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back surgery fusion

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:40 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am 42 and have 3 previous lamin/disc surgeries. I am now facing spinal fusion of L4-5. Have another rupture and horrible pain into right buttocks, hip,leg and foot. Please comment if onyone has had fusion surgery and what it was like, is it worth it?, recovery?, pain? did it give you relief? Also, has anyone had artifial disc replacement? Thanks, I am supposed to have surgery this next Monday.


  • I am very happy with mine. Been a little over a year. Piece of cake compared to the pain. Good luck.

  • I had L3-4 2 years ago,and I am having L-4-5 on Thursday.Yes,it was worth it,and will be again not to have the pain--keep us posted!
  • Many of us currently on the board have had lumbar fusion. You can read through older threads to see others' experiences. If you have specific questions, please ask!

    I think you will find a variety of experiences. Other than very generalized information, you will not know what your experience will be like until you go through it!!

    Fusion is a big surgery. Most likely, recovery will be longer than what you experienced with your discectomies. The first week is rough for most people. It is important to take the pain medication that the surgeon will prescribe after you are sent home. Take them as directed, even if it means setting an alarm and waking up to take the night-time dosage. You need to stay ahead of the pain as much as possible.

    Walking will be your most important activity for the early months and it is important to do it several times each day. Distance is less important than frequency. Walking gets freshly oxygenated blood to the surgical site, and, more importantly, it helps to prevent scar tissue from growing around the nerve and attaching to the spinal nerves.

    It is important to note that this is not the type of surgery that you awaken from and feel better right away. There is often lingering nerve pain that can last for months after the incision has healed. Bone may start fusing as early as three weeks, but it will be a year before the fusion is strong and solid. During that time it makes sense to limit your movement and activities to those that do not jar the discs. Again, gentle exercise and common sense will get you far.

    Please ask any specific questions you may have. People will be happy to try to answer them for you.

  • Ditto to what Gwennie says.

    I had a 2-level fusion almost 18 mo. ago. It is a long healing process and the first few months are really tough.

    Glad you found spine-health, it's a great place to get real people's experiences.
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