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future fusion

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,622
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:39 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
i was rcently advised that i will be needing a two level fsuion at L5 and S1. i would appreciate any feedback or advice with others experience with a two level fusion. Iam only 36, so iam extremly scared and have not read alot of positive experiences so far. I do not want to have this doen, but the pain is out of control and seems to be my only opiton from what the surgeon explained. I guess the an advantage that i have is that i am in excelent shap and of sound mind,but very scared right now. Any advice at this point good or bad i think would really help me. They would like to do the procedure in the next two to four weeks.
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Comments

  • ...is a one level fusion, just to let you know. =)
    I was 38 when I had my first fusion so I know how you feel about being scared.

    If you ever need to talk,, let me know.

    hugsss

    Christina
  • Hi there,

    Understandably you are scared. I had my first 2 level lumbar fusion when I was 38. I too had no choice as my 2 discs were basically gone.

    An L5-S1 fusion is considered only one level (which is good, better than 2 level).

    I am exactly 2 weeks out from a 2 level ALIF (anterior lumbar interbody fusion), L4-S1. I am doing exceptionally well. My back pain is virtually gone, and front incision pain is almost gone too.

    I have to wear a brace, which honestly sucks, but it is not forever, and it is to ensure that my fusion heals as best as posibble.

    If you can give more info as to the type of operation they are looking to do and what your main symptoms are we can be a bit more helpful.

    If you want to PM me, please do, maybe my experience can help you prepare. Also, there are amazing helpful and supportive people on this site, keep up with us here and good luck!
  • 2 years ago, L3-5, and my pain was at the point where I told the doctor to either operate or amputate.

    Please don't wait until it gets that bad. If your doc says you need it now, now is the time to get it. I put mine off out of fear - no one was coming near MY back with needles or knives - no way no how.

    I'm doing well now. My lower back still aches, particularly during wet weather (rain or snow), and during that time of the month. But on the positive side, one of my goals, post-surgery, was that I wanted to jump on my daughters' trampoline, and by golly I did!

    Think of the things you can't do now, or can only do with pain, and set those as goals you can reasonably achieve afterward. It will make your decision and your recovery much easier.
  • active for life said:
    i was rcently advised that i will be needing a two level fsuion atL4 L5 and S1. i would appreciate any feedback or advice with others experience with a two level fusion. Iam only 36, so iam extremly scared and have not read alot of positive experiences so far. I do not want to have this doen, but the pain is out of control and seems to be my only opiton from what the surgeon explained. I guess the an advantage that i have is that i am in excelent shap and of sound mind,but very scared right now. Any advice at this point good or bad i think would really help me. They would like to do the procedure in the next two to four weeks.
  • active for life said:
    i was rcently advised that i will be needing a two level fsuion atL4 L5 and S1. i would appreciate any feedback or advice with others experience with a two level fusion. Iam only 36, so iam extremly scared and have not read alot of positive experiences so far. I do not want to have this doen, but the pain is out of control and seems to be my only opiton from what the surgeon explained. I guess the an advantage that i have is that i am in excelent shap and of sound mind,but very scared right now. Any advice at this point good or bad i think would really help me. They would like to do the procedure in the next two to four weeks.
  • I had an L5-S1 fusion 8 months ago and I am doing fine. I went back to work full time 3 weeks after surgery and have been working since then. The only limitation I have is lifting over 40 lbs. I'm 42 and have been active my whole life. I am doing low impact aerobics and Yoga now.

    I still however have a nerve sensation on my right side which the doctor said is most likely caused by scar tissue, but it is nothing compared to the pain I had before the surgery.
  • things going for you. 1) you're young, 2) you're in good shape, 3) they're not going to make you wait till you have gotten into horrible shape before they finally do your fusion. I had a three-level, but I was already 52 when I was injured. I was very over-weight (heck, I was obese) but still very physically active when I fell and hurt myself. I had to wait almost two years and until I was basically a painful pile of rubble, until I had my fusion surgery. Yes, I had lost 85 pounds by the time I was fused, which helped, but I'm still not in very great shape and, with the three levels fused, fighting back into shape is tough. I plan to get there though. The fusion will no doubt relieve you of some agonizing pain if it is done properly. If you have strong trust in your surgeon and you feel there isn't much else that can be done, I'd say go for it.

    Where is your pain? Is it in your back, in your leg(s), or in both? Do you have a ruptured disc? Spondylolisthesis? Scoliosis? Why do they think you need the fusion and not some other treatment? If you're convinced that the fusion is the right surgery and nothing else can be done, don't be too frightened. It can be beneficial. I know I'm a lot better off than I was pre-surgery.

    Linda
    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • I had a S1-L4 two level fusion almost 18 months ago. I was 42 at the time. I used to be active - before my accident, downhill skiing, horseriding, snow-mobiling, hiking, etc.

    I have had complications, but heck, I still think I'm way better off than before surgery. That said - it was a HUGE decision for me to say 'go' to the NS.

    There are scary complications and you know, you never do get rid of that back pain - at least not anyone I've ever really seen. Now if you are going in to try and reduce sciatic or leg pain - then you might stand a better chance. The dr,'s seem to be better at reducing leg pain than back pain.

    I think the BEST thing you can do for yourself is to TAKE CARE of yourself - particularly post-op. Even if you feel fantastic, take it easy. Care for your back and care for yourself.

    Best of luck - I'll be watching. Oh, and if you have mroe questions feel free to post or PM, as it sounds like your surgery will be a lot like what I had done.
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