told I need a fusion of my entire lumbar spine

told I need a fusion of my entire lumbar spine

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happykeys88
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told I need a fusion of my entire lumbar spine

Hi,
I am new around here( was last active in 2008). Due to increasing lower pain over the past year I am now talking to surgeons. My first surgical consult was yesterday. After reviewing my MRI and xrays he recommended a fusion of my entire lumbar spine. This is because of increasing degenerative scoliosis and spondy, and then stenosis, bone spurs, etc.
I haven't heard of anyone having a procedure like this.
Of course I am getting a second,and maybe a third opinion.
He did order an ES injection to see if we could possibly manage the pain.
Has anyone out there had a surgery of this magnitude?
Thanks,
Patti

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julie47
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Last seen: 1 year 4 months ago
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Joined: 02/16/2012 - 8:39pm
Due to two seperate fusions,

Due to two seperate fusions, I have 3 out of my 5 lumbar vertebrae fused.

I suggest you go the route of the lumbar epidural steroid injection first. Most doctors will allow you to have 3 in a 12 month period.

My first fusion was to treat scoliosis as a teenager and it goes from T5-L1. My second was 2 and a half years ago to treat a "repeat offender" herinated disc as well as spondy. It is from L4-S1.

Although the 2nd fusion was very good at relieving my pain, it gave rise to osteoarthritis in my lower back. I also have bursitis in both hips. Bending over to pick things up off the floor is now a considerable challenge for me. I also get stiff when I sit down for too long.

This is why I reccomend you try all other possible treatments before you have your entire lumbar spine fused.

Good luck to you

janiski
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Joined: 09/05/2008 - 3:09pm
full lumbar fusion

Hi Patti,

I am fused from L1 to S1. I had 3 fusions to get there. My spine was deteriorating a lot from an accident and eventually started to collapse in on itself, and at other times vertebrae were slipping.

I am glad I had them done as they solved the problems that I had at the time. However with fusions there is always a risk of putting stress on the vertebrae above or below. Some people can have a fusion and never have any more problems. In my case the impact from the accident moved my SI joint into another time zone. Now there is a solid block of bone sitting on top of the SI joint is is causing problems for my SI. So it has come full circle.

I am controlling the pain with Tylenol 3, anti-inflammatories and neurontin. Definitely look into all options before surgery. I had prolotherapy, accupuncture, much PT, rhyzotomies and cortisone injections. However there gets to be a point when surgery is really the only answer.

But it is a major surgery with a long recovery. Patience is key.

Please let me know how your 2nd and 3rd opinions go.

L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.

happykeys88
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Last seen: 2 years 3 weeks ago
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Joined: 11/12/2010 - 1:20pm
Full fusion of lumbar spine

Thanks for your responses. I know this procedure could set one up for SI joint problems. Ouch!
I got in to see the next surgeon ( or his PA rather) on Monday. This surgical group does artificial disc replacements.
I also see the injection Dr for a preliminary on Thursday, so things are moving along.
I have had three facet joint injections over the past year, they helped a bit, but haven't had an epidural steroid injection for several years. I'm hoping the ESI will buy me some time.
I will keep you posted. AND, I am always open to new thoughts and ideas.
Thanks,
Patti

Osteoarthritis of lumbar spine,stenosis L3-4,L4-5. bone spurs, DDD
Bil TKR 2007
Bil THR 2008-09
Lumbar laminotomy 2007
PT, manual therapy, acupuncture, yoga,massage, pool therapy
pain meds

alexhurting
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Joined: 12/14/2008 - 11:36pm
Almost all the groups now

Almost all the groups now days doing artificial disc replacements as if it was the hottest fasion of the recent years, Its becoming Americas top of the list along with baseball,football and American hot aple pie,

I had 1 of the1 st adr as clinical trial in2004 before fda aproval in my l4l5 level and i paid the price and continue to pay the price to this day,

Friend of my dads had fusion on his whole spine and you would think he has pain issues but he is fine for many years now,

Many dr,s after my adr surgery went bad claim the adr works much beter for neck then lower back, So maybe you have the option if spine is made stable enough with fusion maybe they can add in some adr in the neck to have some motion,

Best of luck to ya,

Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
2012 scs implant ,

happykeys88
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Joined: 11/12/2010 - 1:20pm
Full fusion of lumbar spine and ADR

Wow Alex,
So sorry the ADR went poorly for you. Thank you for sharing your experience. I am getting quite an education through all the posts and PM's.
I think these Drs. use the Charite. I know next to nothing about ADR. My PT has worked with some patients of the above Docs, and that have had two levels fused then ADR next level above. He says six months out they are doing well.
I have a lot of research to do.
Would love to hear more stories.
Thanks,
Patti

Osteoarthritis of lumbar spine,stenosis L3-4,L4-5. bone spurs, DDD
Bil TKR 2007
Bil THR 2008-09
Lumbar laminotomy 2007
PT, manual therapy, acupuncture, yoga,massage, pool therapy
pain meds

happykeys88
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Last seen: 2 years 3 weeks ago
Title: Member
Joined: 11/12/2010 - 1:20pm
Full fusion of lumbar spine and ADR

Wow Alex,
So sorry the ADR went poorly for you. Thank you for sharing your experience. I am getting quite an education through all the posts and PM's.
I think these Drs. use the Charite. I know next to nothing about ADR. My PT has worked with some patients of the above Docs, and that have had two levels fused then ADR next level above. He says six months out they are doing well.
I have a lot of research to do.
Would love to hear more stories.
Thanks,
Patti

Osteoarthritis of lumbar spine,stenosis L3-4,L4-5. bone spurs, DDD
Bil TKR 2007
Bil THR 2008-09
Lumbar laminotomy 2007
PT, manual therapy, acupuncture, yoga,massage, pool therapy
pain meds

alexhurting
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Last seen: 2 months 2 weeks ago
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Joined: 12/14/2008 - 11:36pm
I had the flexicore adr in

I had the flexicore adr in 2004 which they no longer use, Go figure eh?
The flexicore adr itself did not fail, In my case its my beliefe is the dr failed to put it in dead center for starters and this adr i think came only in 2 size,

I became 1" taller after it was implanted and nerves might have been over stretched to make it fit, That would posibly explain the nerve damage i got soon as i sat up after surgery i felt the sharp pain that nobody been able to fix in the last 8 years,

Some people have had luck with mostly the other adr,s out there posibly because it comes in many sizes i think and the less you change the original structure of the spine the beter i feel,

The charite adr i think been around for a long while brought in to the united states after they been using it in Germany for some time now, Sadly i already know for a fact about lawsuits over the device failing of the charlite here in the united states,

I think they have come a long ways now in adr and many other adr is used,
Prodisc adr seems many people have had with much luck from what i noticed!

I have not been keeping up with what other new adr might have come out lately,
But then again i dont care for any of them when i see they dont act anything like a persons natural disc to cushion some of the stress put on it as it should,

Its no wonder people still have si joint issues just the same as with fusion when they cant figure out how to put a $2 spring of some sort in to an adr device that can act more like a natural disc and not put more stress on other levels,

I am only a construction worker ! well i was before becoming disabled, And i can figure out that if you remove something that is ment to be there to create a cushion then you replace it with something that has the same if not beter cushion otherwise you will have 1 stiff ride,

And stiff ride in spine means more pain and more part going out!

Same as you dont replace your shock abserbors on your car by welding a metal rod in place of it,

I think dr,s need 10 years in auto mechanics before going to medical school before they can put 2 and 2 together,

But thats just my opinion of course,

Best of luck to ya, Hope everything works out for you, And ps: If you have any more car trouble or get any cracks in your foundation just let me know. Lol

Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
2012 scs implant ,

dbarbeau48
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All fused

Patti,

I had my entire lumbar area fused in 2007. I had no choice because my spine was so unstable. Four months after the surgery, fusion was going well. It took me 15 months from the surgery and 50 plus PT visits before I could really start walking and living life again. Until recently, I was able to do just about anything I wanted, including playing golf. I am now back in PT because I developed scoliosis. My PT is zeroing in on strenghting my core and back muscles.

Dick

Emergency surgery in March of 2006 for spinal infection of L 2 and L 3. During surgery, discovered I had Cauda Equina Syndrome. Spine became unstable after surgery and had 360 fusion with 10 pedicle screws, plates and rods in April of 2007.

janiski
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Last seen: 7 months 1 week ago
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Joined: 09/05/2008 - 3:09pm
shock absorber for back

Alexhurting,

When you invent the shock absorber for the spine I want to be your first patient.

L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.

happykeys88
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Last seen: 2 years 3 weeks ago
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Joined: 11/12/2010 - 1:20pm
Total lumbar fusion

Dan,
Where is you scoliosis? Is it thoracic?
Are you still able to live life, or has the pain come back?
Thanks,
Patti

Osteoarthritis of lumbar spine,stenosis L3-4,L4-5. bone spurs, DDD
Bil TKR 2007
Bil THR 2008-09
Lumbar laminotomy 2007
PT, manual therapy, acupuncture, yoga,massage, pool therapy
pain meds

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