Spinal Fusion "to have or not to have, that is the question?"

Spinal Fusion "to have or not to have, that is the question?"

Welcome to Spine-health’s Lower Back Pain patient community. You can also read doctor approved Lower Back Pain Articles and watch Lower Back Pain Videos.
33 posts / 0 new
Last post
Anonymous (not verified)
Title: Member
Spinal Fusion "to have or not to have, that is the question?"

Hi, I'm interested to hear from anyboy who is either considering spinal fusion or has had spinal fusion. Also, i can't seem to find any figures with regard to the percentages of success.

advertisement
iowarobin
iowarobin's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Title: Member
Joined: 12/08/2008 - 11:11pm
Hello and Welcone

I had my two level fusion with the other stuff last December. At 7 months out I dont feel I am a good person to ask as I am not completely healed yet. But wanted to welcome you and say good luck. Also you need to put a little more info on what you are looking at.

glassback (not verified)
Title: Member
spinal fusion

thanks for replying. i was begining to think i hadn't registered properly. So your 7 months post op and i guess not feeling great as your comment. My team here in the UK seem to be leading me down spinal fusion of L5/S1 but it's my decision. I want to see actual results from people having it done. There must be some results somewhere. I'm only 39 and have 2 young children so i need to think very carefully about my options. Hope your better soon. One thing i always think of is that there is always someone worse off than you. Take care

glassback (not verified)
Title: Member
a bit more information- Spinal Fusion

to add to my original message. I'm 39 and 2 years post op of a discetcomy on L5/S1. i'm still in a lot of pain and unable to work as i have a white collar job. I take a vast amount of medication every day which is affecting my tummy. I have recently been on a Pain Management programme that i found very useful. I'm now at a crossroads and do i start to push 4 spinal fusion. There is some great information on here but i would like to hear peoples actual experiences both good and bad. Also, can anybody help me with finding out statistics on the success of spinal fusion. look forwarding to hearing from you.

shirley
Offline
Last seen: 6 months 4 weeks ago
Title: Member
Joined: 08/21/2008 - 11:26am
hi glassback

im also from the uk, im waiting for discetomy app, had x-rays, 12 months pt, mri and nerve block injections under cat scan. just found out i also have osteoarthritis in facet joints.
been on this merry go round of the wonderful NHS system for 18 months, dont feel i have gotten any further than when i began this journey, still in the diagnostic stage to find root cause of pain.
tried just about every med u can name, still not totally pain free, looks like i will have to leave my job, worked so bloody hard to get where i was in it, but hey, im still walking.
fusion is only option for me, just wish it was over and done with already.
my quality of life sucks, thats why im ready to go under the knife, good luck with ur decision, only u can make that choice, keep us posted Wave

glassback (not verified)
Title: Member
hi Shirley

flippin eck sounds bad. my quality of life sucks 2. Have u been on a Pain Management Programme? they are good espically with helping in the head department, dealing with pain, coping stratergies.

i ended up having emergency surgery after the hospital left me for 3 weeks with clauda-equina syndrome and now have permanent bladder damage. Make useful a real pest to the team. I've lost everything including my wife of 11years. It's a real mess.

take care

I'm neil btw

shirley
Offline
Last seen: 6 months 4 weeks ago
Title: Member
Joined: 08/21/2008 - 11:26am
hi neil

sounds like u been through much more than me mate, cant get to c pain management, doc says hosp needs to refer me and hosp says doc needs to. makes me sick when i work in health profession, don't even start me on that subject lol.
im very sorry that u have lost everything. life stinks sometimes but u sound like a fighter. u will make many friends here, what part of the uk are u from ? im from sunny Devon where it rains 6 days out of 7 and on the 7th it p....s down.
take mate and keep on fighting Grin

pete81241
pete81241's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 11 months ago
Title: Member
Joined: 05/23/2009 - 4:41pm
hi neil

sorry youve had so much trouble.
the question is how do you define success?
if fusion is done to stabalize spine and not cure pain and spine is secure but pain increases is it a success?
only the surgeon can give you a percentage pf success prediction on chances of success for reducing pain in your situation.
after looking at peoples comments here on spine health i'd say only 50% got pain relief from fusion. i had 2 fusions and got no pain relief.
for pure pain relief maybe spinal cord stimulator has better % of pain reduction....maybe 70%
good luck
pete

?

pete81241
pete81241's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 11 months ago
Title: Member
Joined: 05/23/2009 - 4:41pm
hi neil

sorry youve had so much trouble.
the question is how do you define success?
if fusion is done to stabalize spine and not cure pain and spine is secure but pain increases is it a success?
only the surgeon can give you a percentage pf success prediction on chances of success for reducing pain in your situation.
after looking at peoples comments here on spine health i'd say only 50% got pain relief from fusion. i had 2 fusions and got no pain relief.
for pure pain relief maybe spinal cord stimulator has better % of pain reduction....maybe 70%
good luck
pete

?

gwennie17
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 4 months ago
Title: Member
Joined: 12/30/2008 - 12:07am
How do you define "success"??

That is the real question you need to answer for yourself. I have just spent quite a bit of time trying to find some statistics for you. The various studies I found define success by fusion rates, which is not what I think you are looking for. I found passing remarks about fusion not solving 100% of a patient's pain.

I think I recall my surgeon stating 80-85% of patients having lumbar fusion were better off than prior to surgery.

Many people who have fusion do so believing that it will "fix" their situation and they will come out pain-free. They are the ones who are disappointed with the results. It is important to know that fusion will not restore you to the way you were prior to the onset of your injury or pain.

You have to decide what options you have and whether you can go on the way you are. I resisted fusion for over three years because I kept thinking there must be a better way. But specialist after specialist kept telling me there was not, nor was there anything on the horizon that would replace fusion. When I could no longer stand for more than a minute or two and I was driving down my driveway to get the mail, I realized the time had come.

Each person has to make this decision for him or herself but it must be done with eyes wide open, knowing what fusion can and cannot do for you.

xx Gwennie

gwennie17
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 4 months ago
Title: Member
Joined: 12/30/2008 - 12:07am
more --

OK, check this out:

http://www.spine-health.com/treatment/spinal-fusion/tlif-back-surgery-success-rates-and-risks

This if for a TLIF:

Studies indicate that the patient’s pain is improved 60% to 70% after TLIF spinal fusion surgery and approximately 80% of patients undergoing TLIF spinal fusion surgery are satisfied with the surgical result.

But again, what does "satisfied" mean to them, as opposed to what it would mean to you??

Does it mean 40% are the same or WORSE??

Pages