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spinal fusion L2-L5 please suggest to do it or not

irulegodirulegod IndiaPosts: 10
edited 03/21/2015 - 9:20 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am a 27 yr old guy. I am in pain from last five years and I have read a lot about spinal fusion but I mostly see negative response. Dilemma is tht I dnt have much choice left. M on bed rest, I cant walk properly nd m fed up Seriuosly. Smtyms I want to end it all but I dnt want to go like this. My docs hv recommended surgery only. I have tried evrything spent every penny tht I hv earned. Plz in simple words tell me that if evrything goes right can I live a normal life? By normal I mean after two yrs can I go back to boxing again? Is it same as having normal spine if maintained properly? I like myself to b self dependent only I cant b a burden on anyone. I expect if anyone out thr actually comes into my shoe nd suggest me as your kid, brother or best pal. I knw whoever is j
Here understands wht m going thru. I cry but I cant show it to my mom nd dad. So in frnt of thm m always smiling but inside m broken now. M trying as hard as I can my both legs wont let me work nd still I hv to work to get me going. How much cam I bend after it? M nt satisfied my my docs r saying ...plz suggest :)



  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    edited 03/21/2015 - 9:19 PM
    Please take the time to read this post and refer to it when you have questions

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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Hey Liz, thanks for the provided links but I jave already read all that...what I need is personal experience which I hv read a lot, mostly negative ...I dnt knw wht to say....
  • There are fusion success stories out there but it's always the dissatisfied who yell louder than those who find relief and get back to their lives. But only you and your physician can make the decision that matters most - your own. Seek a second or third opinion if you need to. I personally found that bringing a family member as an advocate with me to my appointment with the surgeon was helpful. He/she may ask questions you don't think of.

    In my case, I glad I had my fusion. But every case is unique and cannot be compared to another. Good luck
    2015: Thoracic protrusions C7-T1, T3-4, T6-8
    Dec'13: 360FusionL4-S1 w/bone graft
    2013: 3x2-level disc injections: 12mo surgery postponement
    Dec'12: DiscogramL4-S1
    Sep/Oct'12: Bi-lateral Rhizo AblationsL4- S1
  • Hi, My fusion went well. I'm almost 8 months post op and back to a somewhat normal routine.
    However,I did have to modify some of the Gym routine as I don't wish to go through this procedure again.
    Would I do it again? YES.
    Bilateral L5 spondylolysis L5 with grade I anterolisthesis L5-S1.
    Stable multilevel degenerative spondylosis contributing to mild canal
    narrowing L2-3 and L3-4.
    360 ALIF & PLIF L-4 - S-1 on 8/11/14
  • @sarahlindeau & eversvl
    Thanks for the response, I really appreciate it.... I am consulting a new surgeon who is giving me confidence to get it done...the more I searcj I about it the more I get confused...now after reading your views I think m positive towards wht happens next. I wud stop searching more nd more abt it bcos tht will lead to more diverted mind which is keeping in mind tht I dont have much choice is nt gud fr me. Still I Have to wait fr another yr bcos of insurance issues so I will keep visiting this forum. It will be helpfull if you share anything happens in between. I wish you best of luck hope you recover nd live eveN better thn u ever Had :) thanks
  • It all depends on your diagnosis and what your surgeon wants to do the surgery for. Why is he suggesting a 3 level fusion? Most neurosurgeons highly advise against this type of surgery. Its different then having a single level fusion, so hearing from people who have had a single level fusion might not help you as much as you think....and with your age? Unless you were in an car accident and suffered severe trauma, I am shocked any surgeon would even suggest it.
    Spine-Health Moderator 
    Ankylosing Spondylitis
    Bulging discs T12-L3
    Annular Tears with Disc Extrusion L4-S1
    Moderate Central Canal Stenosis
    Moderate Foraminal Stenosis
    Enlarged Facet Joints/Ligaments
    Spinal enthesopathy
    L4-L/5 PLIF with cages, rods, screws 2/15 

  • @jillybean....thanks for giving your input...appreciate it...now m bit worried nd I think I shud be....no I haven't met any car accident its just I do not know the cause whn it started...i will consult some more drs to see if they can reduce the fusion level... :/
  • Here's my take- each and every case is unique and even if Eric and I have had the exact same surgery (which we have- 2 level 360 lumbar fusion at L4-L5 and L5-S1), it doesn't mean we are the same. What
    matters is if there is a structural problem that the surgery can fix or not. Don't get caught up in other people's stories (horror or not) because your case is unique.

    Eric and I can help calm nerves about the surgery, but the success of your operation is really down to whether 1. There is a structural problem that can be surgically fixed 2. You have a great surgeon 3. You are a stellar candidate for successful surgery (not overweight, do not smoke, and are healthy). 4. You follow your post op restrictions every single day.

    So talk to your surgeon. Make sure all those things are true. The rest is just noise
    2015: Thoracic protrusions C7-T1, T3-4, T6-8
    Dec'13: 360FusionL4-S1 w/bone graft
    2013: 3x2-level disc injections: 12mo surgery postponement
    Dec'12: DiscogramL4-S1
    Sep/Oct'12: Bi-lateral Rhizo AblationsL4- S1
  • pearlmdtppearlmdt Posts: 1
    edited 03/27/2015 - 7:48 AM
    After trying physical therapy, anti spasm meds, 2 facet injections and 1 epidural, fusion was the last resort. Having chronic neck pain I learned to tolerate a lot. When the pain got so bad that I could not function, I knew the surgery needed to be done. My doc intended to do a 3 level fusion, but ended up doing 2, telling me after doing the surgery that he would not recommend doing the third ever. I was 50 years old when I had the surgery, It's been 5 years.
    I opted to use donor bone rather than having the bone harvested from my hip. I faithfully followed all post op instructions and had successful fusion.
    There is some limitation to the range of motion in my neck. This effects me mostly while driving and trying to look over my left shoulder. I have to turn my body to compensate for the loss in range of motion.
    I am no where near pain free, but much better off than before the surgery. I am now under the care of a good pain management doctor. Non narcotic pain meds and muscle relaxers are prescribed as needed. Ice packs help tremendously. Treading water is the best exercise I have found. You are much younger than I and athletic, so your long term recovery may be better. I remember hearing mention that an NFL player had this surgery, and recovered well enough to continue playing.

    If your pain is so great that it is seriously affecting your quality of life than I would recommend you have it done. If you do opt for the surgery, I would hope that it is being done at a good research hospital. Mine was xxxxx in Philadelphia, it was 1 night in hospital. A titanium plate was put in to support the neck until the bones fused, this plate is never removed. There was a specialist brought in to monitor my spine during the surgery. I was sent home with a spinalpak, which was a device similar to a tens machine only you don't feel it at all. This machine which I wore 24/7 was to aid in the fusion. I also needed to wear a cervical collar until the fusion was successful, which was in 4 weeks.

    I wish you good luck.

  • Just to inform you all, I completed the kanchenjunga mountain trek of 108 kms with 13 kg luggage and 22000 feet altitude. Back home safe and confident enough 8)...I got a really good doctor who suggested me not to go for fusion at this stage rather he performed 3 level discectomy and two level laminectomy. I was on bed for 8 months before the operation, I mean literally. And I started walking 5 days after my surgery, obviously only 20 steps a day. It was a painfull one and I had 7 inch stitches. During operation I lost 40 percent sense of my right leg because of a nerve damage. My doctor told me that it will come back but since its been 10 months I dont think that It is coming back. But I can't complain, I lived through the most pathetic time and now I am walking over the mountains that i wished to see which is enough for me :)
  • I had a 5 level spinal fusion 2007. I had a 15 month recovery and started to feel better than I had for years. For four years, led an active life, walking 4 or 5 miles a day and playing golf. In 2013 things started to go down hill. Since 2013 I have seen several surgeons and none would recommend more surgery. I've even been rejected from a hospital pain management clinic telling me I was too high a risk factor for any surgical procedure including spinal injections.
    i was told I'd be in a wheelchair before the age of 70, 67 now.
    so I live with pain all the time but I haven't given up. I walk, using a 4 wheeled walker and I walk 3 miles every day. I'm in good shape and plan on staying out of wheelchairs forever. 

    Emergency surgery in March of 2006 for spinal infection of L 2 and L 3. During surgery, discovered I had Cauda Equina Syndrome. Spine became unstable after surgery and had 360 fusion with 10 pedicle screws, plates and rods in April of 2007.
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