Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Need advice on Fusion surgery

In 2003 had L4-5 fusion do to DDD. About 9 months ago I started to have pain in lower back left side and thighs. Right foot has sharp pain once in a while. Went to the nerosurgeon last week I have done mylogram, discogram and injections. Mylogram shows arthritis of facets advanced mid to lower spine. Discogram very painful 1-2 l2-3 they say tears. Doctor recommended, as he put it, need to do lumbar salvage surgery......L1-2 L2-3 fusion, put peek disc spacers at L3-4, L5-S1 and take previous hardware out at L4-5 and replace from L1-S1 or I could put in morphine pump or pain stimulator. New to web site and would love to hear your recommendations. Pain is getting worse.


  • So the surgeon wants to do a fusion because of annular tears? I'm no doctor, but tears can heal themselves over time. Fusing your entire lumbar section is going to be life changing. I would ask a few more questions;

    1. Is the radiating pain caused from arthritis that has developed around the facet joints?
    2. Is a disk actually bulging pushing on nerves to cause the radiating pain?
    3. How will the fusion actually help the arthritis pain? Typically, arthritis is caused from fusions (non-movement in joints). Seems like you may be setting yourself up for more arthritis after the fusion surgery.

    I wouldn't jump into another fusion surgery without a second opinion.

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • susabellssusabell Posts: 238
    edited 01/01/2013 - 5:04 PM
    I would get as Many Opinoins as you Possibly can, I was told I need a Postier Fusion in My Neck from My Nuero Surgeon, I went to Ortho and He Totally Disagree's. I had a Fusion by a Neuro in 2010 what a Mistake that was. I did not get enough opinions. This is a Huge Surgery and it is going to have a major impact on your Quality Of Life. Just trying to help you out here it is your body....Please keep us Updated here at SH as this site is Very Helpful and the Members are so Caring.

    Good Luck To You!!!
    ACDF C4-C7 5/13/2010. Synthetic Bone Graft Failed Fusion.
    PCF C4-C7 8/13/13. Rods and Screws Fused in 3 Months with Autograft.
    C6-C7 Spineous process Surgically Shaved Off 3/11/14.
  • EMS Guy and Susabell, Thank you for the information. I believe I left off some very important information. I have DDD and disc bulge l1-2 and l2-3. I will take your advise in reference to second opinion and also ask the questions that you have addressed.
  • I would get some serious 2nd and 3rd opinions and ask many questions before doing such a large surgery. Fusing the entire lumbar section and/or putting a stimulator in is a huge deal. I wouldn't do any of that if it could really be avoided. Good luck, and definitely hang around and ask as many questions as you like. :-)
    DDD L4-5 & L5-S1 w/ herniation
    Failed discectomy, 8-15-11
    Discogram, 11-14-12
    L4-S1 ALIF (2 plastic cages, 2 plates and 8 screws), 1-4-13
    FBSS & SI joint dysfunction, 12-30-13
    1 year post-op CT hardware scan & left SI joint injection, 1-17-14
  • jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,373
    edited 01/02/2013 - 7:20 AM
    Welcome to spine Health.
    As you are discovering, there are lots of friendly people here who know what people with spinal problems deal with day to day. There are also a lot of articles written by spinal doctors.
    I suggest that you start arming yourself with information about your condition and various treatment options. Write a list of questions as you read and think of them. Then go back and see your surgeon and ask him your questions.
    I would definately get a second and even a third opinion. Having more than one surgeon recommend the same surgery is very reassuring!
    Spinal fusion surgery changes your spine for ever and you don't want to do that unless it is unavoidable.
    Having your spine fused from L1 to S1 is a very long fusion.
    However, if necessary, it can give great relief to pain and help you to have a more active life, all be it with some level of pain remaining.

    Good luck!
    Do come and let us know how you get on and ask any other questions you may have.
    There are lots of people here who have experienced spinal fusions (I have had lumbar and cervical) and are willing to share their experiences.
    Not very many with quite such a long fusion as you are facing though!

Sign In or Register to comment.