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I was discharged from the Navy for this problem. the doctors wanted to do this in 2007. As I keep the weight off the pain seem to be almost non existent. As I got older and it was harder for me to keep off the weight the problem got worse until I couldn't take it any longer. I was in lots of pain. Sciatica pain in my left leg, numbness down my legs and feet, and a lot of times I could not get out the bed. Simple task as grocery shopping, cooking, shopping and cleaning became a serious issue for me.

I had my surgery on 08/15/2013. I had a 2 day hospital stay. I am almost 30 days out and I feel a lot better. At my 4 week mark I am glad I had the surgery. You really need help after the surgery at least the first 3 weeks. I walked with my walker for 3 weeks. I took showers by myself after week 3. Definitely get a shower stool and the raised toilet. You cannot Bend, Lift or Twist (BLT) for awhile.

So far the 3 toughest things are sleeping, positioning and wall closing in on me. You can only watch T.V. for so long and not really feeling visitors. I am also dealing with some depression because I am not use to depending on others for help. This not working for 8 weeks is for the birds. Just glad I do have some help.

Don't listen to others when it comes to this surgery. When it boils down to it you have to know your body and what is BEST for YOU.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    I am sure that you will find your time on Spine-Health very rewarding. This site is a powerful and integrated system that is dynamic and continues to grow.
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Hello There!

    Welcome to the forums! I am 4 months out of a L5/S1 fusion and I have to agree with the first weeks of recovery being tough. If you look back at my post history, you can see that I was experiencing the same things that you were, especially having a tough time because I am so used to being independent. :( I feel great some days and not so great other days with the pain (sciatica down my left leg), but I am told that over time it will get better. I am so glad that I underwent the fusion surgery, there is no way that I could've dealt with the pain any longer! :) Keep us updated on your recovery!
    Olivia Douglass
    MIS TLIF L5/S1 on 5/1/13
  • Thank you both for your posts. I am three weeks out from my ACDF, and at my follow up appointment this week, my NS mentioned the need for possibly an L5-S1 fusion, as - in his words - my S1 is mangled. I had a laminectomy in 2010, and since then have had multiple lumbar ESI's, medial nerve block, and radio frequency ablation on both sides (three months ago) - and I still can't sleep in bed more than a couple of hours before ending up in the recliner.

    My recovery has been going well from the ACDF, but the thought of a lumbar fusion terrifies me a little bit. Then again, I was terrified before this one and it went well. Still, it is really good to hear success stories regarding the L5-S1 fusion. Thanks for sharing!

  • youngatheartyyoungatheart Posts: 42
    edited 09/15/2013 - 1:09 PM
    I really feel for you because i had the same treatments after a disectomy in 2007 for 3 herniated discs. It only helped a little and I was getting steroid injections starting about 2 months after that surgery. I had them several times a year, also had the radiofrequency thingy. The pain mgmt doc told me that would give me relief for up to 18 months. Within less than 6 months I was back for more steroid injjections. You can read my original post when I joined these forums...The subect is Spinal Fusion June 2013...

    The spinal fusion has helped me with the low back pain. I feel so much better but then again, I started physical therapy within 3 days after surgery and continued at home up until about 2 or 3 weeks ago. I am also using a bone strimulator that my surgeon ordered....fortunately insurance covered it. I had both anterior and posterior surgery. I have 3 rods and 5 screws and a cage that contains the bone graft stuff

    Good Luck and if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. By the way....I came along much better than I anticipated and I'm 72

    The only issue I have is that my sciataca still flares up, but if it doesn't get worse than it is I can deal with that. If it continues and worsens surgeon is going to check it out with a ct scan
  • I saw my surgeon on Friday, being 4 months out with sciatica flare ups. He is sending me for a CT scan and put me on Lyrica to help calm the nerve down. In his words, "The CT Scan should be fine, it will probably just tell us that this is going to take awhile." Mainly because I waited so long to get it done and there is significant nerve damage.
    Olivia Douglass
    MIS TLIF L5/S1 on 5/1/13
  • youngatheartyyoungatheart Posts: 42
    edited 09/16/2013 - 9:00 AM
    Thanks for the sciatica info. It flares up and its mostly when I stand in one spot or sitting for too long. I see my surgeon end of next week. He said exactly what yours did...if it continues we will do a ct scan. Now I'm hoping that mine is also temporary. Good Luck on your healing process.
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