Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

43, need to make a decision on L5-S1 fusion and so confused

I saw the orthopedic surgeon today. He is the same surgeon who did my mom's fusion surgery a year ago. She is doing so well. I can't believe the things she can do now compared to before.
I have DDD, stenosis and L5-S1 is herniated (I don't know the measurement). I am having more back pain than shooting pain so he said a fusion would be his recommendation. He said that I am young in "spine years" and there is always a possibility that I will need another fusion down the road due to the discs above degenerating.
My pain levels have been as high as 9 but daily are about 6ish. He said no surgery he does will take it to a zero but his hope is to take it to a 3 once healed. If I decide to do the surgery, he wants to do a discogram prior.
He told my husband and I to think and talk about it and let him know. My husband said his concern is that if I do this surgery, it will be a guarantee of more surgeries.
Epidurals have not worked so if I choose not to do it, I am stuck taking pain meds daily and that thought doesn't make me excited either.
There is just so much to consider and I don't know how to figure it all out. I am so afraid of choosing the surgery and all that entails and at the same time, I am afraid of putting it off and dealing with this daily pain or possibly it getting worse.
If anyone has been in the same boat, had this surgery and the discogram, I would appreciate any thoughts or support!
Thank you!
Herniated disc L5-S1
3 bilateral transforaminal epidurals


  • I just had l5-s1 fused on April 20th and after 7 years of back pain I am about 95% pain free.
    I'm going to post my surgery story, but since I am 47 and had the surgery you're asking about I thought I'd tell you.
  • KalliaKKallia Posts: 4
    edited 05/08/2015 - 4:49 PM
    I was told by one surgeon I needed a laminectomy and fusion at l4-s1. I decided to get more opinions and the final consensus is my pain is from SI joint hypermobility. Instead of a spinal fusion, I'm actually getting bilateral SI joint fusions. I'd check around before immediately committing to make sure you get the procedure that you need.
  • Thank you for your comments! It is so nice to know there are people going through the same thing!
    Herniated disc L5-S1
    DDD L3-L4
    3 bilateral transforaminal epidurals
  • I'm 43 and just had TLIF L5-S1 and Laminectomy L5 on Apr 24th, 2015. My diagnosis was DDD and when looking at my x-ray and MRI, my disc was so thin, you could barely see it. I no longer feel the nerve type pain in my lower back at all. I'm already up to walking a mile and feeling pretty good. I still have some pain from the surgery as it hasn't completely healed or fused yet. Hope that helps you and good luck.
  • I didn't really have a choice due to severe nerve damage. Recovery is long and slow but I'mstill glad i did it . It won'tget better on its own and narcotic pain relievers long term can be toxic. When trying to make my decision iIasked my ddoctor what he would do in my situation and he was very honest in saying he would probably have the surgery. It could really improve your quality of life but its not a quick fix. No regrets here.
Sign In or Register to comment.