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AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,670
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:21 AM in Spinal Stenosis
I am thinking of having spinal surgery.Has anyone undergone surgery for spinal stenosis?


  • I am going on 5 weeks from fusion on L4 and L5 and soft fusion on L2 and L3...
    I am still struggling and only on Darvacet every 6 hours.. walking some around the house..
    Spent 10 days in a rehab place...it has been along 5 weeks.
    Anyone have any tips...
  • I have never heard of "soft fusion". What is that?
  • I don't like to offer advise but with this I feel strongly. My surgery was sort of a sucess but I'd never do it if I could make the decision again. I have talked to dozens of people who have had lamanectomy/fusions and more often than not it results in not much help or has made things worse. I guess it depends on circumstances. I was desperate for relief when I made the decision to have it done. I think its really important to investigate the surgeon's record and experience and I'd for sure get a second and maybe a third opinion. Good luck.

    Chig in GA.
  • I think soft fusion is made out of plastic or something... I had rods and screws for L4 and L5..but they mentioned soft fusion for L2 and L3.
    I am 6 weeks out from having the spinal fusion surgery and these message boards scare me to death..that I might continue to have trouble with my back.. I had spinal surgery in 2001 with the same renowned Dr...but it came back with more athritis and scar tissue to require this major surgery.. in June 08....I hope I improve.. All these war stories have me a bit worried..
    I still take pain med and have trouble walking very far.. My back seems to pop and shift a bit... They say it is a good 3 to 6 months of feeling better...
    I hope that is true..
    How long have others taken to get through this surgery?
  • Hi Soreback,

    I tried to PM you back but it was returned saying you do not accept messages. So I try it here:

    I am sorry to be late with my response, but was out of town for a few days.

    I am also sorry that you are still in pain. I was very fortunate that I avoided that which seem to afflict most people. But as you probably discovered here, everybody is different and even after identical surgeries everybody responds and recovers differently.

    I also suspect that one of the reason I did not suffer was because my surgeon only cut through the skin and fat tissues and he separated rather than cut the five layers of muscles. It was very fortunate that I found this guy and I bless him every day. I also talked to other patient of his who also had the same positive experience as I did. So it was just fortunate that my HMO had him working for it.


  • I am scheduled for a lumbar laminectomy in 4 weeks. I have had excruciating pain for months when I walk. My right leg was the worse.
    Something though has happened and the pain has calmed down.Does know I am having surgery have an effect on my mind? Does stenosis pain come and go?
    The last thing I want to do is cancel surgery and then have a flare up.
    I have severe stenosis at l3-l4 and l4-l5 with 2 disks involved.
    Anyone experience this?
    From all my research the only cure for stenosis is surgery, as I have exhausted all conservative methods.
  • Nanmaz,

    You are experiencing the typical "pre-surgery recovery". It is like when your car makes these horrible noises for months , and when you are finally taking it to the mechanic it purrs like a pussy-cat. Similarly, often just before surgery we feel so much less pain, but don't let that fool you. If you have convincing and solid reasons for surgery you just have to go through with it. I can's explain you why this is happening, perhaps because it is psychological phenomenon due to the stress level when anticipating surgery. Many of us went through the same exact experience, yet we are happy now that we went ahead with the surgery.

    So just relax, prepare your body by eating right, keep in as good shape as possible and think positive!

    Good luck, and let us know how things went.

  • Nanmaz,

    I have stenosis aswell, (L3/4/5,S/1) and my symtoms of pain, numbess, and loss of control in my rt. leg comes and goes, and I've tried to live with it for more than four years avoiding surgery. Now I'm at the point where surgery is a must since my conditions just keep getting worse.

    With that said, I think it's normal for your symtoms to come and go but listen to your Dr's and what your body is telling you.

  • My husband had back fusion on L1 down to L5 due to stenosis and DDD. He had his 07-31 of this year and the surgeon moved the muscle instead of cutting thru it. He was black and bruised from his hips to thighs. The best thing you can do is get up and walk. He tried not wanting to get up and was dying from pain. A Nurse made him get up and once he walked, just a short time in the beginning, it would ease the pain some. Ice and heat works with the bruising. He had his surgery on Thurs and went home on Sun. Was in hospital bed at home for 4 days and then made his way up the stairs (15) to the bedroom with the help of his walker. He has been upstairs now for a week and gets up and walks the hall when his legs get to hurting bad. Alot of leg pain in both legs now. Before surgery is was just mainly the left side. Saw the surgeon this past week and he said that leg pain was normal, it is from the nerves being impinged prior to surgery. Said it could take 6 week or 6 months for it to get better.My husband has been in chronic pain mgmt for 3 years and he says it is a diffrent pain now than before but he would do the surgery again. At least we have hope that this has helped. As a caregiver I understand about the different medications. He has been on Kadian, Flexeril, Neurontin, Hydrocodone, and Cymbalta over the years. PM now has him on Morphine Sulfate ER 30 mg and hydrocone for break thru. We are happy to be down to 2 pills a day. I hope you get relief also.
  • Hey, Kinpain,
    I do not know how to use this message center...but here goes..
    Yes, that is why you did not suffer as much..as they cut through my muscles and nerves..to do what they had to do..
    I trust my Dr. with Texas Back. Institute..and since I had a 6 hr surgery it was pretty bad.. so I guess that was what he had to do..
    I am also a 66 yr old woman...
    Had a better recovery of my surgery by him in 01..but it was not a fusion,etc.
    Thrilled you did not have this hard recovery.
    God bless you..
  • Dear Nan,
    I can answer your question..as I went through the exact same thing.. I was horrible and then it went away 4 weeks before the surgery...and I had to wonder ..Do I do this major surgery or not?
    I went ahead and did it..as I am a 66 yr old woman..and I would only be older ..doing it later..
    My Dr. said I did the right thing as I was getting ready to close up completely and it took 6 hrs for him to do his thing to clean out all of my problems with fusion at 4 levels..L2 to S 1.
    So your inflammation is probably subsided..but your problem is most likely still there. Ask your surgeon..for sure.
    But I did go through that same decision...as it was quiet for 4 weeks before the surgery.
    I had no choice as it turned out..it was really bad.
    Dr. thought it would be a 3 hour surgery..and it was 6!!!
    So that is my take on your question..but ask your Dr.
    God bless you..and prayers are headed your way!
  • I'm having surgery in 4 weeks for spinal stenosis.
    I have a pinched nerve root of the L5-S1 vertebrae.
    Plan is to do foraminotomies at L4 and L5,and a facetectomy.
    Approach will be microsurgical.
    My surgeon will decide at the time if a discectomy will be needed as well.
    I have a transitional vertebrae on the left at S1 which is also contributing to the stenosis.
    Since November of last year I have had more or less continual symptoms of left lower back pain,leg pain,muscle twitching and just being bothered....
    Looking forward to some sort of improvement.
  • Good morning Merv

    I have had Level One Spinal Fusion and a Laminectomy, i was in the hospital for about a week. On the fourth day they gave me a back brace and a walker. Getting out of bed that first day was a trip but i managed because i'm the type of person who doesn't give up easy! The doctors said i "walked my way out of the hospital" because once i got that walker they couldn't stop me!!

    They doctors/nurses said most people just lay in bed and complain about the pain and how much it hurts to move "and it hurts alot"!!!! Do the good fight and don't give into it!! Eight months later i had a very large Tumor removed and now i'm doing much better!! :) :) :)

    Sorry i talked too much but i will say a prayer for you, get well soon and "God bless"!!

    Evelyn :)
    Had PLIF in 2008 and a Laminectomy. One level fusion, L4-L5.
  • I had a lamainectomy nov. 5 2014 and I was in the hospital for 5 days . I had a fusion also . I would advise someone doing this to get something for depression before you go in . I couldn't walk for a day or two .I think I must have had some type of spinal block .Anyway when I got home I had severe depression for a couple weeks and was taking a lot of oxycontin . My legs feel better now but back still hurts . Thats why I am up at 2 am . I just took some more meds. It about 7 weeks now and I walk about 2 miles a day but it wipes me out . I don't want to scare you at all but it is a major surgery and if someone is around the first couple weeks it would help .I am not going to lie, this really sucks but if it works it will be worth it .
  • ken.skken.s Posts: 1
    edited 01/15/2015 - 1:16 AM
    i have been diagonsed with spinal stenosis of the lower lumber spine L3/4,L4/5 and L5/S1 at the age of 45 .was told i need rods n screws in spine to relieve pressure on my spinal cord .has anyone had this operation as i:m worried as i work as a delivery driver .i have been told not to drive 4 weeks after surgery i need to get back to work asap as its took over a year to get to this point .my symtoms are numb legs constant pain now in right leg was left leg to start cant stand for long or walk any distance ...so if anyone had this surgery can u let me know how it was for you plz ...ken.s
  • What you are descibing, the use of rods and screws, sounds like a fusion to me. Many of us had it, I had two. In my case, the pain and numbness in the leg (sciatica) completely disappeared after the surgery. During the fusion the spinal stenosis was also taken care of, by enlarging the opening on the vertebrae that put pressure on the sciatic nerve (laminectomy). I am much better after surgery, but I don't want to mislead you, it is a big surgery. As far as what you will be able to do, and how soon, after surgery, it is best to discuss these with your surgeon. We are all different, recovering at a different rate, but evein under the best conditions you will have to observe some rules, most importantly, not bend, lift, or twist (no BLT) for a certain period, frequently, for 3-6 months, depending on your doctor's order. Good luck!
  • MagistraMarlaMMagistraMarla San Antonio, TexasPosts: 181
    The surgery that you are looking at sounds much like what I'm going to have.
    I'm 57F and I was told that I have three discs that are disintegrating and impinging upon my spine.
    I have leg spasms, constantly contracted calf muscles and I haven't been able to drive for nearly two years.
    When is your surgery? Mine is scheduled for April 13, 2015.
    We should compare experiences when we each have surgery.
    Good luck,
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