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Posterior Lumbar Fusion & Bilateral L5 S1 Nerve Root Decompression

I had a annular tear in my L5 S1 and had to have a disc replacement, then had a decompression. Now I have to have the disc replacement taken out and I'm getting a posterior lumbar fusion and bilateral L5 S1 nerve root decompression. They said it would take 3 to 6 months to recover. Has anyone else had this done and how long did it take for you to start to feel better? How bad will the pain be? My L4 & L3 are herniated, and I have the disc degenerative disease. Will it effect the other disc and would I have to have another fusion in the future? I need to know what I am in for when I have the surgery done.
Thank you,


  • Are you having an artificial disc removed at L5/S1 and then fused, if so what type of disc was it, ProDisc or Chartie? Or did a fusion fail and they are removing the graft and replacing it?

    I just had a fusion at L5/S1 (TLIF w/ PEEK implant) and was told that I should be fully fused at six months, but it can take longer, up to a year. That's just for the vertebrae to be fully fused. My surgeon used BMP (bone morphogenic protein) which speeds up the bone growth. He said I should be able to resume normal activity such as sports and normal daily activity within 3-4 months. I had the surgery four weeks ago and am already up and around and back to work, with restrictions of course. But everyone’s recovery time is different. Good luck.

  • You know, these are all questions you should ask your doctor. How he answers them is important, as choosing a great surgeon is crucial to a successful surgery!

    There are several Spine-Health articles on fusion surgery and one on questions to ask your doctor beforehand. Go to the blue search box at the top and type in "lumbar fusion" to get tons of great information!
  • Yes, I am having it removed and they just told me they are putting in two bars for the fusion. They did not tell me I needed a graft. They just said that the bones will heal in 3 to 6 months but I should feel better by 6 weeks. I have radioculopathy also. I do have a great surgeon. It is one of the number one doctors in the state and he helped make the disc I have now. All I know is its grey and plastic. I do have sciatic damage. I don't know the name of the disc. I can't remember what it is called, sorry.
    They told me I have a permanent disability. They told me to look everything up online.
  • I did ask the doctor. They told me to look everything up online. They said I will feel better in 6 weeks they think and it will take 3 to 6 months for the bones to heal.
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