L5-S1 Fusion, what to expect?

L5-S1 Fusion, what to expect?

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coyotewildwoman
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L5-S1 Fusion, what to expect?

My surgeon tells me i need another fusion under my previous L 3-L4 to eliminate my foot numbness and increasing pain in my knees as well as right leg sciatic pain. My past surgeries seem to have had little success in relieving my pain.

Has anyone had any success with continued fusion or is it the luck of the draw? I am bone on bone so I can also appreciate his point.

How much flexion am I likely to lose? Can't wait until they can clone disc material!

Happy Thanksgiving..

Wendy

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RTgirl2011
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I had my fusions at two different times

I had L4-5 fused in Feb of this year and L3-4 fused in June. They just went in and replaced the rods and added two screws. Other than the usual surgery pain they have healed quite well. As for how much flexion after having L5-S1 fused. I have actually been wondering that myself. I am having it fused in January.

Discectomies 05/08 and 04/11, fusions L4-5 Feb 9,2012 and L3-L4 June 28,2012, Staph infection washout 3/2/2012, Bulged L5-S1. SCS trial on January 17th, 2014, which was a success! Permanent SCS on February 20th.

Keeper
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My first post here. Was not

My first post here. Was not planning on signing up until I seen this post.

I had L4-S1 fusion done in 1999. Here is what I have been through since.

First off you will notice the lack of flexibility and the almost immediate relief from the leg pain, I can still touch my toes but its noticeable to me that I cannot bend as well as I used to. Of course this is to be expected as the whack of steel back there is doing its job.

What I did not expect is that about 8 years after the surgery I started having problems higher up, I was told this was due to that lack of flexibility in the lower back putting more strain higher up. It has resulted in a bulge at t8-t9 which is causing all sorts of other issues.

Now from what I was told by the neuro I have seen up here (Ontario) was that the original surgeon did not put enough of a "bend" in my lower spine making it to straight and causing the issues higher up.

You may or may not experience these issues, but I would make sure you ask about them.

As for cloning disc material, I thought they were testing some sort of polyurethane discs down south? Might be something to ask about, its not up here and likely will not be until its sorted out in the USA.

GL with whatever route you take!

Fusion L4-S1, T8-T9 herniation.

lsteller
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I don't know what the difference will be for you

But I am fused L3-S1. I move pretty well, but I do notice the stiffness. Probably the worst problem I have is if I sit on something that is too low, I have trouble getting back up. Sort of feel a bit like a turtle. For Keeper, above, sure you can still touch your toes, but weren't you told that you shouldn't??? Fused vertebrae will make the levels above and/or below (depending on where your fusion is), cause a lot of pressure on the levels next to them. I was given BLT restrictions - Bend, Lift, Twist. I am not to bend and touch my toes. Putting a foot up on a bench and bending to tie my shoe is okay. No lifting over 30 pounds and keep knees bent. Twist? Well, let's just say I never do those side bends when I exercise anymore, and sometimes turning to look over my shoulder in the car is difficult. I keep it to a minimum. You will need to be careful after the fusion and you must give yourself a good amount of time to heal.

3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.

terror8396
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cure

this is what i have heard concerning back surgery
1/3 get better, 1/3 get worse, 1/3 stay the same. I guess i have had all 3. first got better, 2nd got worse, 3rd stayed the same and my last one got worse. luck of the draw. it is a real crap shoot with back surgery.
good luck
jon

I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.

Keeper
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lsteller wrote:But I am fused

lsteller wrote:
But I am fused L3-S1. I move pretty well, but I do notice the stiffness. Probably the worst problem I have is if I sit on something that is too low, I have trouble getting back up. Sort of feel a bit like a turtle. For Keeper, above, sure you can still touch your toes, but weren't you told that you shouldn't??? Fused vertebrae will make the levels above and/or below (depending on where your fusion is), cause a lot of pressure on the levels next to them. I was given BLT restrictions - Bend, Lift, Twist. I am not to bend and touch my toes. Putting a foot up on a bench and bending to tie my shoe is okay. No lifting over 30 pounds and keep knees bent. Twist? Well, let's just say I never do those side bends when I exercise anymore, and sometimes turning to look over my shoulder in the car is difficult. I keep it to a minimum. You will need to be careful after the fusion and you must give yourself a good amount of time to heal.

No it was never mentioned that I should not touch my toes, heck I was asking about skydiving after my surgery (and was told to "give it a shot and let me know how it goes"!!), it never entered my mind about bending over to touch my toes. Now that being said, I do not curl my back when I bend over, I am flat along my spine when I bend, I learned that early on.

My fusion was in 1999 so its been a while.

Fusion L4-S1, T8-T9 herniation.