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Newbie with fusion queries

ScottiegalSScottiegal Posts: 106
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:38 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I'm new to the forum and am hoping to have all the right questions for when I go back to see my surgeon.

In Jan this year I fell on some ice and herniated the disc at L4/L5. I had previously had a confirmed herniation on the same disc in 2006 and a possible one in 2007. I had an lumbar epidural injection in April, a microdiscectomy end of May and a sacral epidural in June which finally cleared the sciatica and I could get rid of the walking stick. I am however stuck with severe back pain and very restricted movement. I saw my surgeon in September and he said that I have degenerative discs at L4/L5 and L5/S1 with some damage to the vertebrae. He sent me for specialised remedial physiotherapy, parting with "if that doesn't work we will need to consider more surgery". The physio has now told me to go back to the surgeon as there has been no improvement.

My understanding is that the surgery in question is fusion. Big op, long recovery - all very scarey, but I can't deal with the pain anymore. Any pointers as to questions I should be asking?



  • Welcome to Spine-Health. We all understand how you feel, those of us that have had surgery know the fear that comes before it.

    Below is a link to 38 Questions to Ask Your Surgeon Before Having Back Surgery. I hope this helps you.


    Also, please look around the forums and the rest of the site. There's a lot of great information and the members of the forum are very knowledgeable and supportive.

  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. so glad you stopped by. i hope you find the answers you are looking for here. there is no better place to make new friends and discover info at the same time. :D good luck and i hope you have pain relief soon. Jenny :)
  • you will find so much support you need here at this site. As you are facing a fusion you need to make sure you have a second and even a third opinion. Its a major surgery with a long recovery. Please understand that it may not get rid of all of your pain and it could possibly make your pain worse or not help your pain at all. What are your expectations of this surgery. Do you have the support and help of family? Are you will to do as instructed by your surgeon all the way through? Exhust ALL the conservative treatments before you consider this surgery. I am recoverying from a 360 level 2 lumbar fusion and while I have already started to fuse at 3 weeks, I still had a bumpy dirt road to get down until the I got to the open highway so to speak. The first 2 weeks were the absolute worse - but keep in mind, it won't or shouldn't last forever- that is one thing that I kept at the forefront of my thinking. Your attitude can really make a huge difference in your recovery- so keep it positive even when you are the brink of throwing in the towel. Good luck, keep us posted and don't forget to keep coming back to the forum- new posters come on daily and need the support of those who have been there done that and those who are suffering chronic pain and those who are so wise and dedicated to helping others.

    Best of luck!
  • It looks like you are taking all the right steps just in researching the procedure. The only advice that I could add is to maybe get a second opinion. I always try and find out what all of my options are. It makes it so much easier to make such a major decision. Good luck and please keep us posted.
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