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Article - Warning: Proceed with Caution Before Fusion Surgery

This particular article on Spine Health is VERY GOOD to read! I would recommend anyone who is considering a fusion to read it. If you are looking for it, you may find it under the blog section of SH.

Dr. Ulrich hits the nail on the head in his description of a fusion. It is a painful and dangerous procedure to have done and all too many doctors are doing it simply for the financial reward.

I, for one had no idea recovery was going to be as difficult as it was. Not to mention, the "minimally invasive" procedure actually creates more scar tissue than traditional surgical procedures. Part of my problem is now the holes made during the minimally invasive procedure filled with scar tissue and creates extreme discomfort when it rubs against healthy muscle.

As the article mentions, there are legitimate reasons to have a fusion. But, just be careful and do it for the right reasons. Always get a second opinion as well.

Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2


  • Thanks, Dave! I should have done that.

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • I fit the criteria for my single level (L 4-5) surgery (spondylisthesis and a single badly degenerated disc from an injury,) but I did a lot of my own research before signing on the dotted line. Even so, and even with a so-called minimally invasive procedure, it was rough stuff, and I'm just entering the late postop stage (two months post fusion.) PT and injections weren't working, so an XLIF seemed like a good option. I do have good results, but went into the case knowing full well what benefit I could expect, and what the risks were.

    If you're being referred on to a surgeon, sit down before the appointment and make a comprehensive list of all the questions you have. Bring the list with you, and bring a friend or family member along to hear information that may elude you. It's a scary proposition, and your ability to process information may be a bit impaired. If they aren't answered to your satisfaction, or if you get the sense that they are being minimized, find another doctor. My preoperative consultation lasted close to an hour, and I wasn't going to go anywhere until I understood exactly what to expect when I woke up, and further down the road.

    I'm not a spinal diagnosis. I'm a human being with a spinal diagnosis.
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