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back fusion with hardware

I need some advice. im told I need a fusion on L4 L5 S1 with hardware next month. ive had prior back ops the most recent was 2 yrs ago, but no fusion was needed then. reinjured my back at work. I work in "the public eye" & deal with the kind of people most don't want to deal with. im worried that I may have to take a medical retirement, which I don't want to do. I have 10 yrs to work before I can "retire" retire. hobbys I don't want to give up are mma training & drumming. will I be able to do any of these after this surgery?


  • Yes! Just not for a while :)
    2 level Discectomy 2000 open surgery
    L4/5 Discectomy & L5/S1 Laminectomy 2005- (Cauda equina) open surgery
    5 x joint injections 2012
    Discogram Dec 2012
    Dec 2012 - 360 Lumbar Fusion L4 -S1(BMP), Disc replaced L3/4, Bilat trocanter injects
  • ive had 14 orthopedic surgeries dating back to 1982, including a hip replacement in 2005. usually not very worried bout getting cut on, but this one has me worried. I cant do very much at this time, within a few mins of standing or walking, legs r on fire then back spasms. never had this before, not like this. think I can still work? how long u think ill b off?
  • I was back at work after 3 weeks, but had fitness, age and sheer determination on my side. This was my 10th surgery. I have an office job, but walk the 4 mile commute. Some people are able to recover quickly, although when I say recover I don't mean fully. I'm 8 weeks post op and feeling good, I will be back in the gym next week :)
    2 level Discectomy 2000 open surgery
    L4/5 Discectomy & L5/S1 Laminectomy 2005- (Cauda equina) open surgery
    5 x joint injections 2012
    Discogram Dec 2012
    Dec 2012 - 360 Lumbar Fusion L4 -S1(BMP), Disc replaced L3/4, Bilat trocanter injects
  • backache99backache99 Posts: 1,338
    edited 02/10/2013 - 5:17 AM
    a fusion at the lower level tale around 12 /36 months to fully heal .in my case i was in hospital for a week and it was a week of hell then i spent 6 weeks on my recliner zombied .unable to do anything .then the next 6 months i was so weak that even showering would have me crying as i felt so defeated .as for going back to work after 3 weeks ,i asked my consultant about this and he told me this was insane and would never sign anyone back to work as 3 weeks is no where near long enough to recover ,a broken leg takes 6 weeks to heal .its been 13 months since my ALIBi have also had previous operation on my spine over the last 16 years and many painful procedures ,i am now classed as permanently disabled and my pain had gone from chronic to intractable .{treatable but never curative] fusions are massive ,and outcomes can vary ,i would be cautious about quick recoveries that are posted on forums {many are in bravado mode] .on average you should allow 12 months to recover it could be quicker but it could be a lot longer ,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 can guess you are one of three " in the public eye" jobs. I will tell you I was a police officer for 10 years and injured my back on the job. After 4 years of trying everthing I was forced to medically retire. I won't say its impossible but I would tink any multi level fusion makes it unlikely. I had one surgery while still on the job which didn't fix the whole problem.
    I just has L3-L4, L4-L5, L5-S1 fused where they removed all my disks and caged me. I am doing amazing 4 weeks post op but was told to expect loss of motion permanetly.
    You have to consider if you can continue your job safely and also keeping your co workers safe as well. In my case, a lot of soul searching and a great PM Dr. And I knew I had to retire.
    as for MMA. Once you get a multi level you may decide not to jeopardize your back again, but I do know some people wo are able to keep an active lifestyle.
    If you have any questions feel free to message me and good luck to you!!!!!

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