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Back Surgery

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:31 AM in Lower Back Pain
I have just been advised that need to have back surgery to fuse two vertibrae (sp). They are going to use the abdominal method. Now, I am having second thoughts. I'm in such pain now and am currently taking morphine, which I have been on for almost 5 months now.

I'm afraid if I have the surgery that I will have more pain than I do now. Or the worst, loss of feeling in my legs.

Has anyone had this type of surgery? Could you give me your experience?



  • I have had this type of surgery at the L5-S1 level in my back. They went through the front and put in interbody cages with BMP (I would have used bone graft). My fusion failed, but that doesn't mean that yours will. I too was taking morphine with pain down the leg and numbness. If anything the surgery will take the pressure off the nerves. If you have a good surgeon you will be ok. I'm sure the doc explained to you that the more levels fused the greater the chance of instability later on in life. Really, you are the only one who can make that decision. The main complaint that I had right after surgery was the air in my stomach was VERY painful and when the cut through the front the nerves become severed. You will permanently lose feeling around some of the incision area. From what I remembered I was so focused on the pain in the front that the surgical pain in my back though severe seemed minimal. I was in the hospital for 3 days with physical therapy starting on day 2. I was supposed to be out of work for at least 6 weeks--3 months, but I was back to work and in physical therapy in 4 weeks. I seemed to bounce back pretty quickly. Keep in mind I had the surgery when I was 21 and it was my 3rd back surgery. The rest is history since it didn't work. If I scared you it wasn't my intention. Everyone's body is different and you never know what can happen unless you try. If you want to know anymore about it message me. Best of luck! Hang in there.
  • Welcome to the board. Many people on this forum have had fusion, either the type you are having, ALIF, or from the back, PLIF, or sometimes a "360" where they go in from the front and the back. There are many different ways to go about a fusion...and as many stories as there are people who've had fusions. Please remember that none of us are medical professionals...just people who are happy to share our experiences with others.

    What symptoms have you had? Primarily leg pain? Back pain? What vertebra are they planning on fusing? A little more information would help us provide you with more useful responses!

    Welcome. Please post often with your comments and questions!
  • Hi Kim,

    My last back surgery was Dec. 2008 and was a 360 anterior/posterior back surgery. You are the only one who can make the decision about the surgery. My back surgery did help my back pain and I do feel so much better. When I saw my NS in April of 2009 I was fused. Very happy about that. I will be happy to answer and of your questions about back surgery from the front, just pm me. Good luck and welcome to Spine-Health.

  • Hi Kim,

    What level? I had XLIF where they go in from the side, a lot easier to recover from. There's a spacer in there between L4 and L5 that new bone can grow through, and there is a plate for further steadiness screwed in holding those two verts steady. You are on morphine so I know you are in pain, and like most here I can relate to that. But just asking if you have gotten another opinion. You might want to look into that XLIF, unless you have decided. Whatever happens, be sure to think positive, have lots of support (mental and physical) and get lots of info. This is a good web site. Good luck.
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