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fusion surgeries, how many levels

babyruthbabyruth Posts: 260
edited 06/11/2012 - 1:56 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
fusion surgeries, how many levels?

i have been absolutely stunned by the number of levels some people are having fused. some of you do have spines of steel. lol.

have any of you had more than one fusion surgery and if so how far apart were they in terms of time? does a fusion at one time really lead to a second one down the road.

i find this topic very interesting.

as for me, i had a 2 level lumbar fusion, L4/L5 to L5/S1 in 2008
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Comments

  • I had laminectomy and fusion the same levels as you in 1986
    Before they used instrumentation and they grafted from my hip.

    Had ALIF and cages and rods and screws same levels two months ago. I am the successful back patient that got 24 yrs out of the
    1986 surgery. I think that's great success!
  • Ruth,

    ACDF - C5/6 in March 08, C6/7 in August 09. Fusion failed, destabilized majority of my neck, next month undergoing a posterior 5 level fusion C4 to T2.

    L2/3/4 fusion on hold thanks to neck...

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Hi, I am fused from L1-S1. Started with a laminectomy at L4/L5. Then the vertebrae started sliding forward and pressing on the nerve so had 360 fusion of L4/L5 with instrumentation. I have a really messed up spine from being knocked unconscious by a snowboarder so the next thing to happen was my spine started to collapse in on itself. Another fusion, this time L1-L5 with a bone graft from my hip. That was more painful and took longer to recover from than the fusion. Next was L5 slipping forward. The disc was too far gone so had to have a spacer put in.

    There are people who have a one level fusion and thats all they get. Never have any other problems. Fusions can cause stress on the level above or below it. In my case my spine was a "mess" (doctor's term) so it was probably expected I might have more problems.

    Now I have a mass of bone that doesn't move bolted to my pelvis. Its only natural that it is going to have some effect on my SI joint where things started so many years ago.

    But I am so glad i had the fusions. They solved the problems I had. Long recoveries but well worth it.

    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 had T11 to L4 fused after a motorbike accident, so mine was done all at once. Not sure how many levels that is...5??
  • T11-12, 12-L1, L1-2, L2-3, L3-4 = I come to 5 levels... About to do that in my cervical cross over to thoracic. :) Welcome aboard!!!

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I am getting ready to a L4 L5 S1 surgery next month. I have had lower back pain off and on for the last six years. It is only this last year it has gotten really bad. Anyway not really sure what to expect. What kind of things do I need at home, what will recovery be like? Should I get someone to come and stay with me? My husband is in the Military and works all day long. Any help would be so greatful. Thanks. Michelle
  • I am getting ready to a L4 L5 S1 surgery next month. I have had lower back pain off and on for the last six years. It is only this last year it has gotten really bad. Anyway not really sure what to expect. What kind of things do I need at home, what will recovery be like? Should I get someone to come and stay with me? My husband is in the Military and works all day long. Any help would be so greatful. Thanks. Michelle
  • I have had 3 fusions and am fused L1-S1.

    Make sure you have things in lower drawers and cupboards that you used ofter out where you can get to them.

    I had a safety bar installed in my tub/shower and used a plastic stool to sit on.

    A grabber is an essential tool to have. I found a long handled shoe horn very helpful. Most of the time I wore clogs but I needed the shoe horn to put on my (former) running shoes to go for walks.

    Loose fitting elastic waistband pants are a must. Forget about socks, they are over rated!!

    I sleep with a wedge under my knees to take the stress off the back. You can experiment with pillows but I found a wedge to be firmer and I put a pillow on top of it.

    The recovery is slow. But don't get frustrated. When you reach the point of thinking you will never get better you do!!! Just follow your doctors instructions about no bending, lifting, twisting. No housework. I did a thorough cleaning before surgeries.

    I live alone and had someone stay with me the first night out of the hospital. I had friends stop by to check on me and bring meals.

    Walking is good but start easy. Go for short distances several times a day and work up to longer. I am not a fan of walking but learned to like it when it was all I could do. I bought a pedometer to track how far I could go.

    After the incision healed the surgeon let me get back in the pool. I am a swimmer and being weightless in the water feels so wonderful.

    Good luck. Let me know if you have any more questions. All my fusions have been very worthwhile, its just a long process to full recovery.

    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 am fused from the T-8 to S-1, or 2/3 of my spine and it took 2 surgeries.

    The surgery was broken into 2 days/parts. Day #1 (a Wednesday) was an anterior fusion (went through my tummy) of the lumbar spine. Day#2 was supposed to be on Friday, and consist of a posterior fusion of T-8 to S1. However, I had a complication due to a blood condition no one knew I had yet. (Long story for another post). So it was postponed about 4 months.

    My scoliosis had progressed to 51%. The surgeon says they fuse up to the first non curved vertebrae, so up to T-8 he went! :-) He used fake bone in the cages, and I also have 2 titanium rods and 4-4in screws.

    Susan
  • Wow, you are really fused!! Does it put any extra pressure on your SI joint. I am having issues with a mass of non moving bone (I build bone really well) bolted to my SI joint.

    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.
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