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Lumbar spinal fusion

ddriver1123dddriver1123 Posts: 26
edited 05/21/2014 - 12:16 PM in Lower Back Pain
I had L5-S1 fusion in April this year for spondylolisthesis that came from a fall. I got relief from the pain I was having for just a short time. Before surgery I was having right sided pain that radiated down my leg like electrical shots. Now after surgery I having pain in my right leg again that cause pain in my pinky toes so bad I want to cut them off. When I sit down my leg goes numb. Plus I am having severe pain in my leg when I stand. If I bend my leg it feels like Charlie horses there has anyone else had these problems is it normal or what .the pain is contantly
Doris Driver


  • This is the surgery my Neurosurgeon wants me to have. All I am reading is negative results. About ready to say NO.
  • ddriver1123 - Sorry to hear you are having such a hard time. Are you taking anything for your nerve pain? If not I would call your doctors office and find out if that is something you can take. I take gabapentin 300mg 3xday.

    Wildviolet - I just had a (360) lumbar fusion L4-S1 on April 9th. For the most part I feel great. Remember everyone is different. I read lots of negative comments prior to going into my surgery. My advise would be to discuss the surgery in full detail with your surgeon talk with your family and make a decision from there. I wish my surgery could have taken place sooner. Don't get me wrong it is no walk in the park I still have bad days but right now the good days out weights the bad.days.
    alif l4-s1
  • You have to remember MOST people who have surgery and have positive outcomes don't post on the internet. The ones who have the bad outcomes are the ones who will post about it. This is why you always see the negative comments instead of the positive.
  • dfhughes57ddfhughes57 Posts: 32
    edited 05/22/2014 - 2:53 PM
    I had a L5-S1 Fusion July 19th, 2013 I am trying to be patient but t the moment I am worse off than before the surgery, I am 56 about the right weight for my height and hoping I will continue to see some improvement over the next couple of years although I have my doubts. When I met with the surgeons prior to my surgery they said I was the perfect candidate for this surgery and they were very optimistic for a good result, when they realised the outcome was not as they expected they dropped my like a dirty shirt with no follow up as in there opinion they could not do no more for me. All I can say is tread very carefully if I could go back in time there is no way I would have this surgery. Like has been previously said everyone is different and there are many success stories although if I had have know about this forum I would have been able to make a more informed decision and would have not gone through with the fusion.
  • Update I went back to my dr and he changed my meds saying it takes times that I am only 5 weeks out post op so I am gonna try and stay positive and hope for the best.
    Doris Driver
  • I had a fusion in February from L4-S1. I am still recovering, but I feel great. I posted my story a few days ago "fusion success story". I also had a hard time finding anything positive about fusions before mine. I have absolutely no regrets. I feel better than I have in years. I am young, so my surgeon was hesitant about doing it, but as long as the fusion is being done for the right reasons, there is a 70% success rate. Ask your surgeon the success rate for your specific condition and what kind of realistic expectations you should have. I am 100% satisfied with the outcome of my fusion so far, and I feel about 80% better. My surgeon says I will still see improvement for up to 9 months after surgery. Send me a PM if you want to chat.

    Hang in there, I wish you the best of luck!
  • I'm so sorry you are in still in pain. You might need to just give it more time, or its possible your discs weren't really the problem. I keep hearing that science isn't where it needs to be with back pain, and everything I've researched backs that up. There are so many little things that could go wrong, but I think some time and PT might help a little.

    Good luck to you and sorry I don't have more advice to give. I'm new at this myself!
    Alyssa Auch
    24, mother of 3, two discectomies at ages 17 and 23.
    Currently battling more disc pain.
  • i have had 4 fusions since 2000. the first went ok, then they took out the hardware. then about 4 years later, the disc above blew out and then i had 2 more, the last one about 2-3 years ago. the one 13 years ago was very different from the last one. the techniques are different now but i have to use a cane and have had chronic pain the whole time. it is a crap shoot and you need to talk to your doctor and family to make a decision whether to have surgery. it is your decision along with your doctors and family. no one else can make your decision.
    good luck
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • I am currently not working and waiting for an appointment with a neurosurgeon. I have a 4 mm anterior spondylolisthesis of L5 on S1. I also have moderate l4-l5 disc space narrowing with dessiccation. My pain has put my life on hold. The only thing that provides relief is traction. I wonder if anyone else has experienced this? and what did you do do for the long term? I obviously cannot be in traction all the time and the pain returns as soon as it is done. I hope the physician considers a procedure to mimic this. I am so tired of taking pills.Thank you for sharing your experiences.
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