Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Newbie facing L4-S1 Fusion

BamaCherylBBamaCheryl Posts: 45
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:39 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hey to all. I am so glad to have found you all. I have been reading the forums for a couple of weeks now and am learning so much. In a matter of just a few months I have gone from a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis to having spondyliolisthesis and facing a multi-level lumbar fusion. I went to my mom's orthopedic regarding some progressively worsening back pain thinking maybe it is arthritis and after an xray was told I had a slippage of the L4-L5 and degenerative discs. I was referred to a wonderful neurosurgeon and had an MRI. The MRI verified the grade 3 spodylolisthesis of the L4 on L5 and the chronic bilateral pars defects, apparently something that had been progressing for many years. Upon further testing via Myelogram and CT it was proven even worse with fracturing of the facet at L4 and L5 and nerve compression on the L4 slippage. I am now scheduled for the lumbar decompression with multi-level fusion for December 15. It is my understanding that I will have the vertebra pulled apart and fused with cadaver bone, then have the rods and screws inserted(cage). He said that I would be in the brace for about 3 months and out of work 6-8 weeks (I am a receptionist at a clinic). The surgery will be more of a challenge than most he's seen according to him I will be in the OR for the better part of 7 or 8 hours. :( I appreciate all the prayers you can offer and words of wisdom. I have already printed the post op list and have begun gathering my supplies. Thank you all so much. I feel more at ease knowing I am not alone here.


  • It's a big surgery and it's hard to get your mind around exactly what's going to happen. I have not experienced the surgery you are about to have but my surgery was around 8 hours. When you wake up, it feels like you've been asleep for half an hour. I know others who've had your surgery will come into your thread over the next day or so, meantime I just wanted to wish you well. Be good to yourself, eat healthily, and exercise if you possibly can. All the very best!
  • Welcome to Spine Health. I can relate to what you're facing. Mine was essentially caused by a fall backwards onto my lawn mower, where I struck the base of my spine on the corner of the engine. Apparently, though, I already had osteoarthritis and DDD, so things fell apart fairly easily. I was fused from L3-S1 last November. I'm still stiff and occasionally get painful, but for the most part, I'm one heck of a lot better than I used to be. Being a receptionist is going to be tough. It's the sitting that gets you after surgery. If you can have your workstation re-arranged so you can stand part of the time, you'll be that much more ahead. My surgery was also a long one (both times!). I went in at 5:30 for the first, got to OR at 7:30 a.m. and didn't wake up in recovery till after 5:00 p.m. I needed a second surgery four days later (they couldn't get my discs out through the back because I had too much scar tissue), and went into the OR at about 7:00 a.m. I woke up at about 4:00 after that one. Got three pints of blood after the first surgery and another after the second. I was in the hospital for one week total. I certainly pray I never have to go through anything like this again. It was worth it though.

    All the best to you.

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

    I will be having the same levels fused as you are this Wed. the 18th. I'll be posting how I am recovering so you can get an idea of what there is to deal with post-op. I too will have a brace for 3 months.

    Keep up with this site. Its a great place for information and support.
  • These back surgeries are tough, but our hope is that you do great.We will be praying for you during and after your surgery. This is a great forum with much useful information and wonderful caring people. If you have a question, ask it and someone will gladly try to answer it for you. God Bless!
  • You are all so great! :)Thank you all so much for your warm welcome and prayers. It means so much to me to gain a support network of people who know EXACTLY what I am going through. I am shocked at myself at the mere fact that I actually am looking forward to getting this surgery done for the pure reason of lessening the pain level I am at in my low back and legs. At an 8 out of 10 almost every day, the thoughts of my doctor telling me I should come away from surgery with about a 1-2 is sheer heaven to think about. I am keeping positive and going into this knowing that I will have to follow the rules to the letter to have a successful healing, this being said...I am starting to get nervous as the time draws nearer but I will be in good hands. JWL,hey neighbor. :)I will be having my surgery in Birmingham. Rollll Tiiiiide! lol
  • hi,wow i can see why your pain level is an 8 or 9...hope things go well for you......i well be having some of the same things you'll be going through.my is a ....lam-depression--and a 4 level pelvic fusion.nov 19th....yipes...good luck to you.
Sign In or Register to comment.