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Pregnancy after Fusion


I had a L4-S1 TLIF in February of this year. Prior to surgery, my surgeon told me that I could start trying to conceive 6 months after surgery, but they prefer 1 year. My husband and I plan to wait the full year.

Has anyone gotten pregnant after a fusion? How was it? Should I request a c-section? I really don't want to mess up my back anymore and I am not sure if I can have an epidural... I know my surgeon is the person I need to ask about these things, but I don't see him again until August and right now I am just thinking ahead :).

Also, any recommendations as to what I should be doing now to prepare my back for pregnancy? Other than walking and PT.




  • That is a very good question. My 17 year old daughter just had a 2 level fusion on her L4-S1 one week ago. I know that she is young but I'm thinking way way ahead in the future on how this will affect her when she reaches that time in her life. I plan on asking the same question at her next visit. Hope someone can give you some good advice and ease your mind till your next visit. I wish the best of luck to you!!
  • Just in case I ever need this, I've often wondered. I mean I'm lucky because my hubby and I felt prompted to have children very early on. We got married early (2nd year of college), and some months into the marriage, got the feeling that I should start having kiddos right away. I've had 3 children very close together, and suddenly after my 3rd birth my back problems started back up again after my discectomy at the age of 17. Just in the nick of time I guess!

    I feel very lucky that I have 3 children. We had planned on 4, but if its not meant to be, that's okay. But I wondered this myself--if I really did need a fusion if I could have a 4th.

    Sorry I don't really have any info, but I'll be stalking for updates from others.
    Alyssa Auch
    24, mother of 3, two discectomies at ages 17 and 23.
    Currently battling more disc pain.
  • I had my first fusion in 1989. I was 24 at that time and I had what I think was a 360 fusion of the L5 S1. Back then I was just told I needed my back fused. I was able to have my daughter in '91 and my son in '95. I won't lie. It wasn't easy on my back and I had a lot of back pain. My second pregnancy was very difficult. He put a lot of pressure on my back. It was difficult to walk by the end of the nine months. I have been very lucky on how well my lumbar fusion has held up. I have only had a few issues with that fusion. Now I am dealing with cervical issues and had 2 surgeries on my neck last year. There I haven't been so lucky. My advice would be to talk to your doctor before trying to get pregnant. My doctor didn't recommend a third baby.
  • I checked with my surgeon pre-operatively as he has known that I want to have kids since my first surgery in 2012. He didn't make it sound like it would be a big deal, just that I have to wait a year. He doesn't have to have the kid though! Did you have a c-section? I think if I am able to have kids I will ask for that. I don't want to mess my back up anymore than it is...
  • Yes, I did end up having 2 c-sections. But not because of my back but for other reasons. I tried a natural birth with my daughter but that didn't work out plus I could not have an epidural because of the fusion. So I was put totally asleep. I scheduled a date for my son's c-section. I was put to sleep with that one too. They didn't want to mess with spine near the fusion. This was all done 20 plus years ago. I am sure there have been medical advances since then. My best advice would be talk to your dr. and your ob/gyn. Ask lots of questions and I am sure things will work out. Having both my children was well worth the pain I endured with my back. Best of luck to you.
  • My husband and I are planning to start a family. I have had 5 lumbar surgeries, mainly in L4-5 region. Epidurals are placed in the L4-5 disc space. The doctor told me, I would have to much scar tissue to receive an epidural and that I would probably have a c-section under general anesthesia.
    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.
  • RTgirl2011 said:
    My husband and I are planning to start a family. I have had 5 lumbar surgeries, mainly in L4-5 region. Epidurals are placed in the L4-5 disc space. The doctor told me, I would have to much scar tissue to receive an epidural and that I would probably have a c-section under general anesthesia.
    I didn't think about scar tissue, I was thinking more about hardware... Good point! I see my PCP in a few hours I will try to remember to ask her what she thinks, even though I still have a while to wait before my surgeon will clear me to get pregnant. I am honestly hoping I will need a planned c-section, as crazy as that may sound... Good luck to you!
  • For those of you wondering the same thing as I did: I talked to my doctor today about delivery if I am able to have kids (lord willing of course!) and she said that she would recommend having a c-section to reduce any additional stress on my fused vertebra from pushing. Also that I wouldn't be able to get an epidural. I told her that was what I was hoping for and asked if she thought an OBGYN would have any problem with that and she said not at all. This is, of course, only my doctor's opinion about my situation and as we all know none of our cases are the same :).
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