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prognosis and post op for posterior and anterior fusion of l5 and s1 and discrepacement of l4 and l5

Hi folk i thought i would be having the kineflex artificial discreplacement for l4 and l5 which i was quite excited about untill i was informed by my doc thatthis would include a anterior disc fusion and posterir screw support for s1 and l5 all in the same op . Now i know how doctors liketo down play the recovery process can anybody give me a realistic idea of what im in for , i would really appreciate it , when i was given this news you can imagine how my enthusiasm disappeared ..........


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832

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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
  • HybridhattieHHybridhattie Posts: 72
    edited 02/24/2014 - 1:18 PM
    Hi, I had similar surgery last April. I was really bad pre surgery and could barely walk. Now I can walk great but would still consider myself to be recovering. The surgery is major but you have the experts to look after you. I spent 8 days in hospital and when I went home I could walk to the bathroom and shower alone but I did need a lot of help for the first 2 weeks. (thanks Mum! ) The thoughts of them operating anteriorly freaked me out but you can hardly see my scar. They used glue and steri strips.
    I expected a 3 month recovery but once the surgeon opened me up he said 6 to 12 months recovery. I had to resign from the job I love which has broken my heart. I didn't expect so many different aches and pains which were all new after surgery which included left leg,ankle and toe pain and pain in both hips.. These all improved with time, walking and hydrotherapy.
    My lower back now feels great, secure and stable.
    I have scoliosis which has gotten worse causing thoracic pain. I'm not sure if this would have happened anyway or if the surgery gave it a nudge! I didn't think it could take as long as it has and I consider my self to still be recovering. Pain wise, I'm not much better off which is disappointing but hey I can walk!
    I'm happy to answer any questions you might have. I didn't join the forum till after my surgery so I wasn't in the surgery buddies. You might want to join the group for your month as it seems fantastic for helping.
    DDD. Married,Mum of 2, Age 45: 2007 & 2008 L5/S1 Discectomy
    April 2013 L5/S1 Anterior Fusion
    & L4/L5 Artificial Disc Replacement
  • And having had a single level lumbar fusion the end of December, I've come to realize that you can pretty much double the recovery time that the doc tells you. Sure, there are some lucky people who are out walking 50 miles a day one month after surgery (an exaggeration), but I don't think that's the norm. The way I see it, if doctors told us everything, no one would have surgery.

    Good luck to you!
    Synovial cyst removal in 2008. L4-L5 facet joint.
    Lumbar fusion at L4-L5 in December 2013. TLIF posterior entry
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