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6 wks post 5-level disc replacement and not doing well at all

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:35 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Please. Help. On July 29, 2009 I had stage I anterior interbody fusion via lateral approach L1 to L5 using interbody spacers, and a threaded rod L5-S1. The surgery was 8 hours and I received two 22 modifiers because of the severity of the scoliosis and rotation, and the spondylolisthesis at L4/L5.

Surgeon now wants to do an L1 to T10 fusion in two weeks.

I am in so much pain still, but the worst is that I have lost almost all use of my right leg. A PT comes three times a week, and there has been definite improvement, but I cannot walk without the walker.

This week I went out for my first biz meeting requiring me to sit for two hours and I'm still recouping.

Does any of this seem extreme or severe to anyone out there? Anyone familiar with the two-surgery strategy of disc replacement (the spacers) followed by rod-and-screw fusion 8 weeks later?

I'm very upset and overdue for a pity party. I feel the tears welling as I write this. I'm so over the pain and being bed ridden.


  • Hi, I had L5 S1Fusion done on July 23rd. I also need T 11-12 T12-L1 L1-2 Fusion done, but My doctor said that I must wait at least 6 months between the surgeries. 2 weeks seems really close together. I would re-check with your doctor on that. You are not even over, even a little bit yet, from your current surgery to me to even consider another one so soon.

    God Bless
  • This seems like an awful lot of surgery within a very short time frame. Do you understand the reasons for scheduling it so close together??

    I think it is extreme that you went to a business meeting so soon after such a big surgery. If I were advising you, I would tell you that you should be spending the majority of your time walking and resting. I would think after going through such a big surgery, you would want to give yourself the very best chance for a successful outcome.

    It really sounds to me like you are trying to do too much too soon. You should not be sitting for more than fifteen minutes at a time. Sitting puts 30% more pressure on your discs than any other position. Please try to put your outside life on hold, and give yourself the gift of time -- time to heal and recover.

  • Gwennie and slowpoke,

    I appreciate the feedback. It's been six weeks since my first surgery. I cannot bear the thought of surgery next Friday and am visiting my doctor tomorrow to try to get some answers. I am very angry about losing use of and constant pain in my right leg. Doctor told me I could work two weeks after my surgery. The business meeting that set me back was five weeks after surgery. Is that considered too soon?

    The necessity of the second surgery, a T10 to L5 fusion, is to "lock down" the work of the first surgery, which was inserting the spacers.

    Has anyone heard of this?
  • I have not heard of the lock-down thing - but I did have to have an urgent second surgery 2 days after the first because my right leg went suddenly numb.

    I hope you get some good answers at your apt. Keep us informed, we can be here for that pity party.

    p.s. I do think sitting for longer than 30 minutes anytime within the first 6 months post-op as 'too soon' - I barely sit for 45 minutes without paying for it later now (and it's been over a year).

    If you HAVE to go to a meeting, get up, move, walk - do something besides just sit.

    Best of luck
  • I had 3 level fusion and it took 5 months before I could walk without the walker and 14 months before I was pain free. Alhough it was excrutiatingly slow - it was worth it. I couldn't drive for 15 months. I think you need to be very patient and take it one day at a time. The question I asked myself - Was I better than I was 2 weeks ago?

  • You and I had surgery the same day. I cannot imagine going to work, let alone sit for 2 hours, at this point. My surgeon said no work for a minimum of 12 weeks. I am confused and curious about your surgery. Was there bone grafting involved? Is that what you mean by spacers/replacement?
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