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What are the chances.....

wildfire_101wwildfire_101 Posts: 68
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:49 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I just had a spinal fusion surgery, in which I am not going to go into..Just b/c you can read my history on some of my other posts on here..my question is when this whole back thing started over a year ago I had 2 disc's that were bulging. But of course the L5-S1 was definitely blown but what are the chances that the other disc will end up causing problems? I know last month before the surgery I had went and seen my RSD(auto-immune condition) doctor and he also looks at my back when i go in but he pushed on the L1-2 disc, in which is the other one that was also found with the L5-S1 and it made me jump and it hurt. when i had it MRI'd last year it was only out 2mm...but what are the chances in your guys' opinion that it will either heal itself or end up like the other one? Just a curious question and I know i have physical therapy coming up with the surgery i just had and don't want to aggravate that all up...so wanting to hear what some of your opinion's are..thanks in advance...


  • I was told that it's usually the adjacent disc that starts to compensate (adjascent disc degeneration) so I don't think the L1-L2 disc would take the hit from your fusion. I worry about my L4-L5.

    This NYU article says that with lumbar fusions, 1/3 will have problems with an adjascent lumbar disc within 10 years.


    I would ask your surgeon if you should modify the PT because of the state of your L1-L2 disc.

    Also, if you know that you have this additional bad disc then you should probably keep away from extensive bending, lifting, twisting long term. And keep an eye on your weight.

    I'm curious what other people's thoughts are.
    These are my two cents!
  • Howdy!

    I agree with L5S1 in that the issues further up probably aren't due to your fusion. I just read the article that L5 posted, and it's really good. I am one of the rare ducks in that I had adjacent failure just past a year after the first fusion, and lost the next (correct that, started losing) level 5 months post the next surgery! So just keep in mind, that statistically most go near the 10 year mark, but others (like myself) have the adjacent disks fail a lot sooner!

    Footnote: The adjacent disks that failed after my fusions, where perfectly healthy looking at the surgical time of the failed level!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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