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Back Fusion L5-S1

amyquinnaamyquinn Posts: 2
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:49 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
My name is Amy, Ive been having chronic pain for the last 2 yrs due to an injury at work. My doctor wants to do a fusion and my surgery was just approved by workers comp. I am scared to have it done. I currently have to walk with a cane, I can hardley get out of bed, not to mention my right hip is killing me. Numbness in my right leg and foot and tingling in my right leg.I am on dilaudid 4 mg and it is doing nothing for the pain. I was wondering how long the recovery process is and whats going to happen during surgery. Amy


  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    You sound like me. I wanted too long and now have permanent nerve damage. I don't know what type of surgery your surgeon is going to do. And that has a lot to do with how long the recovery will be. But a gradual 1 yr. is close. The first 3 mo. being the worst. One thing is for sure. It dosen't seem to be getting any better is it? Talk to your surgeon, get the pros and cons. And the expected outcome if you do it. And if you don't do it.
    Good luck, Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    Recovery from any spinal fusion is not easy, but avoiding it can result in more permanent nerve damage. That's what has pushed me to do each surgery on my spine that I've had. When I've had severe incapacitation I'd do any surgery any time if there was any chance of feeling better. I can tell you I've improved with EVERY surgery I've ever had.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • Hi. I had my L5-S1 fusion on November 22. I had DDD and my pain I had before surgery is all gone. It is a slow process. I was lucky enough to go back to work part time after two weeks. I have to make sure not to overdue it still. My surgery was not nearly as bad as I had expected. I had slight nerve pain and that was very occasionally and then only very briefly. I was on a pain pump for the first 24 hours but I got better pain releif the next day from oral pain meds. As it turns out my pain pump wasn't adjusted properly so that was probably the problem. Good luck.

  • Hi Amy,

    I had a fusion of L5/S1 in October. I was told that I needed the fusion about a year ago and just wasn't ready to accept it. I spent the last year getting 2nd and 3rd opinions and researching what the surgery was gonna be like and what experiences people had with it. All the while my pain just continued to get worse. My body was telling me it was ready and it took a while for my mind to catch up. I was lucky to have that time to be really sure that surgery was right for me and I know I made the right decision. This site has a lot of great information on back surgery and back pain in general! If you know what type of fusion the doc is gonna do (PLIF,ALIF, etc) you can find articles and animation about what happens during surgery.

    I'm 2months post op PLIF (Incision from the back or posterior)and am doing ok, although I'm having some kind of flare up of sciatic pain this past week. It's a big scary decision and is a long healing process, but there are lots of people who have success after fusion. My doc told me to not even think about going back to work for 6 months, but I think it depends on what kind of work you do.


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