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Angelsbreath7AAngelsbreath7 Posts: 7
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:54 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I have terrible pain in my low back, down my leg and to my knee. The doctors say I need spinal fusion, will have more info after today's doctor's visit. Can anyone tell me what kind of pain one experiences AFTER surgery, how long is the hospital stay, how soon you can shower, walk and drive? And are most people happy they had it done? The pain I now have is terrible and I only exist with steroid shots and 20 Advil a day. I can't walk for an hour when I first wake up without horrific pain and holding on to walls and furniture. I can't be the only one to experience this.
Thank you for any information and/or personal experience you can share with me. Oh... and I am 65 years of age.


  • Welcome to Spine Health Angel!

    You have the kind of questions all of us struggled with prior to our first spinal surgery. I hope you are going to get some more answers, because mine is somewhat biased in a positive direction. You see I had a relatively very easy time with my three-level lumbar fusion, and practically no pain. That being said, I still had to observe all the no twisting, lifting and bending rules, and had to be very careful, especially the first three months after fusion, but in reality, more or less until your doctor will tell you that you are fused (that is different for everybody, but usually about one year or even two). Now I have to remind you that everybody is different, pain thresholds are different, so it is impossible to predict exactly how you will respond, But if you have a good doctor you trust, he/she will make sure your pain will be controlled by medication to be at a level you can tolerate.

    Good luck! Kin
  • I'm sorry to hear of your pains.
    The answers depend on the kind of surgery. There are different kinds of approaches to get into the spine.

    Some need incisions in front(anterior) and in back(posterior). These are known as 360 degree approaches.

    Some can get by with two small punctures of 3 millimeter each and no stitches needed to close.

    There are many other kinds of surgeries to try to solve back pain causes.

    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • Kin, thank you, so very much, for your response. Your reply was uplifting. I had a total knee replacement 2 years ago and it was one of the most painful things I have ever experienced. I am told that "chances are" the fusion will not be as bad as the knee replacement and/or that if I survived that, I will survive the back surgery. Your post made me feel so much better. Just knowing that there is a real live person who went through what is in my future, is comforting. Thank You!
  • Your comments are well received. I have been doing a lot of research and read about the different types of spine surgery that you mentioned. I now have an appointment with a back surgeon on July 5th. With MRI films in hand, at the end of the day, I should know what type of surgery I need. I will post more at that time. Thank You!

    Henderson/Las Vegas 100+ today. Tomorrow 110! We're smoking hot!!! :-(
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