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Spinal fusion

Hi,I had a micro-discectomy November 2012 which worked for a while got rid of my sciatica in my legs,but not back pain.now I am having a spinal fusion in November 2013 anyone had one and are their cured from pain,please let me no thanks steve.
s. j. aplin


  • Hello There--

    Welcome to the forums! I have had a spinal fusion and am 4 months out-- L5/S1. I had severe pain from the nerve being trapped at the L5/S1 level, stenosis, degenerative disc disease, pars defect, etc. I have to remind myself that I am only 4 months out but I am feeling much better and know the recovery will continue to be great. Good luck!
    Olivia Douglass
    MIS TLIF L5/S1 on 5/1/13
  • CecCCec Posts: 10
    edited 09/20/2013 - 7:12 AM
    Hi Olivia,

    Where did you have your MIS TLIF? Did they use BMP? How was the recovery?


  • I had mine in Southern Maryland area by a Neurosurgeon out of Georgetown University Hospital- we aren't able to post specific locations and/or physician names on the forums.

    He did use BMP and recovery at first was pretty rough, however my doc had me on Oxycodone and Flexeril and I did well. I slept for the 3 days in the hospital just because everything (even going to the bathroom exhausted me) and then when I got home, my husband would help me up and around and take me walking to the mailbox and back for exercise. I am almost 5 months out and am having some nerve pain down my leg but all in all I feel GREAT. I am on Lyrica and still have limitations, but it was a good decision!
    Olivia Douglass
    MIS TLIF L5/S1 on 5/1/13
  • I have had two fusions. I do not regret either surgery. I know that a fusion is just suppose to stabilize the spine, but I got tremendous pain relief from them. I am fused L3-L5. I did not get BMP with my fusion they used my own bone and I fused completely after one year. I do hurt now, but I also have bulged disc at L5-S1. I had a MRI on Saturday morning to see if its herniated. A little bit of me hopes its herniated cause that will explain this new pain that I am having. If its not herniated I am having spinal cord stimulator trial in December. Hopefully I will find out the results of my MRI tomorrow. Either way I will still be in pain and have to learn how to cope with it. Which I am not very good at. I don't particularly like being disabled. I have always been a hardworker. Good luck with your surgery and follow all you doctors instructions so you can give yourself the best possible recovery.
    Discectomies 05/08 and 04/11, fusions L4-5 Feb 9,2012 and L3-L4 June 28,2012, Staph infection washout 3/2/2012, Bulged L5-S1. SCS trial on January 17th, 2014, which was a success! Permanent SCS on February 20th.
  • Hi I did a lumbar fusion in February 2013, my 3rd back surgery & 2nd in 18 months. After the surgery in 2011 I was in severe pain & could not use my left leg after doing spinal injections that didn't work we decided to do the fusion of L4/L5 & L5/S1 which during surgery had some complications lost a lot of blood and surgery went for 7 hours. Since then I have gotten back some feeling in my left leg but I am still experiencing pain though not as severe. I started physio a month ago & thought this was a good sign but the pain continues some days I just stay in bed cause I cannot move. The other problem I am having is my inflammation levels are high & my back keeps swelling causing serious pain. My doctor prescibes meds for me but these tend to cause side effects & I wonder is it worth it. I would have thought by now I would have been able to move around more without so much pain but after 7 months I am losing hope & getting quite frustrated. Has anyone experienced same especially problems with inflammation?
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    The absolute worst thing that you can do is to stay in bed, and be inactive. It is imperative that you walk , each and every day, many times a day, even if it is short distances, but multiple times a day to keep your body moving. Fusion recovery is tough, and it can be a lot of one step forward and two back during the early parts of it, but you must keep moving and get up each day and push through some of the pain. Neuropathic pain can flare at different points of your recovery from the nerves reawakening after being compressed but it usually disappears as quickly as it comes, as you continue to recover.
    The excercises taught to you during pt are meant to be done every day since they will help you to strengthen your core muscles and keep them strong to prevent further problems.
    Fusion recovery can take up to two years post op to get to the point where you start feeling more human again so slow and steady wins.
  • finzzzupffinzzzup Posts: 23
    edited 09/28/2013 - 3:08 AM
    I wish I could say my fusion went well like the others, but mine was a total nightmare that I am still living after two years. In July 2011, I underwent a lumbar fusion of my L1 thru S1. It was a two-part surgery in which the first part they removed the discs and replaced them with artificial discs and the second part they installed the rods, pins, cages, etc. All went well with the first part, but I awoke from the second part paralyzed from my right hip to my toes. In the time since, I've regained about 70% of the feeling back, but I've lost all the muscle in the leg from my thigh to my calf and no longer have a reflex in it. As a result I am permanently disabled. As far as the back pain I had surgery for in the first place, It's ten times worse than before the surgery. The cause of the paralysis was severe damage to the L4/L5 nerves during the second part of the surgery. In hindsight, I wish I had someone to tell me to only let a neurologist perform this type of surgery on me because I likely would have had a much better outcome. I am not telling you this to scare you from having the needed surgery... I just want you to be aware of what can happen and to be cautious in choosing who to let perform the surgery.
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