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post anterior spinal fusion L4-L5-S1

XanthriXXanthri Posts: 5
edited 03/27/2014 - 4:07 AM in Alternative Treatments
Hello all!
I truly want to share my story because I have hopes that it can help some of you out there. I say some because we all know not everyone is the same. I am 44 (almost 45) year old man who has served Active Duty Navy for 22 years. dating back about 10 years ago, I started have chronic back pain. As a kid I did a lot of extreme sports and I guess as I aged it finally caught up to me.
I developed DDD and had the cushioning in between the vertebrae start breaking down. I developed such bad Sciatica that I tried facet joint injections (3 sets of them), first gave me 6 weeks of relief and the other two gave me about 1 week of relief before the pain returned. Fed up when I returned home I had anterior 2 level spinal fusion surgery of the L4-L5-S1. Surgery went well and I quickly returned to somewhat normal activity (wearing a brace for 11 months) But my back remained stiff and I slept on a heating pad. Also I began to have neck problems (it appeared my neck was doing the same thing my lower lumbar had done.), In addition, I developed some arthritis in my hands that made them stiff and painful. I was taking Gabapentin, tramadol, baclofen and mobic, daily in order to keep the aches and pain managable.
I stayed active but we all know how miserable you can get. Daily activites became more a chore and I wondered what I would do. I had a friend with Chrohn's disease and he asked me to look at some products that had improved his life. It was a joint complex and I had taking Bioflex, Arthriflex, Move-all, and Flex all. They had helped a little but the truth was they just made things slightly more bearable. Reluctantly I decided that I would give this product a shot and I can tell you the truth is the results for me have been nothing short of a miraculous quality of life improvement.
the stiffness in my back subsided to the point I no longer have to sleep on a heating pad, the pain and stiffness in my hands has completely gone away (I still can feel it slightly but no where near what I was feeling.) and as I take the vitamins I have found a significant increase in my energy levels. I almost feel young again (until I look in the mirror - Ha Ha) I am really hoping that I can get my story out there and hopefully help others out who have similar problem. This is not a spam advertisement for some witch doctor voo doo. I will not say it is a miracle cure but if I can help people who were as miserable as I was just 4 months ago, then I am determined to do it. Please feel free to contact me via private message, or leave a comment here. I am more than willing to give out my name, friend you on facebook or even give my personal cell phone to those who may be interested. As a military member I especially want to get the word out there to veteran's who may be hurting like I was. If there is any information you wish to talk to me about my anterior spinal fusion or the conditions that I have experienced, please feel free. I hope my story is inspiring to some of you out there, I know that 2 years ago I was reaching out to these same forums looking for some kind of help.....which is the main reason I am returning to several of these forums to offer a hand to those in need.

I will post this in a couple of other forums since I am post spinal fusion surgery, I just want to get the word out and help as many people as possible.


  • EnglishGirlEEnglishGirl Posts: 1,825
    edited 03/17/2014 - 11:08 AM
    It's good to hear from people who have found health supplements to be of help when dealing with arthritis & pain.

    I've been taking a Glucosamine and Chondroitin product for quite a while now. What are the other active ingredients in the brand you've found to be so helpful?
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • EnglishGirl said:
    It's good to hear from people who have found health supplements to be of help when dealing with arthritis & pain.

    I've been taking a Glucosamine and Chondroitin product for quite a while now. What are the other active ingredients in the brand you've found to be so helpful?
    It really isn't other active ingredients. They have some more of the blended herbs meant to help in addition to what you mentioned here. The real difference is their patented delivery system. It makes it 4 X more absorbable and it has 5X the antioxidant protection. It is also cold pressed so it dissolves quickly in your stomach and digestive system.....Very impressive stuff. I think I sent you a PM yesterday I prefer to not make the thread a running infomercial, I prefer to talk to people and her what they are experiencing before suggesting they try anything. For someone already taking the stuff I will tell you I tried 6 different OTC brands and not one was worthwhile, even did the health food store brands of the individual stuff. It was better than the regular OTC complexes but not much and it was FAR more expensive. This stuff costs the same as OTC stuff and has been life altering when it comes to increasing my quality of life!

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
    edited 03/28/2014 - 7:25 AM
    that while the 'mixture' that Xanthri has helped him quite a bit, it could be dangerous for someone else.
    Xanthri, you did not violate any rule, but I need to comment here..

    In medicine, there are no Magic Pills to make everything all good! So anytime I read about a given product making tremendous strides on a person and making them almost pain free, I am happy for them.

    But at the same time, its my obligation as System Moderator at Spine-Health to warn everyone about any such magic pill
    I also want everyone to know that before you try any of these so-called product, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about it. They will have a better medical awareness of the different products.

    What is one man's bread is another man's poison

    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Xanthri, thank you for your story. I am also a military member, 17 years in the Air Force, so I connected with your post. I have been having significant back issues for past few months (have had them for years, but never this bad), and have been 'trolling' the internet looking for any information I can find to make sure I am as educated as possible when discussing options with the doctors. So, here is my story. I started having sharp pain in my right buttocks immediately after running a half-marathon at the end of March. At first my doctor and I thought it was muscular, and went on some muscle relaxers and put on a profile to do no physical training (no running, situps, etc.). I also went to the physical therapist a few times for some stretches...but didn't do much for me. After a couple weeks, the pain started to go down my right leg and I started to get numbness in my right foot...that is when both my doctor and I got more concerned and realized it was something more. She scheduled me for an MRI and an appointment with the spine doctor. I continued to go to the physical therapist since I was developing a lateral shift, so he would reset me and also did the traction table a few times a week. Three weeks later I got in for both and the results showed a significant bulge/herniation at L4-L5, so it seemed pretty straightforward. At this point I had been seeing the physical therapist for about 6 weeks with no signs of improvement. The spine doc wanted me to talk to the pain management folks to see about getting steroid shots. 2 weeks later I got in to see them. After reviewing my records and talking to me, he decided it was best to get with the spine doc and my PCM. Between the three of them, they agreed that I had significant Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) and that any shots would likely only give me temporary relief. They told me that my nerve channels were very narrow (spinal stenosis?) and that any inflamation of the discs was pinching on my nerve root, causing the pain in buttocks/leg/foot. Therefore they recommended getting a discectomy earlier than later since I was already about 60 days into having the pain/numbness. Mentioned that nerve damage can sometimes be irreversible, so catching it earlier than later is better. So, I went ahead and had the surgery. The first day in the hospital seemed pretty good. I was able to get up and walk around pretty easily within hours of waking up. I went home the next day, but found that I was not able to walk all the way to the hospital exit due to the pain in my right leg, so they got a wheelchair for me. I was told that pain would slowly go away and I should start walking immediately and should be able to do 1-2 miles a day after the first week. Well, here is where it went awry. Each day I've been home the pain in the leg has gotten worse, and I began to develop the lateral shift to the left again. I went back to see the doc after 4 days and he gave me some other meds, to include the 6-day steroid pack. Here I am now 10 days after surgery and I am in more pain than I have been at any time throughout the whole 3 month process. I can barely walk from my bedroom to the bathroom, and my lateral shift has gotten so bad that I literally and bumping into doorways and furniture and look like some crazy pretzel bent to the side. I had to borrow a cane from my neighbor to help get around the house. Very humbling for a 39 year old man who just 3 months ago was jumping out of planes, rucking 5 miles with 50 pounds on my back and running half marathons. I realize those days are behind me and won't look back. However, I now am concerned that I will still be able to play and wrestle with my kids, help my wife with house and yard work and basically live some sort of regular life...with some amount of physical training and exercise mixed in (low-no impact). Sorry if I went real long on this message, but looking for any advice that people may have. I am meeting with my surgeon this week and look forward to see what he says, but guessing they'll have to go back in and do another surgery. Question is whether it will be another discectomy or go more aggressive with fusion. If fusion, I have bad degeneration at L3-L4 as well and they said that it would only be a matter of time till that disc went as well. Reading your story tells me that even with the fusion option there is some hope that life can be somewhat normal after some recovery. Thank you again!
  • Welcome to Spine Health......http://www.spine-health.com/forum/announcements/spine-health-announcements/welcome-message-resource

    First, a few things.........you are only 10 days out from surgery! Spine surgery, even a microdiscectomy recovery is not just a matter of having surgery, and a few days later, going back to doing whatever you were doing previous to it.......it doesn't work that way.
    Pinching of a nerve, or irritation of a nerve in the spine is a common issue and while the surgery removes the contact with the nerve ( I assume that they also addressed the stenosis?) doesn't mean that the nerve is just going to fire right back up and do what it did before. It is going to be ticked off that it was squished, and irritated that it was moved around during the surgery.........it is all too common for there to be a flare up of nerve pain post op......for just the reasons that I stated above.
    Nerves can take some weeks or months before the pain disappears, because nerves only recover around 1-2mm per month, and depending on how long, and how extensively it is irritated, the pain can continue for a period of time. This does not mean that there won't be improvement, it just won't be overnight.
    There are medications that are used to treat neuropathic pain, if it doesn't settle down in the meantime while you wait for it to resolve, gabapentin,lyrica, cymbalta, and others are all used to treat neuropathic pain levels.
    As far as the discectomy goes, recovery times vary, but for the most part, they shave off the part of the disc that was herniated and it takes time for it to heal and scar tissue to form and it is imperitive that you don't do things that can cause it to reherniate. That's why the post op restrictions and activity level restrictions are important that you follow them , to give your disc and your body adequate time to heal properly and minimize the risks of further problems.
    Before agreeing to undergo a second surgery, make sure to give your body adequate time to recover and heal.
  • L4-L5 Back Surgery yes the same Would never do it again it worse I have trouble walking and standing and sleeing as well.know.and I am only 46yrs old. Please send me FB name and more in
  • Aloha AF man. Proud of you thank you for sticking it out and serving our wonderful America
    I am a Veteran, USAF served 8 yrs some ways wish I would have done 20 but then I might not be married to my incredible husband
    You mentioned lateral shift, this is a physical therapy issue, you have a set of weak muscles that run down the front of your leg. I have the same issue and my brillant PT has me doing specific exercises, I am gradually walking better. Also get new shoes they could also have wear issues in them. I got new tennis shoes, seemed to also help
    Try and find a PT that has a Dr. Not to say there are not great other PTs out there but mine is Dr plus do all your exercises as directed and when you start to feel OK to good dont let your brain talk you into over doing it
    Fell 11ft 2007 numerous fractures broken arm, 4 head bleeds.
    Nerve blocks, tried stimulator, acupuncture, massage, numerous injections, nerve blocks. Ect. Vitamins
    2011 laminectomy, april 4. 2014 Fusion l5-S1. PLIF
  • Had l4l5s1 fusion feeling better than I did when I went in ...but guess was wanting to recoup faster I am walking 2 miles a day but also with leg and back pain have pain meds I just don't like taking them... But there where great that first couple of weeks...anyway just hoping I could hear some positives on nerve pain recovery time
  • marshallmmarshall Posts: 5
    edited 11/24/2014 - 1:17 AM
    there are some m.d. comments i need clarity on particularly if status post fusion has a negative aspect to it,to this point i have not been able to see any results or had any sit down with those who could could give layman term explanations to what is indicated. many things need explanation so I know what direction to move in treatment.
  • so much is individual but many are posting in hopes that there are words to help with options cause we (me) get frustrated , not wanting to feel profiled and still in search! Combinations of medical and p.t. for me seem to have a good chance of success so be ready to go through your own personal wormhole of emotions etc.,it does unerve me cause I got to have more surgeries and have to find what can be successful for breakthrough pain ( so any ideas will be appreciated).Loss of sex drive , moxi , sleep , weight and a buncha things. Hope you have a good support group with people you trust and trust you, BUT TALK WITH EACHOTHER NOT AT EACHOTHER! Admitting that you REQUIRE help;WORKS!
  • KentonMPKKentonMP Posts: 1
    edited 07/07/2015 - 9:10 PM
    Hello. I am a 33 male who was recently diagnosed with spinal stenosis , a bulging / herniated disk at L4 and S1. I have been through therapy, prescription drugs etc and have recently had my 3rd MRI and have met with a orthopedic surgeon. Right now I am in the transition of going to have a spinal tap where an anesthesiologist is going to physically pierce my spine to touch the 8 nerve endings that are being crushed to determine why I have pain in places I "am not suppose to" and fine in areas "I should have pain."

    I feel that, at 33 I might be a candidate for surgery only because I don't like the idea of the pain block or injections every 3 months where at the same time it seems the surgery is truly hit or miss in terms of it working. I have spoken with many professionals and have gotten second opinions but they are allowed over the board.

    My main problem is my back goes out with the simplest tasks (e.g. Lifting my right leg, reaching for a towel) and with that the soreness and pain radiating Through my groin, left leg, knees and quadricep muscle Becomes unbearable not to mention my sleep habits are non existent and my exercise went from weekly to un-able to do any type of physical activity. I have ZERO plans on going on disability and would like to find out what I could do.

    I have been on muscle relaxers, the hydro pain killers that I won't take again and prescriptions for rheumatoid arthritis But nothing has really helped. Any ideas on where to go from here? Should I try surgery since I am only 33. Ps I'm 6'5" so it makes life more difficult as I have to bend over to do everything from clean, work, get in my car, walk through door ways etc. kenton_pogue@hotmail.com. Any advise I would be so happy to hear!!



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  • Hello,
    i am looking for help with my back issues and stumbled across this post.
    i was in a car accident and herniated my L5-S1. I've had 2 discectomies, and I am still nowhere near better. My surgeon has now recommended a spinal fusion. I have tried to get it authorized through my health insurance about 8 months ago, it was denied. Appealed and denied. I then was fired from my job because they were tired of waiting for me to become healthy again. I the. Went to the Oregon health plan. We submitted the surgery for authorization and it was denied, appealed and denied again. I've been on oxycodone for a year and a half now and after 8 months of trying to get my surgery authorized I am no closer to an end to this nightmare. If I don't take my pain meds I can't even walk, I am miserable. I am only 36 and can't enjoy any of the active lifestyle I was so used to. 
    I don't even know where to turn or what to do at this point. I am just in limbo. Haven't worked in a year and half and that has caused so many financial problems for my family and my relationship. 
    Do any of you know of any alternatives that I can try? Surgeries or meds or supplements or anything?
    i don't want to take pain meds anymore but if I don't I can't function as I said before. I e tried steroid and cortisone injections and they do nothing
    i can't believe this is my life right now and don't even know where to turn or what to do. 
    I just want this nightmare to be behind me and go back to work and live some normalcy of life. 
    Many comments would be appreciated.
    thank you
  • Hey I would love to chat to anybody that could possibly give me some advice and their results. I am 30 years old and was hurt in 2013 at work and I had a MRI in NC. They found I had herniated L4-L5,L5-S1, stenosis, degenerative discs,and also another bulges disc at L3-L4. I struggled for two years in NC getting injections and pain meds because the Medicaid system is terrible in NC. I was no longer working seeing as it was a worker's comp injury,and I was forced to resign at settlement in which I was totally screwed over , I had a terrible lawyer. Anyways after two years of pain and only receiving epidural injections, and meds and no actual treatment I moved to New York to be around family. Within a few months of being here I was put back on my pain meds and sent to the surgeon who requested physical therapy, meds, MRI, and nerve study. Not long after the nerve study my surgeon said I had SEVERE nerve damage in my right leg and that my sciatic nerve was basically being pinched flat so I had two laminotomys, they also removed the herniated parts of the discs at L4-L-5,L5-S1, and also had to drill some bone to make room for the nerves that were being compressed. Surgery was ok, alot of pain for the first two weeks but a few months after surgery, I was starting to feel better. Around eight to nine months into recovery I was feeling great, off meds, able to walk, stand, and do things without pain that were excruciating before. Then a few months ago I was pushing my mower cutting grass, and my mower got hung up on somethin,  I kinda was already having a bad day so I just pulled the mower in anger back as hard as I could and swung it, and when I had swung it I twisted and my back went out. Another MRI later I had ruptured my L4-L5, and it was pinching my nerve flat again and I'm in really bad pain. So I went to the surgeon who did my first surgery, and now I am looking at L4-L5 fusion with the screws and rods and he explained it's more invasive. I'll be 31 mid September and surgery is set for beginning of September, and I am terrified and was wondering if anyone has had the same procedure and could ease my fears a little bit, and share their story with me. From what they told me is I will be in the hospital for roughly three days and my last surgery I was allowed to leave same day. Just nervous I guess, so anybody who can shed some light I would really appreciate. My cell number is 252-266-5641. Thank you and hope the best to everybody in the forum!!!
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