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L2 - L5 fusions and stabilisation

Nearly 4 weeks ago, I had L2 - L5 fusions and stabilisation performed and I feel really good. I feel very limited in what I can do but I really do feel great in myself. I had nerve pain down my left leg with numbness which was down my buttocks too. Yesterday that stopped. I couldn't believe that it just stopped. When I stand up, it is difficult to stand straight but I'm getting there. I can stand up and potter round for about 10 mins before I have to sit down. Walking... I manage to get round Asda now, then I'm shattered... but I'm doing it! Little steps and I'm getting there. The progression is slow but achievable. I feel so good mentally, I really do.
This blog is let people know that having this massive operation isn't as bad as some may think.


  • Thank you Carol for posting this.  It's encouraging as I'm facing fusion on L2 to L5 with pelvic fixation.  I'm a 58 year old female and a smoker.  I've put the surgery off for about as long as I can so any posts from people with the same or similar surgery are appreciated.  Please keep us posted from time to time on your progress.

  • Tom ATom A KentuckyPosts: 27
    Great to hear. We need more reports of success. I'm personally very close to having L3 to S1 fused. I hope to be able to report the same. Remember to take it slow and not over do it and please continue to post your progress. Have a great day and good luck.
  • Rig4everRRig4ever Okinawa, JapanPosts: 1

    On 24 Dec 2015, I had L3-L5 PLIF surgery, to include the addition of six bolts and accompanying rods.  Prior to that, for the last two years, I progressively was getting worse:, pain, strength, and abilities.  I was losing endurance and mobility rather quickly by not being able to walk no more than a few minutes, couldn't stand or walk straight, and in pain, other than the few hours I was able to sleep.  Additionally, from my right butt to my toes, at times, was tingling, numbness, and pain.  After all of the MRI's, CT's, X-rays, Myelography, pain pills, and nerve blocking and nerve root shots, I had had enough and ready to go under the knife. 

    The day of the surgery went as planned.  The surgery took just short of eight hours and woke up with zero pain in my back.  However, my chin had been rubbed raw from being face down and rocked back and forth while the docs did their thing to my spine.  As of today, 18 May 2016, I still don't have hair growing on that part of my chin.  Besides that, as everyone on here knows, the first few days were very painful.  I couldn't do anything, but lay there.  Then, on top of that, I had a horrible head ache for about two weeks. One thing I definitely want to mention...eating and taste.  I don't know he name of the device that is used to help breath, you know, the thing they stick down your throat. Well, after the surgery, my throat was swollen and in pain.  I wasn't able to eat anything solid for four days.  Then, I had zero taste.  I couldn't taste anything I ate for four months.   

    About two weeks after the surgery, I was given a rolling walker and hard brace.  Initially, I wasn't able to do no more than a few steps but within a couple of days, I could walk to the end of the hall way.  For the last week of my stay, which was a total of three weeks, I was able to walk around the ward at least once.  However, at times, I would have pain in my neck, I think it was just my muscles trying to hold up my big ole head...LOL!   The neck pain wasn't anything other than that. 

    Since I have been home, I have not had ANY pain in my back, butt or legs.  But, when I do more than I should or something I haven't done in a long time, the new muscles let me know they are being worked.  One of the best things I can suggest is to wear your brace, it will help protect you!  For me, I religiously wore my brace, even when I had to go to the bathroom at 0200, I automatically put it on EVERYTIME I got out of bed!  As of 13 May, I was able to stop wearing it.  However, I am very conscious as to what I do, any bump, jar or twist just scares the crap out of me.  Then, like someone else posted, make sure to buy a grabber, it really does help.  

    As far as rehab...I really didn't have any besides given some stretching and strength exercise with rubber bands, while I was laying down.  Additionally, I was told to do as much walking as I could handle.  Walking, try to  incorporate hills, light weights, and stairs, as much as you can handle, it will help in the long run. 

    I hope this helps with anybody contemplating this type of surgery, but make sure you do all of the least invasive procedures first.   Standing by to answer any and all questions.  GOOD LUCK!

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