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Spinal Fusion @ age 19

jerseygirl123jjerseygirl123 Posts: 3
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:58 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
in 2009 I was in a bad accident that resulted in a severe right side L5-S1 disc herniation that severed the nerves into my right leg causing me to lose use of my leg.. I had a discectomy, lamenectomy & a formactomy done.. but now almost a year later its starting to go south and getting worse. My doctor whats to do a lumbar fusion but it wont be as intense as a normal lumbar fusion ( they dont have to fuse up my spine only the vertebrae effected by the disc itself) Im scared as can be, any advice?


  • Welcome to spine Health. :H

    You are very young to be in need of a spinal fusion.

    Have you had more than one opinion? I think I would get at least another opinion. A fusion is a very major surgery, and your spine will never be 'normal' again. I would ask about the fusion causing the adjoining levels to have more stress put on them, and the risk of those levels going, especially as you are so young.

    Also have you asked about an artifical disc replacement?

    I am sorry that you are in this position, but you will find a lot of support here. Please be aware that none of us are medically trained or doctors, so we can only share our experiences and things we have learnt along our own journey.

  • I agree with jellyhall. You are way to young to have a lumbar or any back fusion. I would think an artificial disc or other treatment would be better than having a fusion. I am no means a doctor and can't give any medical advice, but your spine will not be the same afterwards. Just fusing one vertabre could set you up for adjacent segment problems. I would definitley get 1 or 2 more opinions before making a decision. Keep us informed as to what you decide to do. the best of luck to you, Kevin
  • Thank you for replying!!

    Well, Ive had two doctors tell me not to do it, 2 tell me to do it and then i was rejected by 10 other doctors offices because i have had surgery already. i asked about the disc replacement but due to degenerate disc disease it seems my chances of having that procedure wont help. The lumbar fusion is the only thing that will hopefully correct the disc disease. Not really sure how i feel about it, the pain in bareable, but when its bad its like im completely floored. The other downside is that I am on an insurence restraint, if i decide to do this it has to be within a certain time frame which really seems quite absurd to me .. I really appreciate your input on this, it helps to know other people are out there and know the amount of frustration and confusion come with this.

    Have a great day!
  • Jellyhall,

    I have done approximately 9.5 months of physical therapy, chiropractic care, acupuncture... im deathly afraid of injections, it took 4 doctors and my father to convince me to let them put an IV in me for surgery. Ive been diagnoses with cervical radiculitis , myfascitis, cervical strain, paraspinal strain, disc herniation && DDD. The doctors who tell me not to get the surgery are saying physical therapy will help it.. but honestly how many months of physical therapy can one take until enough is enough, im starting to lose faith in all of these doctors. Im 19 walking with a cane theres comes a point where you begin questioning everyones diagnosis.

    Insurence told me i have to have surgery within a two yr frame of the accident so im running out of time since my accident was in 2009.

    Do any of you feel depressed at times from your injuries? Like you have to give up everything you love to do because the pain overtakes your body? :/
  • Jerseygirl,

    I am 24 and had a cervical fusion when I was 23. I say go ahead and do it. It's only one level anyway, you have already had the other surgical procedures.

    I think everyone gets depressed from having chronic pain, especially people our age.

    Feel free to private message me if you have any questions or for any reason. I'd love to talk more.

    ACDF C4-5 June 23rd, 2011

    Another surgery in the near future. I am 26 years old.

    Current Meds- Norco 7.5/325, Cymbalta 60mg, Gabapentin, Adderall 20mg
  • Have you tried all conservative methods to see if you can get any relief that way? (Physiotherapy, injections etc.)

    There are young people who have had a spinal fusion which really helps them and they can get back to their lives. I know that young women particularly, who have spondylolisthesis are sometimes offered a fusion so they can go on to have a pregnancy as this condition is known to cause a lot of pain with a heavy bump pulling on it.

    It may be that you will have to have the surgery, but I would certainly want to get lots of opinions (sounds like you have) before I decided. What do the doctors who don't recommend fusion suggest you do for the pain?

    What is the time scale in which you have to make a decision? Hopefully there will be some of our younger members who have had fusion surgery come along and comment. The trouble is, that any who have had a great success won't be here any more. They will be back to their life and enjoying themselves.

    Do let us know what you decide :-)

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