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21 Years old and considering spinal laminectomy and fusion

I am only 21 and about 18 weeks ago I was rear ended by a mack truck while stopped on my way to school. I have been diagnosed with more herrniated discs that I can remember. To make it interesting I have Von Willebrands disease type 2B which means that my blood does not clot because my platelets are missing the glue factor. That prevents me from having any type of injections which I so desperately need. I am taking Lyrica which has not helped me at all. Physical therapy hasn't shown any improvements either. Recently I was diagnosed with a disc that is "completely flattened like a pancake" causing pain down my legs at all hours of the day and night. My doctor recommended that I have a spinal laminectomy and fusion but I am not 100% on what it is. I am strongly considering it as I cannot live my normal life and my career as a weight lifter is almost completely ruined. I am just looking for some feedback on what you think, if you've had one or both surgeries, the recovery, and will I ever lift again. I am not in a great place now and could really use some good news. thanks


  • I have had 2 cervical fusions due to a broken C2. I am 16 so you and I would be considered too young to have/need fusions. For my first surgery I was in more pain but I recovered pretty easily. Having the pain was not expected but it had been tolerable. For my second surgery I really wriggled and was in such extreme pain they decided I needed to be in the ICU for extreme pain management and 24/7 watching. I am now in more pain than I ever dad before and have been for the last year and a half. However I have been told I am not the normal case and am currently working with pain management to help with that. You should be able to lift again however that being said it would be up to your doctor as to whether they allow you to lift weights. So go check out different surgeons( orthopedic surgeon and neurosurgeon) and see which fits best with you and then you should ask them about what they think but according to my surgeon she would allow me to after the 6 month-2 year mark.
    Some tips I would recommend is to not loose hope, if for some reason you get one of these surgeries and you are in worse pain there are always some type of idea that they can do and again find one that fits best for you. Also support is a huge help whether it is from your family or friends maybe even both because that will be who you need for your recovery. If you have any other questions feel free to ask and I would be happy do
  • JulijacJJulijac Posts: 170
    edited 07/07/2014 - 2:23 PM
    I'm sorry you are experiencing this at such an early age, and especially due to circumstances of your having problems. I have had an L4/5 fusion with laminectomy using instrumentation (4screws and 2 rods) and bone graft. I am 8 weeks post op and I am 90-95% better pain wise. I am still healing and under the no bending, lifting, or twisting guidelines. I do not regret my decision to have this surgery. That being said, I am also a 49 yr old female that had this surgery to correct spondylolisthesis, which is basically a vertebra out of alignment. I have been told that the more levels that are fused the harder the pain and recovery. As far as lifting weights, that would only be your doctor that can answer that question. Just make sure that you find the best surgeon in your area. Ask around, google the doctor, do your research and definitely get second opinion if you feel at all uncomfortable about having this done. I would recommend you have the surgery during the summer so you can be more comfortable when school starts again, unless you can do online classes.

    Best of luck to you whatever you choose to do.
    Julie K
    L4/L5 fusion TLIF for spondylolisthesis on 5/12/14
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