief would be easier, right??? I do hope you get some pain relief soon, regardless how it comes about. I'm thinking of you and wish you better tomorrows!
  • Hi Julieann - I am 13 weeks out ALIF L5-S1. It has changed my life, I would do it over again in a heartbeat.

    Going into the surgery, I was terrified. Its a crapshoot, so many things can go wrong. But I decided not to focus on the "stories" and just on myself. I had a surgeon I trusted, I was able to take time off work to recover, and I was otherwise physically healthy. I told myself every day that I would be stronger, and would fuse. I woke up pain free and have not had pain since about 2 weeks post-op that could not be addressed with Tylenol.

    You need to decide what is right for you (with your surgeon's guidance). Any surgery is a risk, does the risk outweigh the pain you are feeling and the compromise of your quality of life? Only you know that.
    Best of luck :)))
  • Just to answer your question about the cage...they sound more awesome than they really are. I have one a level up from where yours is going and I have NEVER felt it. I lie on my back on the floor many times per day and it is perfectly comfortable. I also have titanium rods and pedicle screws and I do not feel them either. If it were not for the incision, I would not know I had spine surgery.

    It sounds like you really need to do something. You cannot go on as you are.

    I hope your pain is a little bit better by now.

  • Thankyou for your comments, it really helps. I am slightly further along the evolutionary scale at the moment and almost upright when standing at the moment. My partner carried me from the car to the mobility shop yesterday and I purchased two walkings sticks and a grabber. It is still difficult to walk, but these aids are helping and I can feed the cats with the grabber.

    I am a little worried about the affects of the back on my bowel at the moment as something feels like it has changed. I have taken a lot of painkillers so managed to get some sleep and the ear infection also seems to be going, thank god.

    I am currently sitting on my exercise ball whilst typing this and although painfully uncomfortable, hopefully it is helping with strengthening my muscles.

    This has been such a supportive forum and thankyou so much. I was screaming in agony the other day and terrified about what was going to happen. Reading your comments has really helped.

    Back pain for 20 years at L5 s1
    five herniations over 20 years
    Severe prolapse at L5 S1 Nov 07
    Facet joint and nerve root blocks August 08
    Diagnosed severe DDD Jan 09
    Physio, chiro, aquatherapy etc etc seemed to be improving, just pins and needles in feet, aching joints from the waist down and sometimes numbness
    Complete crippling from lifting a bin liner, unable to walk or anything and in excruciating pain - april 2009
    Anterior spinal fusion for L5 S1 due May 19th
  • I am 4 weeks postop this week. No looking back - glad I investigated and had the full 360 with anterior AND posterior, feels completely stable and I can honestly say, I have had PAIN-FREE days!!!! Oh and the other day, I sneezed and waited to fall to the floor and just stood there, face all scrunched up waiting for it to happen, nothing! =)) It is worth it! Just make sure you get the right doc and look in to all the types of surgery. PM me if you want my doc's name.
  • a year ago skibum? What were your symptoms? How did you know it was time?

  • I'm so sorry to hear you are in so much discomfort. 20 years ago when my back problems first started I had the
    same thing happen to me. I could'nt get out of bed to go
    to the bathroom without help, I could'nt stand up straight.
    I was in severe pain. Sounds like you need a muscle relaxant, are you on one? Robaxin worked for me, but it took about 2-3 days to release the muscles/spasms. I rarely
    get the same pain anymore. Now mine is nerve pain. I have to
    sleep in a recliner that elevates my legs, that gives me relief. I also take vicodin, soma, neurontin, ativan. I try to take as little as possible, cause I don't like taking meds. I can't take robaxin anymore because it bothers my stomach. Over the years I have become sensitive to NSAIDS and Robaxin kind of does me like that. If you aren't on a muscle relaxant, try one ASAP. Hope you are feeling better soon....Raven in Florida
  • =)) LOL
    Who is your doctor?
    I am hunting for one now
    I have a spondylolisthesis at
    L5, S1 50-75% slippage and
    have been told by 3 surgeons
    I need a spinal fusion, laminectomy,
    and decompression. Having a
    difficult time finding someone
    I trust, and who has the experience
    I feel they should have. I live
    in Lakeland, Florida. Did find
    2 or 3 tonight that have experience
    in minimally invasive surgery, which
    definitly sounds like the best way
    to go. I am very scared to have
    the surgery....Raven
  • Oh, the sneeze!!! I remember the absolute HORROR of sneezes! The DREADED allergy season. I had almost forgotten...

    There is life on 'the other side' of surgery - at least for me there was.

    It's hard to remember how bad it was then, particularly when I complain now of atrophy issues and hardware issues - but, when I remember sneezing, oh - I'll stop complaining and count my lucky stars I don't have to dread allergies this year. I am so much better off now than I was just a year ago.

    Best of luck Juliann
  • Do not get your heart set on having a minimally invasive surgery. It is an easier recovery, but usually when you have a spondylolisthesis, you will not be a candidate for it.
Sign In or Register to comment.