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Scared about the future

Hi everyone,

I'm new to this site. I've had severe back problems since the birth of my last child 5 years ago.

I wasn't taken serously about my pain until I paid privately to have an MRI done. This revealed to disc bulges, another with an anular tear.

I was originally told I could not be considered for surgery as I hadn't tried all other avenues yet. Which looking back was fair enough. I've now tried everything I could to help myself and seek help from others and my pain is no better in fact I've become stiffer. The mornings are unbearable for me, I have to wake myself up about two hours before I can get out of bed to be able to see to my kids.

My last visit to hospital was 10th January where I was told my only hope was spinal fusion. only one layer though which I thought was strange!!

Anyway, I was bluntley told I had to loose weight and stop smoking.

I know, I know, the smoking is a bad habit but I have three girls 4,9 and 14 and they argue all the time, had a terrible first marriage and when I was stuck in bed for months at a time unable to move, I got low and started smoking again.

I keep trying to loose the weight, after I went in January, I was on a strict diet and lost 8lbs in 2 weeks. I was thrilled but my back broke down again and I ended up in bed and I've put it back on.
This problem prevents me from loosing it and keeping it off. Its awful.
I have to go monday to start the smoking clinic which I'm not looking forward to, but I'll just see how it goes but I'm so worried if I stop smoking I'll pile even more weight on and I want to be as healthy and fit as I can before I have the surgery.

I'm also worried that they havent fully investigated my pain source properly as i have mid back pain and pain in my hips. gnawing pains in the top fronts of my legs!

How long does the operation last? I know recovery is long....
Has anyone else had to loose weight and/or stop smoking before this proceedure?
I need help....

Thanks for listening.


  • Hi there,

    Sorry youre having a difficult time... I can relate....I had spinal fusion surgery in Oct the bones did not fuse and will be going for another surgery 25 Feb...

    I too am a smoker. The bones will NOT fuse if you continue to smoke after surgery. I was told to quit for 3 week after surgery. I took Chantix which really works, had no weight gain. I quit for 4 weeks... still no fusion. I blame myself for the lack of fusion, the surgeon said no that the first three weeks were crucial, its been 3 months and here we go again... I went back on Chantix yesterday in order to be smoke free by the surgery dats and am praying to stop for the first three months after surgery if not forever...

    I was not told I needed to lose weight, but thats a catch 22 situation youre in there as youre sedentary, not moving around because of pain... I suggest no carbs or sugar... cut back on those and you will see a difference in weight,,,

    my surgery was 4 hours long and not sure about recovery cause I have not recovered I am in more pain now than before the surgery because of the lack of fusion...I was told initial recovery is 3-4 months, but really a year to heal completely...

    You will definately have to stop smoking, I do know that...

    Good luck... let us know how youre doing....
    Sallie De Silva
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