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Just wanted to share my "Boo-boo" with you

lynnsyllynnsy Posts: 197
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:19 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
image Underneath it all is a three level fusion. I had to pay extra for the "angel wings", figured I would need them. I've been wearing a "Energy Muse" 200 year old chinese healing coin, St. Raphael and Miraculas Medal (both healing and protection Saints) around my neck ever since, and won't take them off. She's a beauty, eh?


  • Level 3 fusion....would a L4-S1 be considered that? I am having a TLIF (not the minimally invasive kind) in aug.
  • was L-3,4,5 fused together, 2-6" rods, 6 screws, and a stabilization thing in the middle, plif (obviously) He took bone from the pointy tips from upper vertebra (don't know what their called) and made the fusion out of those pieces, instead of my hip. Rods and screws will stay permanently. It took me 16-20 weeks to finally start fusing pretty good. Wasn't allowed to start PT until 21 weeks, only lots and lots of walking. It's been a rough one, harder than giving birth to a child!! I'm now 22 weeks and about 87% fused.
  • Sounds like a three level to me. L-4,5-S-1 thats down to your tailbone. My Neurosurgeon had to file away calcium buildup on the S-1 due to a hairline fracture on the back side of the S-1 vertebra (towards my gut)had grown calcium over it that was causing pain. (The calcium had grown there due to a lack of not getting fixed when I should have, like I said, I had to wait 11 months)
  • I have been dealing with this for 4 years-but until now I had no insurance. I still do not understand the difference between Tlif, xlif, plif.... .My surgeon just told me that he would take bone from my hip-and put a metal cage on L4-S1. I do not even know where my incision will be or how big it will be. I just did not think of all these questions until now.
  • Wow, that is some incision! Was it longer because of the bone taken from higher up? That has got to be an awful lot of muscle damage to get to all of it. I am so scared of the muscle damage I'm in for with my 1 level fusion in August. Impressive! :jawdrop:
  • I had an incision that long L4 L5 and S1 and those staples look uncomfortable, my Dr used glue and stery strips (butterfly stitches) so the body absorbs the glue as you heal and the stery strips fall off, minimal itching and no staples or stittches to remove, I also had in incision in the front about 61/2 inches long, they used artificial bone on mine but I had L4 L5 bone to bone and the cage kept slipping so they used what they call a brodge to hold the cage in place (its flat against the back of my spine) but Im glad he caught it while he was in there, some nerve pain but its healed now, but at least he dont have to go back in there .....
  • i had a two level, with a six inch incision in the front too. i don't know how big the incision was in the back, but it looks amess, considering i was opened four times in the same spot! i had the staples too. yikes!
  • Your picture reminds me of my thyroid surgery. I was cut from side to side and I had staples. When I got home I was napping and my 2 year old son thought they looked cool so of course he wanted one and took one out. Scared the crap out of me and he loves that story. Same kid put the keys in the electric outlet twice. He just got his permit, wish me luck and keep the wild child in your prayers. Boys are strange, yet could not imagine my life without the little guy, my baby. Also payback will be mine someday.
  • Lynnsy ,you poor thing !

    Just looking at that makes me hurt!
    I also was fused up at L4-5 S-1 but my incision is only about 8" long.........it's a extension of my butt crack.LOL

    By the way you have a awesome pair of wings there. ;) :jawdrop: LMAO !!!!

    I hope you heal up well.....don't push yourself too hard in P.T. It can cause more damage then good if you are not careful.

    Take it nice and slow.......do not try to rush your natural healing process.......only time can heal you , be patient.

    Best of luck.
  • how long did it take your stery strips to fall off

  • >:D<

    oh my god... i have had no clue when my doctor told me has to run the final SPECT scans to see if i would need a two level or three level fusion or xlif... what he was really speaking about.... my mouth just dropped when i saw your picture.... how painful it must have been for you to go thru this... hopefully you had many people around you to make it a tiny bit easier .... i cant imagine... nor imagine it may be in my future.... i see your posting was a couple months ago... and by now you are probably into physical therapy for a while... i hope the recovery is going well... and may call on your posts for information so i dont have to feel totally alone going thru it... people can be here with you.. but unless you can talk to someone that has gone thru it ... you feel alone....

    Take Care of Yourself!!!!!!
  • That is one long incision....I had aL4/5 fusion...ALIF and PLIF and my scars are about 5" or so. I could not imagine how rough your recovery must have been so far......

    All the very best with your future recovery and fusion.
  • I had L3-4-5-S1 and mine is a 10 1/2 inch incision but I had no staples, just disolvable stiches so nothing had to be removed.
    As yet I haven't really seen my back properly but I am pretty sure it doesn't go as hig. Starts at my butt crack and goes to the bottom of my bra.
    I must go into one of those awful change rooms with mirrors all around and have a good look.

    How are things now Lynnsy.
    Oh and by the way it seems that L4-5-S1 is concidered a 2 level fusion as they count the discs that are being fused not the vertebrae so TCR if you are still around then dont panic.
    Blessings Sara O:)
  • thanks for sharing,! patsy
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