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NS recommend 2 level 360. L4-S1

salty444ssalty444 Posts: 149
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:00 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
So i've been down every road thus far.
Cortisone injections
Every pain med you can think of. (currently on fentanyl patch)

I see a very well known Albany Med NS and he recommended a double 360 L4 to S1 fusion. I had my wife with me. After he got done describing how the vascular surgeons will move everything out of the way, and how I already have fins removed from 2 prior surgeries (discectomy and laminectomies) her jaw was on floor and she was white as a sheet of paper. He wants me to think this over hard before committing to anything. She asked me to please try to exercise first.... i'm not exactly out of shape, i'm 6' and 205. I plan on having this surgery late spring, early summer anyway. So the worst that can happen is I get in much better shape for my recovery after surgery. With any miracle I can build some core muscle strength and forget the surgery but my l5/s1 is gone and its bone on bone. For some reason i'm not really over terrified. I guess once you get this pain in your back your willing to do anything to rid yourself. He gave me a 70/30% chance of getting better with the surgery. I know nothing is 100% and he is one of the most well known surgeon's up in Albany Med and I put full trust into this man. His waiting room is constantly full. My appointment was 2 hours late. He takes his time and explains EVERYTHING.

My question is what are real world expectations for a 360 double fusion recovery time? He said I could drive after a month, go back to my store and push buttons on my cash register after 1 month. 6 months in a brace and 6 months to a year for full recovery. He recommended BMP even with the bad press and say's he has excellent results. I would have hardware on both sides.

Going today to join planet fitness and give it heck for a couple months. Figure with my Fentanyl patch, it doesn't hurt much anyway so I won't know if I'm damaging it any further. I guess it really doesn't matter at this point. In my mind, i'm going to the gym to prepare for the storm about to hit come this summer.

He must have some excellent results/techniques because he say's by time I get to leave hospital (5 day stay) most of his patients are good to go on tylenol #3 which I can't really believe without living through it. Tylenol#3 right now would be a waste of meds and wouldn't scratch the surface of my current pain.

Weird to say but happy I have options


  • sometimes called ALIF .i am 7 weeks post op and just about recovering from the OPERATION ,be prepared for a very hard time .you will be tired beyond belief after the operation .and for the next few weeks to come .i have just seen my consultant for a check up and he was pleased with my progress.all i have been able to do is lay in my electric recliner and take pain killers a lot more than normal .the consultant told me that this was NORMAL .and not to worry he wasn't even bothered that i had not gone to physio the reason for that was i was too ill to leave the house .but now is the time for some pool walking .ALIF 360 call it what you want is a massive operation and recovery takes months not weeks .in my case up to 2 years if you want more detailed info please PM me
    tony {good luck}
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • I had PLIF of L5/S1 back in March of 2011. I agree with previous poster about recovery taking a long time.

    I originally thought that all these people that posted that it takes 6 months to a year were joking. Nope. Here is what I found with my experience. In normal surgeries, they say 6 to 8 weeks recovery. For me a day of normal surgery was a week for PLIF. A week of normal surgery was like a month for PLIF. I had muscle pain for 8 months and then "poof" it was gone so that would have been the 8 weeks of a normal surgery. It is a crazy world after back surgery. You definitely have to be patient.

    Now this was my experience. I went in to surgery just a few weeks after completing PT so I was in pretty decent shape. I didn't need a cane or walker. The PT staff were surprised as to how well I did.

    Now 360 is definitely a little harder. You will hae incisions on both the front and back. I imagine the first few weeks will be a little tougher. Just keep your mind set on the final outcome and stay positive.
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