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Fusion for Spondlylolisthesis L4 L5

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:35 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi, I'm new...have a diagnosis of spondylolisthesis...L4 L5...pain in low back, butt, outside of thigh and calf, all on left side...I have tried Tylenol and ice...helps a bit temporarily, but pain comes back...pretty much there 24/7.
Had an epidural injection a few days ago...it is better ...but pain is still there. I work full time in as a professional in a school...lots of walking and sitting... also live alone...terrified of surgery...how much time would I be off work?


  • Hi Paisley & welcome! As you'll hear often, "everyone is different" so it's difficult to predict how you'll fare after your fusion re: recovery time, etc.
    We share similar things: I also had spondy, the same pain-pathway you describe, etc & had a 1-level PLIF in Jan 08 & went back to school the followin Sept., 9 months later.
    But I had 2 priors that same year, so it took me longer than some others here.
    Don't be terrified of the fusion. It totally corrected my spondy & THAT part of my back feels great! If you trust your doc & have tried everything else (sounds like you did--the ESI is usally the last stop on the conservative road...) then do your homework, stay positive & go into it knowing you'll be better off than you are now. Can you wait until next summer or 2nd semester? Or are you contemplating having your surgery soon? As you may hear from others, it's a long & slow recovery...you'll want to take that into consideration as well. Working in a school tires a person even w/o fusion surgery! Something to keep in mind as you explore your options.

    Good to have you here! Keep us posted!


  • :H

    Welcome to the forum my dear. I agree with Lakeside and I also had a one level fusion for Spondy grade one. I am so glad I had the fusion and I'm feeling so much better. I have some aches and pains which go with having that type of surgery.

    I will keep you in my prayers. If you choose to have surgery I am in your corner and I wish you all the best. Take care and god bless.

    Evelyn :H
    Had PLIF in 2008 and a Laminectomy. One level fusion, L4-L5.
  • Are you contemplating fusion at this time? Is your pain such that there are no other alternatives? Or have you been told that fusion is the only thing that will help your situation, and it will be up to you to decide if and when you have it?

    Is this your first epidural injection?

    As others have said, fusion has a long recovery associated with it. It is not the type of surgery you can have over winter break and assume you'll be ready to go back to work immediately after. You don't think in terms of weeks...but, in months.

    Please post often with your comments and questions. Many of us had a similar diagnosis and a fusion, and can fill in some of the details that are never covered by surgeons!
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