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scheduled for fusion/decompression

So I got my third opinion today by a renowned neuro/ortho surgeon who comes highly recommended. He has scheduled me for a 2 level fusion/decompression on June 12, 2013. I am scared to death. He said I really need 4-5 levels fused but that would make it too hard for me to function since its my lumbar spine. He will be fusing L2-4. On top of the bulging discs I also have compression fractures in 3 vertebrae from a fall I had over a year ago down some stairs. I didn't know I had broken my back again! (1st time in same vertebrae when I fell as a child in gymnastics). I am feeling scared, defeated, and he can't even guarantee it will help my pain! He said I have the spine of an 85 year old woman. I'm only 37. The fusion should help to slow the degenerative process he thinks and keep me functional longer, otherwise I'll be a cripple in a wheelchair by the time I'm 50. I'm having a very hard time processing this. I had no idea it was this bad. Any words of advice? Suggestions? Words of encouragement? I need help!
Severe DDD in S1-T12. 5 disc herniations. 5 compression fractures. Had a 2 level lumbar fusion/decompression on June 12, 2013. L4-5 foraminotomy on Jan 8, 2014, Right SI fusion in Oct 2014. Scheduled for L4-5 fusion to existing fusion on Sept 28, 2015


  • charlie6017charlie6017 Posts: 412
    edited 05/09/2013 - 1:31 PM
    That's the whole plan.......making things better well enough to keep you moving, which is absolutely essential. You are doing the right thing. There is nowhere to go up up from here and you will make it. I try to walk as much as I can do, which is really the most I can do, as I have had ongoing spine issues for 16 years.

    I hope everything goes great with this surgery!

  • I'm 51 years old and am 2 weeks, 2 days out from my L4-5 ALIF fusion with posterior pedicle screws. I scheduled my surgery for 7 weeks out and I drove myself crazy with worry. I was watching videos and animation online and I ended up in the hospital with chest pain which turned out to be a panic attack!! I just felt so worried and apprehensive and so afraid of the pain I knew I would experience after surgery. I felt like an 80 year old woman, too. I used the time to exercise even though it about killed me! I wanted to get about 8 pounds off, which I did, you do NOT want to haul around extra weight after this surgery if you can help it. I got my house clean and squared away and stocked up on everything we would need at home. My surgery went well, I spent 4 days in the hospital. My hubby spent a lot of time at the hospital and my oldest daughter is an ICU nurse at that hospital. She was off duty, but was with me and took very good care of me. She was upset they didn't clean around my bladder catheter and she insisted on doing it! A little weird, but whatcha gonna do? Tomorrow will be 2 weeks since I got home and I'm so happy to have it behind me. My pain now serves a purpose and I'm getting better every day. Still taking some Percocet, but the pain seems more surgical and less like prior to surgery. I feel like I've been given an amazing chance to live my life with far less pain. The hardest part for me now is staying down and not overdoing it. I'm a doer and a clean freak, I like to be busy. They told me at my post op this week that my job right now is to let my body heal. I wish you the very best of luck to you. Since you're already in pain, try to do things you want to do, just don't cause an injury. I hope you'll have a great result and feel better after surgery.
    Lumbar laminectomy L-4/L-5, 2006
    XLIF with posterior pedicle screws L-4/L-5, 4-23-2013
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