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Back Fusion

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:31 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi all im new to this, not new to pain, i have had 2 disectomies, now i need a lower back fusion, possible double on L4/5.
I ride a motor bike, does anyone know if this will effect me riding, or is it time to retire the bike ??



  • Hi Kev

    I can't answer your question, but welcome to the forum.

    Perhaps you could wear a lumbar support whilst riding your bike??


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • hi kev i can only speak from my experince in 9-2007 i had a tlif @l3/l4 took 3 weeks off of work. i would drive 1hour each way for work only supervise at work.gegan having trouble soon after 07-2008 had laminectamy for spinal stehious.while waiting for surgey doc stoped all my activates aplied for ss in 5-2008 started recetving benefits in 12-2008. now on5-18=2009 i will be having a 3604 level fusion.i wish i had not rushed things.in my case i will not be ridihg moterbikes any more iam 53 years old feel like 73 at times.please stay with in your limits.ihanks david
  • You might want to start your own thread in this subject heading so we don't hi-jack Kev's thread. I'm sure you will get many replies (including mine) if you do that, as more people will see it and feel comfortable responding.

    Briefly, given your current symptoms and your past surgeries, your next step would probably be a fusion. The symptoms you are currently feeling are all typical of nerve pain, and most medications will not touch it. Gabapentin is given for nerve pain but only some people get some relief from it. It has never helped me.

    Please start a new thread!

    xx Gwennie
  • Thanks gwennie I actually did start a new thread this morning it has had lots of views but no responses :-) Sorry Kev don't mean to mess with your thread.
  • This is a choice only you can make based on what is most important to you. My surgeon would tell you that once your fusion is complete, you can do anything. If it hurts, don't do it. However, only you can decide if you want to risk it, or not.

    We all know some activities are easier on the body than others. Swimming, for example, puts less stress on the joints than a weightbearing activity such as running. I would assume that riding a motor bike is more stressful than sitting in your recliner...will it cause your joints to wear out faster, or jar your hardware loose? Is it worth the risk?

    Talk to your surgeon to see what he advises...and then gather any other information you can. Armed with this information, think it through and make your decision with your eyes wide open.

    Good luck! There is always the possibility that going through all the work of a fusion, the recovery, rehab, etc. that you won't even want to ride again! You won't feel like taking a chance.
  • Thanks trish, hard to give up things you like doing.
  • Hi thank you for doing that, i was out to ask Gwyennie how to make a thread, only found this site by chance. :)))
  • I wouldn't see why not, but you will require time to heal. Naturally speak to your surgeon all these questions for difinitive answers.

    Once you fuse and your doc feels you healed enough/off all restrictions possible Id say :D Dad drives a harley softail and that thing weighs a ton so may be awhile.

    And virbations will hurt you for a while as well.
  • Thanks for your help, im 47, from Christchurch New Zealand.
    I Think in the end i will sell the bike, i am a forman at a landscaping supplies yard, i operate diggers and loaders and from time to time drive truck and trailer units, it's a very busy job, but i think i may have to step back a bit or change ocupations as i find it very hard to do at the moment.
  • Thanks for your help, i do have that fear that i may cause more damage or worse.

    I find i can't ride long distance now, so after the opp it may be worse.

    Time to sell i think.

  • Off the subject, so I apologize but, I love your picture. Is that a cat? Where do you live in N.Z.? I want so badly to visit your beautiful country, I kayak (well, did, and will again!) and hike and New Zealand is gorgeous!
  • I suspect that you will not be comfortably riding anytime soon. Not riding forever will probably depend on just how your body decides to recover.

    I have been waiting on a decision like this for almost three years now, I have piles of "things" Sitting around. I was told be my OS that my shoulder would be "good as new, you will be able to do all the stuff you used to".

    I even added stuff to the piles, refusing to believe! Now, I think as soon as I get off restrictions from my SCS implant I can start working on those piles.

    For you, I would say, depending on how deeply you love this particular bike, you may want to just prep it for long term storage and wait it out. If you don't have a firm attachment to this particular bike and feel comfortable selling it, then that would be a good idea. You can always buy another bike.

    Your back will probably thank you for not riding. It also depends on how you are currently hurting as to if you really NEED to stop riding.

    I love your avatar, someone asked me if mine is a Golden Doodle, is yours? Mine is actually an Airedale, I would love a doodle someday...(please do not tell Chewy I said that!)
  • Thanks, the pic is our dog he is a miniture poodle named Lucky.

    Im in Christchurch, it's about the middle of the South Island on the east coast.
  • Thanks for the advice, the bike is nothing special and can be replaced if need be, i think it is more the having to give up things because of the pain, i having a MRI scan this comming wenesday, and see the surgeon the following monday, at this stage it is a fusion, but he feels it may need a double, will have to see what the scan shows.

    Thats a nice looking dog, ours is a miniture poodle, named Lucky, very spoilt.

  • i just had spinal fusion/lunbar surgery. . i returned to work @ the 4 wk mark. . i just returned to coaching baseball. i'm okay as long as it doesn't involve reaching down to the ground. . i just wish i had my surgery about a yr or 2 ago. . i can't believe the difference. . i feel soooo much better.
    i had 2 lower discs fused and 2 6inch rods inserted.
  • Hi there im gladd to hear that your opp went well, my last two were about 5 years apart.
    Do they keep you in hospital for long ?


  • For my one level fusion, a PLIF at L4-5, I had the surgery on a Monday evening (they were running LATE), and I left the hospital Thursday afternoon. This is a surgery done in the U.S.

    I could never have gone back to work at 4 weeks. I was still on major pain-killers until 8 weeks.

    Everyone heals differently, etc. Hopefully you'll feel as good as vermonster and heal quickly.
  • Hi Gwennie, Yes some people seem to bounce back quickly, the last two opps i was in for two nights for each, for the second opp the recovery was better, or i new what i was in for i guess.

    Im not sure yet about going back to work, im still there at the moment but will have to see how the surgery is, and what restrictions there are, my work is pretty physical, operating heavy machinery and truck & trailer units, so involves lots of sitting, and getting bounced around a lot.


  • I can atest to the fact that a fusion is a much bigger surgery than a discectomy or laminectomy.

    I guess some people are now having minimally invasive fusion, but I was not a candidate due to spondylolisthesis. There is a lot more cutting done, including cutting through bone, so the recovery from the surgery itself just is more complex and takes longer.

    Most people have a discectomy first and eventually move on to fusion. I did it the reverse way, having a fusion first. The second surgery a year later was so easy. I had no pain medication other than what I was given during the surgery itself. I kept thinking about my fusion and kept waiting for the pain to "kick in" but, much to my shock and surprise, it never did. Then my surgeon sent me home with a prescription for 5mg oxycontyn and I almost laughed, and thought to myself "Why bother?" It was such an insignificant dosage compared to what I was taking for two months after my fusion!!

    Sounds like you have plenty of experience with back surgery and will sail right through. Here's hoping!!

    Did you know that long-haul truck driving is the WORST occupation for developing disk problems? Sounds like your job is not spine-friendly either....
  • Gwennie,

    When you say most people first have discectomy and eventually move on to fusion: is the based on what you have seen or read? This sounds grim for my future.

    My doctors have given me about 70-80% that I wouldn't need a fusion.
  • I think sometimes the waiting is the worse part, i will have the MRI this week and see the surgeon the following monday.

    My driving is not too bad manily local, hardest part is covering/uncovering the loads, i only drive as a backup, my main work is on front end loaders, and excuvators, i will be talking to my boss about possible changes in my role at work.

    I want to work right up to the surgery date if possible.


  • Hi Nancy you would love kayaking in New Zealand, same as hiking, it;s a very nice place
  • I had an infection in the L5 L5 region and my disc is nearly gone. I have had terrible sciatica for a year and low back pain. Does anyone think a fusion could eliminate both low back and leg pain? Should I just do it and stop worrying? Is an orthopetic surgeon suitable?
  • Im not sure if i can be of much help, i am waiting to find out about having a fusion or double at the moment, in my mind i just want it done, have lived in pain for far too long, if there is a hope of some relief i will try it.

    I am seeing an orthopetic surgeon for the surgery.

    I hope you find some relief soon :)))

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