I tore some disc when I was only 25 back in 2004 and after all the tests i was told by the docs if I could tolerate the pain and live with the pain med to keep doing it and not have a fusion....I was dead set on not having one at the time. Time and pain wore me down and I finally gave in January of 07. My spine surgeon fused L5-L3 through the front and it failed.... most likely cause according to my wife and spine surgeon was that I smoked cigarettes at the time. They told me again that a revision was possible but he wouldn't do it till I was nicotine free. I struggled with quitting for a good year till my world started to fall apart and the pain that I was hiding from my family couldn't be covered up anymore... even my wife didn't know how much med's I had to take to keep it together to go to work and support out family. Sometime over this last summer things kept getting worse... if it wasn't spasms, it was numbness, or severe pain and so on. I felt like a total failure and saw my marriage headed for the toilet when I went back to surgeon. He did some new CT's and when I came back for an appt he did and exam with me on the table and when he pushed in the facet of S1-L5 I was ready to jump off the table. After a discography was done on that disc we knew that it needed to be included in the revision as well. Nicotine still stood in the way and he refused to fuse till I did my part and quit smoking. 2weeks later I kicked it for good and will have my surgery on Dec 7th... that dirty little camel was making me a weasel.
He plans to go in the front and fuse S1-L5, then flip me over and do S1-L3 on the back side.... he said it's a belt and suspenders approach. When he does the back he will put in a bone growth stimulator as well this time and use cadaver bone with my bone marrow. needless to say I am a little scared.
Has anybody had this exact fusion and how did they get through the healing process... I have this awful picture of myself in bed for weeks only being able to lay on my side.