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Finally scheduled for fusion

JohnnyOJJohnnyO Posts: 118
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:38 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
After suffering with my latest back injury and the horrible nerve pain caused by it for 2 years now I am finally scheduled for a 2-level interbody fusion at L4/L5/S1. I have had three operations already on L5/S1 and one on L4/L5 in my lifetime. I have had one operation at L5/S1 and one at L4/L5 since this injury which failed. My MRI still shows a herniation at L5/S1 and bulge at L4/L5. Most of my pain is caused from L5/S1 and my S1 nerve root which is extremely swollen and needs to have space to heal. I also have scar tissue which I believe is a problem.

Ive tried everything to avoid a fusion but I have not gotten anywhere. In the 2 years since I felt the pop in my back and had to battle this horrible pain the only place Ive gained ground in is with my medications. I can now keep my pain from sending me to the hospital but it is only at taking unbelievably high levels of tegretol and opioids which causes too many side effects to be realistic to take my whole life. Ive tried conservative methods, ten's units, every medication known to man, other surgery, and am still where I was when it first happened.

After waiting to see my new surgeon and then having to get a new EMG and then a discogram I am glad to have a surgery date because Ive been waiting to get one since May.
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Comments

  • Johnny, seems to me you tried different thing at no avail. In situations like yours, fusion may be the only option. Before my three-level fusion I heard a lot of horror stories about that procedure, and to my relief, I had it very easy. Of course, nothing in life is for sure, but I am telling you this, because you never know how your own surgery will turn out. The best things you can do is do your research, be informed, prepare yourself and try to keep a positive attitude. Once you selected a capable surgeon you have to leave the rest up to him. Hopefully the surgery will bring you relief.

    Wishing you the best,

    Kin
  • I have often said, you know in your heart when it is time for the fusion. When pain runs your life and you have to make decisions about your family life, social life, even work life based on your pain, you know you are ready. I got to the point where I was aware of my pain every second of every waking moment and it wore me down and I decided it was time. I wish you luck and keep us posted on your progress. I can say now I feel like my surgery was a success. I am getting better by the week and now feel it was worth it. A rough road though, this is a big one, and you need to prepare your mind, home and yourself!
    Take care,
    Rachel
  • I have often said, you know in your heart when it is time for the fusion. When pain runs your life and you have to make decisions about your family life, social life, even work life based on your pain, you know you are ready. I got to the point where I was aware of my pain every second of every waking moment and it wore me down and I decided it was time. I wish you luck and keep us posted on your progress. I can say now I feel like my surgery was a success. I am getting better by the week and now feel it was worth it. A rough road though, this is a big one, and you need to prepare your mind, home and yourself!
    Take care,
    Rachel
  • I hope your fusion surgery goes well. You've been through the mill and tried everything else.

    I had decompression surgery last year which didn't help, but in fact made me worse. I was fearful of fusion for a long time, but now 3 weeks post op ALIF L4/5, I'm feeling pretty good.

    Trish













    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • I wish you the best of luch with you up-coming surgery, i do not slep well at all and it has been 9 months since my 4 level fusion with rods and 10 screws but i am very positive and hit the pool and walk, and try the stationary bike you have to be strong and think positive.. and walk walk walk, no matter how much pain you will be in after recovery, and recovery is a bytch. stay focused!! and good luck
  • I agree with everything Mamainpain said. I knew I was ready when every second of every day I was thinking about my pain. It was constant and interfered in every single thing I did. I couldn't live like that anymore.
  • Johnny - I've definitely been where you are now. I was scheduled for surgery in August 2008, and then they decided I had too many levels and they wouldn't do it. I (you probably wouldn't do this) bawled my eyes out -- I couldn't imagine they wouldn't help me. The agony was more than I could bear.

    Life has not been grand since my surgery. I am a lot better than I was beforehand, but I am tired all the time or else I am so depressed about my lack of flexibility that I just feel tired all the time. I really wish I felt like doing more or that my back would let me do more. I hope you will do well with your surgery.

    Linda

    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
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