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new member

edited 12/30/2015 - 10:24 PM in New Member Introductions

I need some thoughts.

Debating L4L5 L5-S1 fusion. 47 yrs young. Chronic pain for over 12 yrs, tried everything-PT, acupuncture, pain meds, rest, doing nothing and maybe it will get better and numerous injections years apart. Current pain level is 4-5-6-7 each day, and probably 10/10 2x a month. Overall consistently high.

Going in for a facet joint injection tomorrow.

The same DR doing the facet injection proposed fusion. I've been offered the fusion surgery before but didn't take it serious, as it seriously scared the life out of me, as I didn't fully understand it. Really I thought fusion was giving up, throwing in the towel and be relegated to the couch. I've played competitive golf since a kid, and haven't been able to play for the last 2 yrs, other than maybe 3x a year, where it used to be over 100 rounds a year.

In the month of December, I've seen two new Ortho Docs, for a fresh opinion, with a fresh MRI early in Dec.

Well now fusion doesn't seem like such a bad option, the new Dr said to look at fusion as less pain and increased activity / motion.

The only thing that I wonder is : what if I decide to train very hard, get in super shape, will that be able to put off surgery? Not sure I can handle a hard core training program. Any thoughts?

Is Lumbar Fusion Surgery a Reliable Procedure?


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    Please take the time to read this post and refer to it when you have questions

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    Liz -Spine-health Moderator

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Winch526WWinch526 Ottawa, Ontario, CanadaPosts: 13
    Hi DLM,

    If you're anything like me, the "get in really good shape" ship has probably sailed. That's not to say that you shouldn't strive to be in the best physical shape you can be, but there will be loads of set backs. I am currently in a mandated program (I'm in the Navy, so when they tell me to get on treatment program, I have no choice) and although it has improved my flexibility, core strength, cardio, etc, I still threw my back out picking up a beer bottle on Christmas night. Back to square one.

    Honestly, if they had something to operate on, I would go for the surgery in a heart beat, if it meant I'd be over these flare ups and could be more active. I don't think we have the same issue though. I have some degenerative disc disease, and a herniated disc that happens to be pushing onto a nerve. Over the years my body has learned to avoid using the muscles that affect that disc, so the lower back muscles have gotten extremely tight. So tight that one wrong move relegates me to the couch for a few days.

    It sounds to me like your injury is much more specific, and I would imagine that the surgery would be a big help, especially if the discs are the problem. I'm not sure where you live, but cost might have to be considered too. I don't have to worry cause everything is covered for me in the military, but if your surgery is elective and not necessary, then you might be on the hook depending on how your insurance, etc works.

    I hope this helps. It would be nice to chat about other things too. I
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    edited 01/06/2016 - 2:07 AM
    Welcome to Spine-Health
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