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If epidurals help for 4 months should I still have fusion?

Epidurals make the pain go away for 4-6 months , I went to a surgeon he wants to do fusion l3/4 I would like opinions from you guys what would u do fusion seem to be ify maybe it will make it worse ?


  • I had a cervical fusion at c5-c6 in 2/2012. I can only speak for my personal experience. My pain was so debilitating that my quality of life was extremely low. I was unable to enjoy any activities whatsoever and was unable to work. The fusion was successful but now, almost 2 years post-op, the level above the fusion has herniated and is compressing the spinal cord again. I have to have another fusion 12/2013.

    My opinion is that it's best to stick with conservative treatment as long as possible.
  • Thank you I'm scheduled for fusion December 20 I think I'm going to cancel it for now!
  • I had a cervical fusion last December and it was the best thing I ever did. My husband also had a 2 level fusion last October and he has been back to full swing at work after 2 months.
    I know it's hard to know if you are doing the right thing. And only you can make the decision if its right for you. I am having a laminectomy and discectomy this December and I can't wait I am really hoping to knock out some of this pain and get my life back.
    The good thing is if you do decide to cancel you can always reschedule it. But don't let all of the bad accounts scare you off. There are many good outcomes too. Good luck to you!
    Acdf C5 C6 12/13/12
    Laminectomy and Discectomy L5 S1 12/12/13
  • I'd keep going with the epidurals if they are lasting that long. At least in my case, we didn't even discuss a fusion until I failed all conservative treatment, including medication, physical therapy, and epidurals. I had 4 and got relief from none.
    10/28/13 - ALIF, PSF, decompression at L4/L5 and L5/S1
  • Mama-SchueMMama-Schue Posts: 337
    edited 11/15/2013 - 5:36 AM
    I would talk with your surgeon and ask a few questions. How long can you continue to have ESIs? Is a fusion inevitable? If you put off the fusion for an extended amount of time what hoops will you have to jump through if you decide to go through with it later? Same goes for insurance with that last question.

    I hope you make the right dicision for you and not what others have experienced or want you to do. Good Luck. We will all be here for you no matter what you decide to do.

    L4-L5 Herniated 02-02-2013 (Slipped on Ice)
    L4-L5 MicroD 08-07-2013, Reherniated 10-21-2013
    L4-L5 MicroD Revision 10-07-2013, Reherniated 10-17-2013
    L4-L5 PLIF/TLIF 10-02-2013
    Released From Surgeon & All Restrictions 03-06-2014
  • youngatheartyyoungatheart Posts: 42
    edited 11/17/2013 - 3:24 PM
    I had steroid injections for about 6 years after having my microdisectomy and never did they last that long. I had the radiofrequency procedure where they burn the nerves and was told it should last 18 months....it lasted about 3 months. I finally had to see what else could be done.

    I saw three different spine doctors and got the same diagnosis so I did my research on all of them and chose the one that I felt most comfortable with and he is wonderful. Takes time, and on visits he will stay and answer any and all questions. He's never in a rush. I really liked that about him and he is an excellent surgeon and has even done procedures on well known celebrities.

    I had a spinal fusion on L4, L5 and S1 and had a cage inserted along with rods and screws.
  • I was in the same boat. I had an injection that helped a lot and I went a head and scheduled my fusion for about 6 weeks after. I was feeling ok and started second guessing surgery. Well my injection wore off the week before surgery and I remembered why I needed it. I woke up from surgery with no leg pain. I'm three weeks out now and all pain is gone. I'm pushing myself in PT to learn how take care of my back. Having this surgery is one of the best decisions I've made. I didn't realize just how much pain I was in until it was gone.
    PILF of L5 S1 on October 29, 2013. Psoriatic arthritis, spondylolisthesis L5 and fractured L5 and DDD
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