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Help I need back surgery

jbigdan1jjbigdan1 Posts: 16
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:55 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Im a 56 year old male. 5'8 280lbs. I have Diabetes my A1C. IS 7.0 I have high Trygliserides 1199. I have a white blood count of 11.7 my blood count has been a little high for yesrs. Im going to have back surgery 3 disc fusion L4-5 AND L5-S1. The DR is going to use allograft bone and protein-soaked sponge. What are the odds of me surving this surgery and what are odds of felled back surgery. Im having the surgery on AUG.23. So any help out there Im scared to death.


  • Hi!

    Many of your concerns I can not address as I don't have the same diagnosis....but I am a "spiney" and know what it is like to be worried/nervous/terrified!

    Before my fusion, especially, I worried that I might not make it thru the surgery! But there are so many professionals monitoring you before, during and after your fusion, which I believe is 2 levels~ L4-5 and L5-S1.

    I am assuming that before surgery you will be having an EKG, chest xrays and blood work....

    The good news is the 23rd will be here before you know it! Please keep us posted and let us know when you are "on the other side".

    Wishing you the very best and a complete and speedy recovery!!
  • Hi,How did the surgery go?? I am fused L1 to S1. Well worth it but a long recovery. Take it easy and follow your doctor's instructions. And trust me, it DOES get better!!

    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
  • I can't answer your concerns either, but as Jayhawk has said there will be "so many professionals monitoring you before, during and after your fusion". Have confidence in your surgeon - if he felt your general health was too risky and that you might not make it, he wouldn't have recommended surgery. Before my surgery, I had the "riot act" read to me as to the risks, but I just wanted to eventually be out of pain, and it has been worth it.

    Hope all goes well for you on the 23rd and let us know how you're going then.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • jbigdan,

    Welcome to Spine Health!! Though my spine surgeries thus far have been cervical, on my first one I too was scared to death! Not so much of not making it off the table, but the risks they told me of.

    Fortunately as was stated, lots of people will be on your surgical team, and with the pre op testing we go through, that alone will go a long way in assuring all that we are healthy enough to undergo the surgery.

    If you have faith and trust in your surgeon and his team, and your inner voice agrees you need surgery, you should be fine. Most of us find that we stressed a lot, and the surgery went fine. Try and stay positive and hopefully soon you will be on the other side with a healing back! Please let us know how it goes. Gentle support *HUG* for you.

    You're not alone, especially on this site!!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I had my surgery on AUG, 23. It went alot better then I thought it would be. I was In the hospital three days. They walked me the first day I did ok on that but the pain was un real and still is after five days. They sent ne home with. I still have numbness but not as bad but this is a new numbness on the top of my lafe foot and aroung the surgical site. Thank you guys for all your help. Dan.
  • glad to hear the surgery went well. Keep following doctor's orders. I little walk (5-10 mins) a few times a day helps keep scar tissue off the nerve and will help you stay strong. Keep well.
  • 5'8 280lbs. That is a big problem. The hardware will not do well with that. Most surgeons will refuse to even try fusing someone that far overweight. Not to mention it does nothing good for your diabetes. I hope your doctors have told you this and are working with you to do something about it. At that weight I'd venture to say you are more likely to have a failure than success in fusion.

  • Welcome to this side of surgery. Your surgeon has done his stuff, and now it is over to you to do your bit. Follow all instructions that you have been given and take frequent short walks and plenty of rests in between.

    Don't expect to make progress each day, as there will be days when you seem to go backwards. Looking for progress each week is much more realistic.

    You have a long recovery journey ahead of you, but hopefully before long you will be very pleased that you had the surgery.

    Do keep us informed of how you are doing. You will find that talking to others who have been through the same thing, will really help you, especially on those difficult days.


  • Glad that your surgery is over and you can let the healing begin! Try to walk every day, start small and build from there. Watch your restrictions (BLT) get rest in between walking, and take your meds as scheduled so that your pain doesn't get ahead of you.

    Wishing you all the best. Surgery is always a scary thing, now it is behind you. Please keep us updated on how you are doing.

    >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • Terrific that your surgery went well.

    Expect post-surgery pain for several months. Healing takes a long time and you'll need heaps of patience. What medication have you been given? Perhaps it needs reviewing because it should take the edge off the pain so that you can cope.

    Do lots of walking - small amounts during the day and night, and of course plenty of rest.

    It would be a good idea to put a pillow between your legs and a couple behind your back while you're in bed. If you're sitting up, then one (or two) under your thighs.

    Not sure if you can sit in a recliner yet. I couldn't for several weeks, and then it became more comfortable than the bed. I put a pillow behind my back and one under my legs for support.

    Keep letting us know how you're going.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • Hi Dan!!

    Congrats on being on "the other side"! So happy to hear that the surgery went well and you were home in just 3 days! That is great!

    As has been said, are you taking something for nerve pain? Something like Neurontin, Lyrica or Cymbalta? Narcotics won't help with nerve pain. I use to say it felt as if someone had poured hot acid down my back....

    Please know that recovery is a roller coaster ride, with lots of ups and downs!

    It really helped me after my fusion to think of my recovery (early on) in 4 hour blocks. In those blocks of time, I would take my meds, try to eat something, walk and rest. Then repeat in the next block of time.

    We are all here to support you! Please let us know how you are doing!

    Take care~Shari
  • Welcome to the club. I only had a one level fusion (L5-S1) back on July 5. When I woke up my pain was absolutely off the charts. I managed to hang in there and went home on July 9. My pain dropped a bit but was still quite ferocious. That was almost 8 weeks ago. Since that time my pain levels dropped slowly, but surely, to about where it was before surgery.

    Both before and after the surgery I was told to take things week by week, not day by day. Every Tuesday I look back and I can see that I have improved over the previous week. I'm still off work (and will be to at least early November). I'm nowhere near 100% either.

    I have no idea at this point whether or not my procedure was successful. My 6 week post-op Xray didn't show any signs of fusion. But, that's not surprising in the least. They did tell me that all of the hardware is exactly where they placed it! That much is good news.

    All I can really tell you is to hang in there. You should start to see some improvement sometime soon. It may take another week or two, but you should start to notice that your back doesn't hurt quite as much as it did the previous week.

    Disability retirement
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