Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Fusion L4/L5 coming up

KDKKD Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:54 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I have one operation in 10 days, I will be having an L1/L2 disectomy that doesn't worry me that much it's the L4/L5 fusion that I'm not sure I need to get. My doctor tells me that I will be up and walking same day and that I should recuperate from the operation very quickly. Has anyone had a fusion operation of the L4/L5?


  • I had an L4,L5 fusion 2-16-11 and I'm still healing.
    The back muscles are just now starting to come around. The good news is that the pain is gone.
    Everyone is different, I felt pretty good after 3 weeks and then went back to work and had a back slide. My advise is the advise I recieved on this site "Be Patient" it will come back in time. I was up walking and doing stairs the day after surgery.
    Good luck with your surgery, I hope all goes well.


  • Hi, perhaps you've already done so but if you are unsure the fusion at L4-5 is needed, it might be a good idea to get a second opinion.
    I had L4-5 fused but frankly the pain now, 2.5 years later, is worse than it was before. The question of course is, would it have been worse anyways even without the fusion?
    I've found that fusion surgery is a big deal, no matter how you slice it, so to speak. Some fusions are less disruptive, but the standard screw-and-rod approach is pretty rough on the musculature and tendons. You may be up and walking the first day but it sure will be painful.
    Also, as you know, fusing one segment pushes the load and stress up or down a level, so you have adjacent segment disease as a potential complication down the road (I had this problem and am now fused L3-S1. It really reduces my flexibility).
    I encourage you to get a second or third opinion. Your gut instinct is usually right.

  • Welcome to our forum. :)))

    I hope you get relief from the L1-2 discectomy. It will take several months to heal and lots of patience.

    With L4-5 - if you're unsure that you'll need it done, then do get another opinion. Are you having a lot of pain in that area? eg referred nerve pain down the buttocks and leg/s? Check with your surgeon to see whether he's going to operate from the front or back. When operating from the front, the surgeon doesn't have to cut through any major muscles, but there's still the same amount of healing of the spine and the abdomen needs to heal.

    I had an anterior (front) fusion of L4-5 nearly 2 years ago and it's successful. The levels either side of the fusion will possibly need fusing at some time, but for now I can cope and I exercise every day to keep the muscles strong.

    I was up walking the next day and in hospital for 5 days. The first few weeks are the worst, and you'll need lots of rest and short walks around the house. You'll be given pain medication which needs to be taken as prescribed. Recovery will take a LONG time because bone needs to heal and grow, and there are bending-lifting-twisting restrictions. Because there's a lot of healing to do, you'll find that you'll tire very easily, but that's normal.

    It was 6 weeks before I was able to drive and that felt soooo good. There'll be good days and bad days. It was about 6 months before I felt normal again, and then it takes several more months for the fusion to become strong. I was fused by the 6 months check-up.

    Have a look at the thread on Post-Op Must Haves at the top of this section, and also the thread on How Long Will it Take, which is also at the top.

    For the discectomy recovery, I'd recommend that you buy a grabber.

    If you go ahead with the fusion, do prepare really well; eg meals, personal and domestic help.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
Sign In or Register to comment.