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spinal fusion

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,622
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:35 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I have been having trouble walking any distance for about 1 year. My feet become numb, my legs start burning, and then I lose strength and have to waddle home. I had a MRI done and the orthodpedic doctor said I needed surgery ASAP. Got a 2nd opinion from a neurosurgeon who also recommended surgery. The 1st doctor recommended a laminectomy with L3-5 fusion, the 2nd a laminectomy with L4-5 fusion. My MRI report on those 2 levels stated:
At L3-4 there is a broad-based left foraminal/extraforminal disc protrusion abuting the extraforminal left L3 nerve root. There is moderate narrowing of the left neural foramen at this level. There is no central canal stenosis.
At L4-5 there is bilateral severe facet artritis and mild grade 1 anterolisthesis. There is pseudodisc bulging at this level related to listhesis. There is resultant severe central canal stenosis and bilateral moderate neural foraminal narrowing.
I was wondering if anyone had any opinion of which surgery I should go with? Ther is also a small protrusion at L5-S1 and mild bulging at L2-3 and severe degenerative disc disease at T12-L1. I was wondering if I should do the L4-5 fusion and try to do exercises to try to keep the rest okay? Also I was wondering if anyone has tried the BackMagic and what they thought of it. Thank you.
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Comments

  • welcome to this band of supportive back people. i.m no dr but like you i'm in pain. my lumbar fusion was L1=L2
    i see you do have issues with l3/l4 so apparently one surgeon feels that he can do something there to help you without fusion...i dont really know enough to comment. i would recommend a 3rd opinion. did the two surgeons go into detail regarding their plans. if so please let us know their thoughts.
    one question you might ask the surgeon who only wants to fuse l4/l5 would be WHAT ARE YOUR ESTIMATES ON HOW LONG IT WOULD BE TO HAVE TO GO BACK IN AND FUSE L3/L4 ?
    Please keep us posted.....thanks....pete
  • I had a similar MRI report except that I had spondylolisthesis at L4-5. I had 8 opinions: 2 recommended fusing at a minimum three levels and up to five. The other six recommended fusing L4-5 and cleaning out the stenosis at the L3-4 level foramen. This is the option I decided upon.

    Most surgeons want to do as little surgery as possible that will take care of the problem. When you start fusing above L4-5, you start running into problems with the lose of mobility, etc.

    I probably would get another opinion -- to break the tie!!
  • I had 2 discs completely removed and fusion on S1-L5 and L5-L4 on august 3. I'm in a brace that covers my whole back and goes down my right leg to the knee. I have to wear it except when sleeping or showerings. I'm still in a lot of pain in my back. My stitches came out on 8/17. I see the surgeon for the first time on Tues. Anyone had similar and can give me an idea when I might start feeling better?
  • welcome to spine health. theres a lot of people here who share in your pain. we stick together and try to help the other person. sorry youre in such pain. i would think it should calm down in a month or two. it may take a lot longer for the bulk of the pain to go. some people see improvement for over a year. everyones different so do your best to be patient. hope your pain starts getting better quick....pete
  • Hi Kauffmanngirl :)))

    Welcome to our forum. I'd recommend getting a third opinion too. Sorry you're in heaps of pain.

    Trish











    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
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