Welcome, Friend!

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

advertisement
advertisement
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.

Notice
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

Need Help Making Decision L4/L5/S1 Fusion!!!

I have been dealing with back pain for a couple years now. I have leg pain and lower back pain. I had 3 epidurals which has helped the leg pain but has done nothing for the back pain. After multiple opinions it seems my only option is a L4,L5, and S1 fusion. Here is my dilemma, I am a 27 year old male, I am extremely active working out 5-6 times a week and also work in heavy construction. The doctors would rather me try and hold off as long as possible due to my age by taking it easy and focusing on just my core strength. I stopped working out for almost 6 months and have been on desk duty at work and it hasn't changed. I recently went back to working out a couple times a week just because i mentally couldn't take being a couch potato anymore. I am not in excruciating pain its just a constant nagging pain. Not being able to do things that I enjoy and the constant aching is changing me, i am becoming very nasty and angry towards my wife and its putting strain on our marriage. I have become obsessive with my back spending most of my time reading articles and forums trying to make a decision. It is effecting my work, i cant concentrate on anything but making this decision. I am just looking for some advice should i just bite the bullet and get it over with? I have a 6 month old daughter i don't even enjoy her the way i should because of this. I know its a long recovery but what is life like after? How active can i be? I am just tired of feeling this way and i any advice from people have dealt with this would help me tremendously.
advertisement

Comments

  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,940
    You say you recently went back to working out because you mentally couldn't take being a couch potato anymore.
    Curious, is this kind of working out within doctors orders? You want to keep your body from further damage and or new damage.

    You said that after many opinions, seems your only option is fusion. And yet you say, doctor suggested you take it easy at this point. Sounds conflicting advise, to me.

    Have you told your doctor you are having difficult time waiting and taking it easy? Have you talked with doctor about when he will know if surgery is recommended? Can he say what percent of your pain will be relieved with the surgery?

    Only you and your doctor can decide on your surgery or not.
    Others may or may not have had success with their surgeries, but that their stories, not yours.

    Have you shared with your doctor, along with your other symptoms, your anger at your wife and child?

    When we live with chronic pain and the unknown of our futures, the difficulties in knowing what is best for us, sometimes we feel we are so out of control. That alone can be nerve racking for many. It can be overwhelming.

    Personally, I was struggling with how to cope and needed help.
    I was treated with meds and talk therapy. This does not have to be a life long situation, but something to ease our situation during the transition we find ourselves in at this point in our lives.

    One of the things we can control is our attitude.

    When you said you mentally couldn't take being a couch potato any more, and it moved you to a course of action,
    you might want to use that thought process as, you mentally can't take being nasty to your wife and ignoring your new baby.

    It is difficult to have people in our lives who understand what we are going through. Even loved ones doing their best can't fully know. Hey, if I wasn't living it, I wouldn't believe it. :)

    But the people in our lives deserve our respect and communication to share with them as they are willing to stand by our sides. Their part in our pain is not easy either.

    You said you've returned to working out. You mentioned you've become obsessed with researching reading articles and forums to make a decision.
    That takes a lot of time and energy.
    Maybe some of that energy and being obsessed could be well spent with still being the best husband and father as pain permits.

    Sure you need to get a handle on how to best take care of yourself, educate yourself and ask questions of doctor.
    But educating yourself doesn't mean at the expense of , or harm to, others. Or at the expense of you having a time of rest and balance in your own life.

    We all want to do best for ourselves so we can get on with life. We don't want to be wrong with our decisions.
    But sometimes, making our decision either way, will still have consequences., maybe continued pain, maybe not as much return to activity or as much pain relief as expected after having surgery.
    We can only do the best we can along with medical advice. There are no guarantees.

    To have someone willing to be there for whatever may come, it's rare. Handle with care.





    Sue
    Spine-Health Moderator
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • Hi, I had this type of surgery last August. I suffered from back pain for 9 years electing to pursue conservative avenues before
    finally having surgery. Regarding some of your questions , there is an , adjusted , active life after surgery. I was up and walking in the day after surgery and out of the hospital in 3 days. My rehab consisted solely of walking. Alot of WALKING!
    I was back at work and the gym , cardio, at about 10 weeks post op. I didn't start lifting again until about 16 weeks. Currently,
    I'm almost back to all physical activites minus running,dead lifts and squats. However, I'm doing most everything else at the gym. Your quite a bit younger than me, so your success would likely be greater for this type of procedure. Although , I want to
    note that everyone responds and recovers from surgery in varied ways.
    About me: 53 yo active and fit male.
    Hope this helps!
    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
    Regards
    Eric
  • Fusions aren't the end of your life. They are the start of a new, different life. It is a huge surgery and you will be in a lot of pain and need to take small steps, one at a time, while you heal. You will also need a lot of support.

    I was 34 when I had my fusion but I had already delayed it a year, in order to have my youngest child be a little bit older and more self sufficient. She was 1 when my surgeon wanted to operate but I waited until she was 2. This helped immensely as it related to my recovery because i wasn't allowed to lift her and as you know, an infant needs to be lifted a LOT. In and out of the crib, in and out Of the car and her car seat. In and out of a high chair, the tub, and the list goes on.

    If you can tolerate delaying, my personal opinion is that you will be better off if you can wait. Then your wife will be able to help out a little more as your child will be a little less dependent on her 24 hour care.

    Just my opinion.
    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
  • Savage said:
    You say you recently went back to working out because you mentally couldn't take being a couch potato anymore.
    Curious, is this kind of working out within doctors orders? You want to keep your body from further damage and or new damage.

    You said that after many opinions, seems your only option is fusion. And yet you say, doctor suggested you take it easy at this point. Sounds conflicting advise, to me.

    Have you told your doctor you are having difficult time waiting and taking it easy? Have you talked with doctor about when he will know if surgery is recommended? Can he say what percent of your pain will be relieved with the surgery?

    Only you and your doctor can decide on your surgery or not.
    Others may or may not have had success with their surgeries, but that their stories, not yours.

    Have you shared with your doctor, along with your other symptoms, your anger at your wife and child?

    When we live with chronic pain and the unknown of our futures, the difficulties in knowing what is best for us, sometimes we feel we are so out of control. That alone can be nerve racking for many. It can be overwhelming.

    Personally, I was struggling with how to cope and needed help.
    I was treated with meds and talk therapy. This does not have to be a life long situation, but something to ease our situation during the transition we find ourselves in at this point in our lives.

    One of the things we can control is our attitude.

    When you said you mentally couldn't take being a couch potato any more, and it moved you to a course of action,
    you might want to use that thought process as, you mentally can't take being nasty to your wife and ignoring your new baby.

    It is difficult to have people in our lives who understand what we are going through. Even loved ones doing their best can't fully know. Hey, if I wasn't living it, I wouldn't believe it. :)

    But the people in our lives deserve our respect and communication to share with them as they are willing to stand by our sides. Their part in our pain is not easy either.

    You said you've returned to working out. You mentioned you've become obsessed with researching reading articles and forums to make a decision.
    That takes a lot of time and energy.
    Maybe some of that energy and being obsessed could be well spent with still being the best husband and father as pain permits.

    Sure you need to get a handle on how to best take care of yourself, educate yourself and ask questions of doctor.
    But educating yourself doesn't mean at the expense of , or harm to, others. Or at the expense of you having a time of rest and balance in your own life.

    We all want to do best for ourselves so we can get on with life. We don't want to be wrong with our decisions.
    But sometimes, making our decision either way, will still have consequences., maybe continued pain, maybe not as much return to activity or as much pain relief as expected after having surgery.
    We can only do the best we can along with medical advice. There are no guarantees.

    To have someone willing to be there for whatever may come, it's rare. Handle with care.
    I should have been more clear about what the doctors suggested. Taking it easy for me would be to walk on the treadmill and do light weight lifting. I am an avid crossfitter and powerlifter. I can squat close to 500 pounds and deadlift in the 550 range or at least I could until a few months ago. By going back to working out I mean I have started doing high intense workouts not heavy I scaled all my weights way down. The dilemma for me is that yes I could live with this pain if I had to and the doctors said to me if I back off the way I train I can buy myself time but honestly I don't want to. I love working out I love pushing myself and a lot of people don't understand that. For me there is no better feeling then pushing myself to the point you feel like your going to die passout puke, etc... and not being able to do the things I enjoy doing is worse for me then the pain. I know after a fusion like the one I need lifting that kind of weight is out of the question but I at least be able to enjoy what I like to do. And as far as pain level goes the reason he suggested the fusion is because he said a microdesectomy would help but a fusion would eliminate the pain. Also, I didn't mean to imply I am ignoring my daughter or not being a good father what I mean is when ur constantly in pain it makes it very hard to enjoy moments that you should. So I am doing all the things I should be doing but mentally im not enjoying it the way I wish I could.
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,940
    It can be one of the top two issues about pain , how it effects our relationships, in my book anyway.

    I was coming from failures in my own.

    When having the chronic pain, it's difficult to really enjoy much at all.
    And I'm sorry for what you're going through.

    I do wish you the very best in your decision making process to do what's best for your pain!
    Sue
    Spine-Health Moderator
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

advertisement
Sign In or Register to comment.